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Wiki Development Project: Namespace Cleanup and Configuration

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Hi, folks! We're currently in the middle of an extended wiki development project that will add some nifty tools to the moderation kit (and some bells and whistles for tropers as well). While a full list of what's coming is outside the scope of this topic, there is one very specific thing that needs community involvement and feedback: the namespace configuration system.

In a Nutshell

We're changing namespaces from informal components that anyone can add (you can make an article in the "Glurkbrgl" namespace if you want, just by editing it) to a formal list of allowed values. This list can be added to and offers additional controls, such as the ability to set which style sheet is used by articles in the namespace, which page type is the default, the icon for the namespace tab bar, and how editing and article creation work.

    Details 

Namespace Configuration System

  • Namespaces will be itemized in a database table.
  • There will be a php page where anyone can view the list and the settings for each namespace, and mods can edit them.
  • The configuration system will have (roughly) the following attributes:
    • Name: (Main, YMMV, Disney, etc.) This will include the canonical capitalization of the namespace (see below).
    • Editing Status: This will be a selection from a list of possible restrictions, from "Open" (anyone can edit/create articles) to "Require TLP" (article creation must go through Trope Launch Pad) to "Closed" (nobody can edit or create articles), and a few more.
    • Page Type: The default page type to assign to articles in the namespace (a work, a creator, a trope, a subpage, etc.).
    • Style: Main, Darth Wiki, Sugar Wiki, etc.
    • Auto-Index: Whether the namespace behaves like normal or is automatically indexed, such as in Laconic Wiki.
    • Icon: Choose the icon that appears in the namespace tab bar in the header of wiki articles.
  • When anyone requests a wiki article (HTTP GET to pmwiki.php), the namespace part of the URL will be checked and forced to the proper capitalization. This will prevent things like "Ymmv", which break wiki functionality.
  • When anyone tries to create or edit an article, the namespace configuration will be checked to determine if that action is allowed. If creation is blocked, a suitable message will be displayed. If editing is blocked, then the article will display as locked.

What We Need

What we need from the community is agreement on which namespaces should be kept and which should be discarded. The wiki has accumulated a lot of cruft due to the free-for-all nature of namespace creation, and we want to start with as clean a slate as possible.

For reference:

How This Will Work

If we decide not to keep a namespace, any articles in it should either be cut or moved to a more suitable namespace. Any such namespaces that have remaining articles when the new system goes live will be set to "Closed", so that nobody can make new ones and the existing ones will be automatically locked.

For all remaining namespaces, we need to populate the initial settings: page type, editing status, and style. Note that many of these are already known and configured, so we'll carry those over — there's no need to renegotiate the status of Main or YMMV, for example. I'm mainly talking about the odder ones like, say, Castle.

After the system goes live, if anyone tries to add an article that isn't in an approved namespace, the attempt will be blocked. Requesting new namespaces would be done in the Locked Pages topic or some other topic we create specifically for that purpose.

Rules and Procedures

  • The working list of namespaces to load into the configuration system will be stored in Namespace Cleanup Project.
  • Any user may bring up a namespace that they think should be removed or given special handling.
  • If there is significant immediate consensus, we'll approve it and any required actions (cleanup, transplants) can begin.
  • If consensus is not clear, then we will use a crowner to collect votes.

We will also answer general questions about the system in this topic, but we will keep it focused specifically on the namespace project. Off-topic thumps will be used if needed.

    Frequently Asked Questions 
  • Q: Are we changing any media namespaces (Film, Western Animation, Manhua, etc.)?
    A: No, we are not. That's not in the scope of the project; the intent is to configure all media namespaces as they currently exist.

  • Q: What are we doing with examples subpages (like Castle.Tropes Ato D)?
    A: We want to clean those up. Check out this post to see some ideas, and this Google Drive doc for a list of all such articles.
    Note: We can't just merge them back together, as most were hard split for size to begin with.

  • Q: So what should we focus on?
    A: That's a great question! We're looking mainly at namespaces that have fewer than 40 articles in them, and that are not medium namespaces. In other words, let's start from the bottom of the list. In particular, let's get rid of one-off namespaces that aren't being used for actual trope content.

  • Q: Is there a list of all namespaces that are being used for trope example subpages?
    A: Thanks for asking. Yes, it's here. Note that some media namespaces were caught in the query.

edited 8th Jun '17 1:54:49 PM by Fighteer

Elle Relationship Status: I wanna know about these strangers like me
Jun 13th 2017 at 12:15:22 PM

Well, do you (and y'all) want to be?

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Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Jun 13th 2017 at 12:23:43 PM

Yes, I'd love to, but only if people are willing to go to the trouble of moving all those wicks.

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Jun 13th 2017 at 12:41:41 PM

Well, I could do that, if it's just a simple swap of Disney/SleepingBeauty, or whatever, into AnimatedFilm/SleepingBeauty...

It'd just take the time to load each page to edit, and then save...

Help with possible disambig and redirect issues!
Candi Sorcerer in training from Closer to rimward than hubward Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
Sorcerer in training
Jun 14th 2017 at 6:49:01 AM

The grunt work is always the issue. :p

I think one thing that needs to be in the new system is, at the very least, an unofficial/unapproved namespace kicks up an error rather than creating a page.

Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving. -Terry Pratchett
Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Jun 14th 2017 at 8:59:37 AM

Yes, that's inherent to the design. You cannot create a new article in a namespace that's not in the list, or is set to "closed", and an appropriate message will be displayed if you try.

edited 14th Jun '17 8:59:52 AM by Fighteer

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Elle Relationship Status: I wanna know about these strangers like me
Jun 14th 2017 at 3:10:15 PM

I helped put the Disney pages there so I can help move them back, as long as it's sure that's what's to be done.

