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Unread 12 Aug 2008, 21:36   #1
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Make the manual a Wiki

This was suggested a few years ago and PAteam thought it was stupid and pointless. So together with Eol, I created PAWiki. I think PAWiki has shown that people are willing and able to add and improve content. It includes a manual session that has (at times) been better than the official PA manual for some items. I believe Eol's suggestion that the manual should be a wiki has been proven to be a sound one, so I raise it again.
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Unread 12 Aug 2008, 21:55   #2
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

Yes.
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Unread 12 Aug 2008, 22:33   #3
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

Probably because it is a bit of a stupid idea. The manual is supposed to be a quality reference guide for players, if you allow anyone to edit it then there is a slight risk that someone may vandalise it - even putting in a wrong formula to **** people up.

Although I'm saying it's a stupid idea, it might be worthwhile giving some more people who know the game well some access to edit the existing manual. It badly needs an overhaul and I don't see any of the existing staff working on it much.
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Unread 12 Aug 2008, 23:32   #4
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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Originally Posted by GReaper View Post
The manual is supposed to be a quality reference guide for players
But it isn't.

Quote:
if you allow anyone to edit it then there is a slight risk that someone may vandalise it - even putting in a wrong formula to **** people up.
And I could take one of my kitchen knives and go on a killing spree. Obviously ktichen knives are a bad idea.

Quote:
Although I'm saying it's a stupid idea, it might be worthwhile giving some more people who know the game well some access to edit the existing manual. It badly needs an overhaul and I don't see any of the existing staff working on it much.
No, that's a terrible idea, for obvious reasons*.

That said I would recommend against using wiki that looks like a wiki. Keep the current style sheet! Make the wiki non-intrusive, just a little tiny link 'improve this page' or something.

* Obvious in the sense that this is the status quo and the status quo sucks.
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Unread 12 Aug 2008, 23:34   #5
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

If I were someone who was going to write a manual for PA (which I'm not), the first thing I would do is toss the current one in its entirety.
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 00:22   #6
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

I think this is a very good idea, lets hope it can be done
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 00:44   #7
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

i like this idea.

Why not just set new submissions up for moderation before they are "added" if u are worried about vandalism.
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 08:18   #8
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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Originally Posted by Mzyxptlk View Post
If I were someone who was going to write a manual for PA (which I'm not), the first thing I would do is toss the current one in its entirety.
That's a terrible idea. The current manual represents lots of work. No one wants to create lots of new work.
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i like this idea.

Why not just set new submissions up for moderation before they are "added" if u are worried about vandalism.
I disagree with this. The 'wow' factor of seeing your edits show up immediately outweighs the possibility of vandalism. PAteamers (and volunteers!) could just subscribe to the edits RSS and keep an eye out for vandalism.

Incidentally, it'd be pretty cool if this were tied into the (lol) passport or some other persistent account. Hell, tie it to current ingame accounts.
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 09:26   #9
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

Making it a wiki will only ensure that its 'current' if there are people willing to update it.

Also, it will run into the problem of wiki vandalism. If the manual isnt being updated as it is, do you expect them to clean it up too?

The last problem i can see would be that of officialism. If the manual can be edited by all, it cant really be claimed as a 100% official source of information on the game and as such might be problematic to refer people to at times

That said, its worth a try for a round to see how things go
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 10:45   #10
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

Sounds likea good idea. The only downside is vandalism though if it is regularly monitored i don't see it being a huge threat. My only concern is that the people will get bored of it (i'm hoping it isn't the case) and it will become too outdated. Alternatively large portions could be up to date whereas others might not be depending on the experience of the people updating it.

just a couple of thoughts.

Gets a yes from me nonetheless. A manual for the people...from the people.
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 11:10   #11
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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Sounds likea good idea. The only downside is vandalism though if it is regularly monitored i don't see it being a huge threat. My only concern is that the people will get bored of it (i'm hoping it isn't the case) and it will become too outdated.
What's to stop the people who are currently supposed to be updating the manual from updating the wiki? If you need someone to tell you to do something explicitly in order for you to do it you're probably not the sort of person you'd want writing a manual anyways.
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 11:27   #12
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

If wikis are such a great idea, why is the current Planetarion Wiki mostly unmaintained? If you created PAWiki it shows what happens when people lose interest - it doesn't get updated.

The threat of vandalism is real though. If someone updates the manual during the middle of the night and nobody notices until the morning - even if they do subscribe to the RSS feed, what will happen during the night if someone relies on an important formula?

You'd be better off getting a team together to try and overhaul the manual, as I do agree it needs improving. Once this is done maybe add a comments form (sent by email, not staying on the page) at the bottom of all pages so that people can submit any corrections or add any suggestions they want. Get a few trusted people onboard who aren't PA Team, support team or multihunters who are good at documentation to help out with documentation updates.

