News:

Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

Forge vocab one more time

Started by Christoffer Lernö, October 01, 2002, 08:33:33 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

Christoffer Lernö

I know there are threads where usefull stuff is defined, like IIEE and so on.
AND we have the GNS eassay and so on. This is usually the thing pointed to when a suggestion for a vocabulary comes up.

I feel, however, it's not *really* all that helpful. Especially to newbies. I wouldn't bring this up unless I had a new idea how to make it work.

What I'd like to see is a new feature on this site.

This feature would let you look-up definitions. If you typed GNS you'd get a basic definition as well as (moderated) comments, PLUS links to the best threads and articles.

Members should be able to post new definitions, post links and additional comments.

As some things have alternative names (as IIEE), those would be listed and linked to as well.

You should also be able to read who was the originator (to know who to discuss the issue the best with), when it was defined and some more stuff like that.

In a sense it would work a little like the resource library. I can take responsibility for writing up a spec and maybe do some programming as well if people think this would be a good idea

Basically I envision something like this:

I type: Gamist

I get:

Gamist (alternative names: G)
First defined by: Ron Edwards
Originally appeared in: The GNS Essay
Basic definition: fjeifie ije fiejwfojieijfoiewjf oie oi
fiejfew oijfoiejfoie owjfiejoeij  fejoiewj wfew
Reference articles and threads:
The GNS Essay
Another Thread
A third thread
Other comments
Pale Fire: I think yada yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda
Box12398: Or you could also say  yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda
formerly Pale Fire
[Yggdrasil (in progress) | The Evil (v1.2)]
Ranked #1005 in meaningful posts
Indie-Netgaming member

Le Joueur

Quote from: Pale FireThis feature would let you look-up definitions. If you typed GNS you'd get a basic definition as well as (moderated) comments, PLUS links to the best threads and articles.
If you write it, they will come.

Really, the only problem with this idea is no one seems willing to make the time commitment to put together the dictionary.  (It's a lot harder than it looks.)  It's easy to say 'can we have a...' than it is to go, 'I will make a....'

Go for it!

Fang Langford
Fang Langford is the creator of Scattershot presents: Universe 6 - The World of the Modern Fantastic.  Please stop by and help!

Walt Freitag

I like this idea, and I have two suggestions that might help a little. One, the person listed as "first defined by" should be the one to write the entry for that term and the one to moderate the subsequent commentary. This would distribute the work (unfortunately not enough, since Ron and, let's see, who else... ah! -- Fang... would be swamped, so perhaps that rule should only apply to new terms introduced henceforth), and it would also have the beneficial side effect that having to create and maintain such an entry would be the rightful price of introducing a new term.

(On the other hand, a new-term tax paid in actual cash toward Forge expenses might be even more beneficial. Would $5 per syllable be fair?)

As for the backlog of existing terms... Christoffer, why don't you "assign" me one term to research and write the entry for. If others also willing to tackle one term to be assigned to them by Christoffer also say so here, we can make a start. (Then, if that works out, I'll consider doing one more...)

Christoffer, understand that by assigning me a term you'd also be agreeing to take on the unpleasant task of reminding and prodding and cajoling me (any everyone else you assign a term to) to complete the work.

- Walt
Wandering in the diasporosphere

Ron Edwards

Hi there,

Oh please, if someone could get this started, oh please ...

One very solid attempt was stalled a while ago, which I feel pretty bad about; the screwup involved server changes and lost files and similar stuff. Perhaps Walt's suggestion is a way to get this project going.

Oh, and lots and lots of people would be primary sources. Mike Sullivan would be the guy for Illusionism, Mike Holmes for Participationism, Paul Czege for protagonism and "deprotagonize," and there are many more. Fang and I are indeed Term-Monsters, but we're not alone.

Best,
Ron

Mike Holmes

Quote from: Ron EdwardsOh, and lots and lots of people would be primary sources. Mike Sullivan would be the guy for Illusionism, Mike Holmes for Participationism, Paul Czege for protagonism and "deprotagonize," and there are many more. Fang and I are indeed Term-Monsters, but we're not alone.
That's Paul Elliot, if I'm not mistaken for Illusionism.

I'll do one.

What about the even more problematic ones like Immersion, and Transparency? Do we just point to discussions and not even attempt to define?

Mike
Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.

Ron Edwards

Mike,

Yes, it was Paul Elliot - I always do that, must be the double "L" or something. Dammit.

My take on Transparency, Immersion, "story," and a few others is to tell the truth: "These terms have been intractable throughout multiple discussions, or redundant relative to existing terms, and you can see the threads here, and make your own choices about it." I'd include Dramatism in this list with some reservations, as Gareth Martin's re-construction of it was very interesting to me.

Other good candidate term: Congruence, which is Walter's, I think.

