This is a very long-term
When What Port 80
became Oh Internet
, the admins took a chance to redo everything using Semantic MediaWiki
, a system based on predefined forms that allows expressing relationships between pages according to a machine-readable schema, with forms to enforce this schema on each page.
Perhaps if we had TV Tropes to do all over again, it might be done semantically as well. I noticed the beginning of this when I saw relationships.php as a way to express supertropes and subtropes. The concept could be extended to superworks and subworks, such as works in a series or series in a franchise or franchises by an author. It could even be done with examples..
The way I see it, each example is a 4-tuple:
(Trope, Work, How Played, Description of Example)
Consider this example:
(Arbitrary Headcount Limit
, VideoGame.Animal Crossing
, Straight, No more than four humans and 15 (GCN), 8 (DS) or 10 (Wii) animal neighbors per town, not counting the permanent residents such as Tom Nook et al.)
This would show up in VideoGame.Animal Crossing
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: No more than four humans and 15 (GCN), 8 (DS) or 10 (Wii) animal neighbors per town, not counting the permanent residents such as Tom Nook et al.
The same example would show up in Arbitrary Headcount Limit
- Animal Crossing: No more than four humans and 15 (GCN), 8 (DS) or 10 (Wii) animal neighbors per town, not counting the permanent residents such as Tom Nook et al.
An example where How Played is not Straight:
, VideoGame.Animal Crossing
, Subverted, The guy who gives you the axe is a Cloud Cuckoolander
, you have to ask for the golden axe to get it.)
In the work page:
And in the trope page:
I can see several benefits of switching to semantic examples:
- Examples on a trope page would be sortable by title or by date of a work's first publication.
- People could filter examples by the objectionability (G/E, PG/E10+, PG-13/T, R/M, etc.) of the work.
- Known users could set a list of works that they plan to view soon, and those would be filtered out of tropes with Spoilers Off.
- Pages Needing an Entry Pimp would be solved.
I see how this is a good idea in theory, but I've got a few problems with it.
- It would lead to a very "robotic" feel in example/trope list sections. One thing I try to do when crosswicking, say, Kaleidoscope Hair is to vary the format and wording of examples slightly. I don't always do so, but just reading the same framework over and over would get boring.
- You often need more context listing an example on a trope page than a trope on a work page, and we wouldn't be able to vary that. If I'm listing minus as an example on Kaleidoscope Hair, I have to state that the girl is omnipotent; on the work page, this fact is already known. Automatic crosswicking could lead to every trope on minus. saying that minus has magic powers, which would be repetitive and, again, boring.
- I doubt it's feasible to do this across the whole wiki, no matter how long a time it's over.
Yeah, it would enforce consistency, and over-consistency may look too robotic for people who aren't Aspies like me. But this sort of consistency would also help put the brakes on natter.
You make a good point about trope and work pages needing different amounts of context. I'll amend my proposal to add two more columns:
- After Work, add Element of Work. It would have a character name, a chapter name, etc.
- Before Description of Example, add Context. It would appear before the description only in the trope page, not the work page.
Thus examples would be 6-tuples:
(Trope, Work, Element of Work, How Played, Context, Description of Example)
The following tuple: (Kaleidoscope Hair
, "minus", Straight, "She's omnipotent.", "Her hair changes from strip to strip, ranging from red to blue and green without comment, which adds to her surreality
- Kaleidoscope Hair: minus. Her hair changes from strip to strip, ranging from red to blue and green without comment, which adds to her surreality.
In Kaleidoscope Hair
- minus in minus.: She's omnipotent. Her hair changes from strip to strip, ranging from red to blue and green without comment, which adds to her surreality.
It was feasible to move out-of-universe audience reactions to the YMMV namespace over the whole wiki, with the help of those red bullets. During the transition, traditional trope pages and semantified trope pages would coexist.
edited 5th May '12 8:14:07 AM by DamianYerrick
I see the Awesomeness.
The biggest problem after that would be activating variants that involve franchises and need to be arranged in a certain way.