Just because you turn it into a wiki doesn't mean it'll be instantly updated by hundreds of people.
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 11:44   #13
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

By unmaintained you mean "contains more information than everything else officially PA related put together"?
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 11:56   #14
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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By unmaintained you mean "contains more information than everything else officially PA related put together"?
unmaintained meaning everything on there is outdated.
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 12:15   #15
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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unmaintained meaning everything on there is outdated.
Ignoring the fact that it isn't, one would imagine that a wiki manual, linked to ingame and with far more reliance upon it as a sole "manual", would receive a lot more attention.
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 12:24   #16
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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Ignoring the fact that it isn't, .
Lol someone putting a round 28 entry in doesn't change the fact that people don't get that far. i draw your attention to the mainpage :

Next Round (Friday January 11, 20:00GMT = Tick start)

Round 25 signups have opened, and the round is set to begin on Friday January 11 at 20:00 GMT .

It's unmaintained where it matters.
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 13:19   #17
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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Lol someone putting a round 28 entry in doesn't change the fact that people don't get that far. i draw your attention to the mainpage :

Next Round (Friday January 11, 20:00GMT = Tick start)

Round 25 signups have opened, and the round is set to begin on Friday January 11 at 20:00 GMT .

It's unmaintained where it matters.
Ignoring the second half of my post...




Oh no wait you did, my bad!
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 13:50   #18
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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Originally Posted by JonnyBGood View Post
Ignoring the second half of my post...
it was full of the same faeces infused rubbish as the first half..one can only put up with so much per day.

I've made my point which was that the wiki is unmaintained and would need regular maintenance to be successful. That is all.
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 13:56   #19
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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it was full of the same faeces infused rubbish as the first half..one can only put up with so much per day.
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I've made my point which was that the wiki is unmaintained and would need regular maintenance to be successful. That is all.
The second half of my post concerned reasons why the pa wiki wasn't that well maintained and pointed out that these reasons would be unlikely to hold true if the manual was turned into a wiki.
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 14:01   #20
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

You know, why not make a wiki manual anyways. Once we prove it works and is better than the real one, it will be much easier to convince whoever needs convincing to make the manual link there.

You could also have each article in the actual manual link to the wiki page for it stating :For player comments and notes on this please visit the wiki - that way poeople still have the actual "official" information in case of vandalism or some such
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 15:11   #21
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

You could start a manual on the existing PA Wiki. If it works then great, maybe the existing manual can be changed to something similar.
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 19:01   #22
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

Quote:
Originally Posted by [DW]Entropy View Post
Sounds likea good idea. The only downside is vandalism though if it is regularly monitored i don't see it being a huge threat. My only concern is that the people will get bored of it (i'm hoping it isn't the case) and it will become too outdated. Alternatively large portions could be up to date whereas others might not be depending on the experience of the people updating it.

just a couple of thoughts.

Gets a yes from me nonetheless. A manual for the people...from the people.
How about instead of being a whinging ninny you go fix the frontpage?
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Unread 13 Aug 2008, 19:08   #23
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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You could start a manual on the existing PA Wiki. If it works then great, maybe the existing manual can be changed to something similar.
We did, unsurprisingly no one could be ****ed duplicating PAteam's work indefinitely.
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Unread 14 Aug 2008, 09:09   #24
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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Originally Posted by Banned View Post
How about instead of being a whinging ninny you go fix the frontpage?
Can't edit the main page otherwise i would have
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Unread 14 Aug 2008, 09:33   #25
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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Originally Posted by [DW]Entropy View Post
Can't edit the main page otherwise i would have
As per your PM, the correct way to edit the main page is to go via the templates. Glad you figured it out and added something, it's totally awesome when people pitch in.

I'm afraid that copying the manual into PAWiki would be illegal without the express permission of Omac. All the content on PAWiki is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. That means it can be freely copied so long as the copyright notices and license and maintained. Unfortunately the manual is not licensed under the GFDL and whoever owns it would need to release it under that or a compatible license for it to be legal for us to copy it to the wiki.
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Unread 14 Aug 2008, 09:52   #26
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

But since theres so little to say about the game and its working without sounding like we're copying then the only way of reproducing any sort of manual is with the permission unless we wrote it from scratch. How possible is it to get the permission?
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Unread 14 Aug 2008, 12:00   #27
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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Originally Posted by [DW]Entropy View Post
But since theres so little to say about the game and its working without sounding like we're copying then the only way of reproducing any sort of manual is with the permission unless we wrote it from scratch. How possible is it to get the permission?
I guess you could send a forum PM to Jamie_Omac.
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Unread 14 Aug 2008, 13:20   #28
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

Might do that, when i have a little time anyway. spent most of the morning tidying the F-crew wiki page and digging up old recruitment threads
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Unread 14 Aug 2008, 17:06   #29
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

A wiki for the manual would be completely daft. We already see people in this game using every possible loophole to get ahead and get away with cheating including using the 'The support team said it was ok' and this would make it easier. The manual is after all one of the official documents that is supposed to be correct and dictates what we can and cant do.