Best,
Ron

Valamir

As long as we're talking ideal...the ideal would not be to create a glossary that was the "final authority" because then (as with ye old faq attempt) we'd spend a zillion hours argueing over what minutia was going to be included in the "official" definition.

Better would be for each entry to be a summary of talking points (the format suggested above seems a reasonable place to start).

Different definitions for a term can be handled simply by 1), 2), 3) etc. with some attribution to principal commentors.

I think a "readers digest condensed version" of the threads where the topic is discussed will be more valuable than a strict "glossary" for all but the most basic terms.

The idea is to allow interested parties get up to speed quicker than they could sifting through old threads right.

Christoffer Lernö

One question I have: Do we have any software that can do this right now or do we have to write something new? If the latter, what stuff are we playing with? What databases, what serverside stuff and so on?

On the other hand depending on how flexible the resource library scripts are, maybe the stuff handling that could be adapted to run the vocab?

I was thinking of something automated to that there wouldn't be someone who would have to keep up the maintainance him or herself. This is not just because of laziness. It also ensures it can keep on running even if the person responsible takes a time out from posting or something like that.
formerly Pale Fire
[Yggdrasil (in progress) | The Evil (v1.2)]
Ranked #1005 in meaningful posts
Indie-Netgaming member

Ron Edwards

Hi Christoffer,

You might be surprised at how much maintenance an "automated" system requires. For instance, between server hiccups and various who-can-read-it problems, the Forge kicks Clinton in sensitive places at least once a month ... which is really often for something that isn't a job, especially if you consider that he monitors it almost daily. For example, all entries into the Resource Library have to be checked to make sure they're (a) active links and (b) not abusive, and that's just one small function.

A fully-automated "vocabulary database" would become a serious problem - a confused or contentious definition is just as easy to input as a solid "reference" one. A completely-reviewed databased would require ... well, reviewing, and that's plain and simple labor.

I'm still hoping we come up with something that works well, but it's not going to be a simple, whip-it-up service that we've been overlooking all this time.

Best,
Ron

Clinton R. Nixon

Here's my concept for a glossary that wouldn't be that hard: a system consisting of matches from terms to links. It would be a simple mapping where term X can found first found in thread Y. (And clarified in threads Z1, Z2, and Z3.)

Does that sound like something useful? If so, I will put effort into it.

- Clinton
Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games

Jonathan Walton

Guys,

Why don't we just make a WIKI?  For an example of what I mean, check out the Fudge Wiki on the Phoenyx server:

http://fudge.phoenyx.net/">http://fudge.phoenyx.net/


Each person could add whatever they wanted, even to the point of listing terms and hoping other people will come along and define them.  WIKI's are really the ultimate web-collaboration tool, and I think one would be absolutely perfect for this kind of project.

Just an idea.

Later.
Jonathan

Mike Holmes

That was attempted once (Wiki). But it never got off the ground for various reasons.

Mike
Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.

Jonathan Walton

Quote from: Mike HolmesThat was attempted once (Wiki). But it never got off the ground for various reasons.

Mike,

I appreciate the response, but that really doesn't tell me anything.  Why didn't the WIKI work?  Did it "not work" in such a way that people believe that one won't EVER work?  Are there remnants of it still in existence that could be co-opted for another project?  Can you give me some links to old discussions of it?

This probably goes back to the "building a supportive tone" stuff that was brought up recently on the Site Discussion Board, but shooting down ideas without any explanation is really unhelpful and occasionally hurtful.  I know you didn't mean it to be taken that way, but it really does kill any energy I had for helping to work on this project.

Just a heads-up.

Later.
Jonathan

Clinton R. Nixon

Jonathan,

I appreciate the Wiki idea - it's a good one and has merit.

The reason it didn't work out before, and I don't think it's the right one now is that it basically creates another forum. When a glossary is codified - which should happen some day - it needs to be a static, not dynamic, thing.
Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games

Walt Freitag

Ron and Clinton,

What about just using a forum (in the sense of the phpbb data object, not in the sense of an active discussion process) as the glossary display mechanism? Each "thread" could cover a single term, starting with the main definition and continuing with additional commentary added as posts. The forum would have to have the following characteristics:

- Displays threads in alphabetical order of topics rather than by most recent posts

- New topic and posting privileges limited to designated moderators (so discussions about definitions would have to take place in other forums or in private, with the glossary moderators posting only signficant developments to the glossary "threads").

If that can be done with the current system, it would appear the easiest plan. The work of moderating and of building the definitions is a separate issue, of course.

And the whole issue is moot unless more people than Mike (thanks, Mike!) offer to write one.

- Walt

PS In all fairness I should mention that although Fang is a terminology fiend, he consistently enters his specialized terms as links, which is a great help. (The only problem with that method in general is that when others take up the same terms, they tend not do the same thing, understandably.)
Wandering in the diasporosphere