A guide system to accompany the manual done via a wiki system would be fine but you need the official manual to be uneditable by anyone but officials
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Unread 14 Aug 2008, 19:45   #30
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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Originally Posted by wakey View Post
A wiki for the manual would be completely daft. We already see people in this game using every possible loophole to get ahead and get away with cheating including using the 'The support team said it was ok' and this would make it easier. The manual is after all one of the official documents that is supposed to be correct and dictates what we can and cant do.

A guide system to accompany the manual done via a wiki system would be fine but you need the official manual to be uneditable by anyone but officials
You seem to me to have a very narrow view of what is in the manual. How would being able to edit the politics page, or mining page or heaven forfend, the journal page allow people excuses for cheating? This isn't rhetorical, I honestly don't know how it would and if you could present reasonable cases I would be open too changing my position on this.

That said, pages like the exception system might warrant protection. As you say, erroneous content here is much more costly than (say) a vandal deleting the section on covert operations for a few hours (or minutes).

The default, however, should be 'open to edit'. We tried it for over 3 years on PAWiki and found that almost everyone who edits does so with the intent to improve the content.
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Unread 14 Aug 2008, 23:43   #31
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

I looked through the PAWiki and thought it was a nice read. It's terribly out of date on some parts though. I think it would be super fun if someone updated it to reflect the current happenings in Planetarion. Putting the manual on there might be a bit of work but I wouldn't mind seeing people writing a more in depth manual.
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Unread 15 Aug 2008, 08:44   #32
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

I was tempted to have a go yesterday but unfortunately i'm not up to date on round summaries since i'm confined to my little room in F-Crew. Though i would be willing to help out "around the house" should the need arise. So if anyone can write good round summaries, or alliance summaries i'd be up for updating pages.

On an added note i don't believe being able to change a manual could be just cause for cheating. Users will no doubt be told that the wiki manual is a duplication of the official manual. Plus there are ample methods in place to prevent cheating anyway.
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Unread 15 Aug 2008, 09:29   #33
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

Just to make one thing clear, I'm not advocating we move the official manual to PAWiki. I think the manual should be a wiki of some kind.

PAWiki and the manual serve different purposes. While the official manual could be hosted at PAWiki (and many online games do serve their manual from a mediawiki), I don't believe that PA would be served by outsourcing it entirely.
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Unread 15 Aug 2008, 20:41   #34
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

Good idea, i would use it (though most people would take that as a negative thing)
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Unread 15 Aug 2008, 21:08   #35
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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Originally Posted by Banned View Post
You seem to me to have a very narrow view of what is in the manual. How would being able to edit the politics page, or mining page or heaven forfend, the journal page allow people excuses for cheating? This isn't rhetorical, I honestly don't know how it would and if you could present reasonable cases I would be open too changing my position on this.

That said, pages like the exception system might warrant protection. As you say, erroneous content here is much more costly than (say) a vandal deleting the section on covert operations for a few hours (or minutes).

The default, however, should be 'open to edit'. We tried it for over 3 years on PAWiki and found that almost everyone who edits does so with the intent to improve the content.
Yes some of the pages in theory aren't open to be changed to help cheating, however Fiery isnt Mystic Meg and can't look into a crystal ball to know the future and you arent Doc Brown and have a Delorean Time Machine to go and see the future. As such Fiery, you or anyone else cant tell where the next form of cheating and bending the rules unfairly is going to crop up. Who would have thought for example that the production page would ever have been able to be used to 'cheat'. If its open for the groups of cheats to make their cheating look legit and argue their way out of getting punished by making key changes its an issue. Even people editing it without any malicious intent but who lack the proper understanding could cause issues

I do see how a wiki 'manual' could benefit the game and help people learn but I just don't think its worth the risk to move the manual to a wiki system. IMHO it makes more sense to simplify the manual and then having a wiki player guide system to complement it.

The Manual would be the definitive guide that players should ultimately refer to and if there a dispute could be refereed to while the Guides would make it clear that it was user generated and shouldn't be taken as the Gospel truth but would provide a deeper insight into the game. Under no circumstance could the guide system be used in a dispute and that would be made clear
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Unread 16 Aug 2008, 00:48   #36
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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The Manual would be the definitive guide that players should ultimately refer to
the manual has been inaccurate for as many rounds as i can remember so why will it suddenly become accurate or newbie friendly , wishful thinking is one thing but actually having an accurate manual is another

the point of the wiki would be that it can be constantly updated so it would be more like a live manual constantly changing as needed
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Unread 16 Aug 2008, 11:05   #37
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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the manual has been inaccurate for as many rounds as i can remember so why will it suddenly become accurate or newbie friendly , wishful thinking is one thing but actually having an accurate manual is another

the point of the wiki would be that it can be constantly updated so it would be more like a live manual constantly changing as needed
Atleast the manual now though is set in stone at the start of the round UNLESS we are told otherwise. A constantly changing manual just add to the how abusable it is. What next are you going to ask for the EULA to be made a wiki.

Simplify the manual to make it easier to update and easier to take in and then leave the community to expand on the manual through a wiki guide system. That way you get the community help to provide documents to help people but you arent letting the community have the ability to cheat by editing the official documents.

And yes under any system there will be errors, but atleast the errors now are official errors that are the same for everyone at every point of time unless a change is made and then we are all told. With the Wiki one day you could read it it and it says one thing, the next day someone else can read it and it says something else.
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Unread 16 Aug 2008, 12:33   #38
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

Set in stone.. and wrong. How useful.
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Unread 16 Aug 2008, 13:42   #39
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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Originally Posted by wakey View Post
Atleast the manual now though is set in stone at the start of the round UNLESS we are told otherwise. A constantly changing manual just add to the how abusable it is. What next are you going to ask for the EULA to be made a wiki.

.
ok now your clutching at straws and mentioning the EULA is just plain dumb

the manual is constantly wrong or outdated so it needs attention which makes making it a wiki a valid option ,
by bringing the EULA into your argument your just trying scare tactics which in fact are just plain dumb as it is the rules for the game so making it changeable makes no sense whatsoever , if all your going to say is the wiki manual is abusable then dont bother replying as that point has been made by you in every post and adds nothing to the discussion

yes its open to abuse but so is the game and we have cheats closed in every rd so why bother reminding us
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Unread 16 Aug 2008, 15:37   #40
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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Originally Posted by gzambo View Post
ok now your clutching at straws and mentioning the EULA is just plain dumb

the manual is constantly wrong or outdated so it needs attention which makes making it a wiki a valid option ,
by bringing the EULA into your argument your just trying scare tactics which in fact are just plain dumb as it is the rules for the game so making it changeable makes no sense whatsoever , if all your going to say is the wiki manual is abusable then dont bother replying as that point has been made by you in every post and adds nothing to the discussion

yes its open to abuse but so is the game and we have cheats closed in every rd so why bother reminding us
The manual also rules the game. Its the official document on how the game works, if its changed by players either maliciously or by a lack of understanding it causes issues. It also causes issue if the official document is being changed every day or even every hour.

And anyway what makes you think the players know more about the finer details than PATeam. If you think that you clearly haven't spent any time in #support. If PATeam cant get everything right how are the players supposed to. The community knowledge of the game isn't on the whole found in fine details of the games features but rather the actual playing aspects. They know how to use the external tools, they know the tactics for getting the best out of circumstances and such like and its this and not the actual manual where a wiki would make sense
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Unread 16 Aug 2008, 18:59   #41
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

i've never heard the manual being quoted when a planet got closed so saying it rules the game is just wrong because the EULA rules the game and i cant remember a round when the manual was 100% accurate .
the community as a collective probably do know more about the finer points of the game than the pa-team as its the community that is constantly pointing out the error's.
As regards the wiki being changed in error or on purpose i would rather have that than a manual that is forever wrong
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Unread 17 Aug 2008, 01:31   #42
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

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Originally Posted by wakey View Post
And anyway what makes you think the players know more about the finer details than PATeam. If you think that you clearly haven't spent any time in #support. If PATeam cant get everything right how are the players supposed to. The community knowledge of the game isn't on the whole found in fine details of the games features but rather the actual playing aspects. They know how to use the external tools, they know the tactics for getting the best out of circumstances and such like and its this and not the actual manual where a wiki would make sense
Ignoring the fact that you're objectively wrong (I feel confident in claiming I know more about the game's mechanics than most of the people in #support), what, exactly, would stop PA Team from contributing to a wiki?
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Unread 17 Aug 2008, 08:27   #43
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Re: Make the manual a Wiki

just create info boxes ingame: so next to each feature is small box, or a mark which will open up info part of the feature.

once u code a new thing: u add an info bar to it aswell.

forces the available info to be somewhat up to date.

leaves manual to have only some formula info, which is easier to update than big punch of text.
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