Disney films go to Western Animation (or a merged animation category) and if there is still overlap with another work, disambiguate?

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Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Jun 14th 2017 at 3:31:05 PM

That's the idea, yes. At this point I'm not sure we're going to get enough of a quorum of posters to establish a consensus. It's just a matter of making decisions and doing the work.

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RallyBot2 King of Nitpicking from Nowhere Significant Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, they are imaginary
King of Nitpicking
Jun 15th 2017 at 3:35:27 AM

The Western Animation namespace is mostly safe to use, the exceptions being the movies that had sequel series. We'd have to do something with WesternAnimation.Big Hero 6, Hercules, etc., most likely making them BigHero6TheSeries and so on.

Of course, other stuff, e.g. Discworld, have their own namespaces as well, and if we kill Disney we have to deal with the rest, some of which will cause collisions.

...Also, is this finally our excuse to get rid of AATAFOVS?

Stealth edit: Regarding the examples subpages, I'd go with Examples/WorkTropesAtoE. We're going to have to move everything anyway, so it makes sense to have a defined page type.

edited 15th Jun '17 3:40:13 AM by RallyBot2

WaterBlap Blapper of Water Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Blapper of Water
Jun 15th 2017 at 9:03:40 AM

Another problem with using the same namespace ("Examples") for all trope/work example hard splits is that it will break the YMMV/Trivia/etc. custom bullets unless it's manually set to "a subpage" depending on which trope is at play.

We could have two such namespaces. Or rather, the "TropesAToD/" idea could go for works, and then the other could have "Examples A To D/".

So, TropesAToD.Harry Potter and ExamplesAToD.Eye Lights Out. I think this would be an easier move for trope pages.

edited 15th Jun '17 9:04:45 AM by WaterBlap

[witty saying]
Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Jun 15th 2017 at 9:19:40 AM

But most trope splits are done by medium, not alphabetically.

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AnotherDuck No, the other one. from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Jun 15th 2017 at 10:48:09 AM

I think using one namespace like "Examples" is better than using namespaces for every alphabetical split. As a namespace, it makes much more sense. "ExamplesGToL" just doesn't make sense as a namespace in any way. There might be some advantages to it, but I don't think those are enough to weigh up how arbitrary it is. I don't think an arbitrary construct like that is a good basis for creating a structured environment.

I'm still not sure whether I'd prefer having "Examples" as a namespace, versus using the work as the namespace. Both make sense in their own ways. If it weren't for the work required, I'd probably prefer the former.

For trope subpages, I think it makes a little more sense to use the tropes as namespaces. First of all, the wiki is about tropes, so they're the heart of it. Second, if it gets down to series specific pages about specific tropes, it creates a more natural bridge between them. At that point, you only need one page rather than one subpage for the trope and one for the work, since they have exactly the same examples anyway. On higher levels, you either have more tropes (for the work pages), or more works (for the trope pages).

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WaterBlap Blapper of Water Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Blapper of Water
Jun 15th 2017 at 11:13:11 AM

[up][up] I knew I was mixing something up but I kept rewriting that post and got too hung up on it. There's still the idea of having a page like Examples.Wake Up Fighting and then have that be an index for pages like WakeUpFighting.Literature and the other split pages.

[up] Most splits are done because the page got too long. Putting all the examples on one page doesn't seem likely to alleviate that issue. Splitting the alphabet for example subpages is not arbitrary, but necessary (for those cases). How we split them, though, is a different matter.

For the idea of splitting the examples in a pattern like ExamplesAToE.Deadly Towers: I think splitting the alphabet evenly into five groups (plus Z in the last group) would minimize the number of namespaces added (other than not going down that route at all, of course). This would make each subpage have examples for five letters (plus Z in the last group) and would also help alleviate the length issue. Another alternative to that split pattern could be three groups of eight letters (with Y and Z in the last group). There are some works split into two letters, and that's obnoxious and unnecessary, and I really think a reasonable minimum would be to split into six pages of four letters (with Y and Z being in the last group).

edited 15th Jun '17 11:13:24 AM by WaterBlap

[witty saying]
AnotherDuck No, the other one. from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Jun 15th 2017 at 11:22:09 AM

[up]How many works have so many examples of a single trope that that page needs to be split up?

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Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Jun 15th 2017 at 11:38:06 AM

It's a convenience mostly, so that exceptionally long trope example lists don't dominate the article. There's a guideline (though not a hard rule) that one may start a trope subpage for a work when the work has a minimum of three examples of the trope.

Frankly, if we had the 2.0 design, this wouldn't be an issue at all. But we aren't there yet, so we have to consider whether the proliferation of namespaces caused by all these splits is healthy, and whether the alternative — a single namespace for example splits with the split criteria identified in the title — is superior.

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Candi Sorcerer in training from Closer to rimward than hubward Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
Sorcerer in training
Jun 16th 2017 at 4:39:10 PM

I think part of the issue is what's intuitive for splits, namespaces, etc., doesn't always make sense when practicality rears its head.

If assigned subpages names happen (i.e., always A-D) splitting pages is going to at least need a mod tool to authorize unorthodox splits.

Assigned alphabet range in the sub pages has one definite problem, as seen in the Locked Pages thread during a Complete Monster discussion: One of the alphabetized pages had to be split because it was that darn big. More common tropes are likely to have the same issues. (Spacebats!)

Popular and long-running work pages are similarly likely to need unorthodox splits.

For Disney and Discworld, would putting Title Disney and Title Discworld be a solution to namespace collisions? It could be applied elsewhere as needed as well.

edited 16th Jun '17 4:39:45 PM by Candi

Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving. -Terry Pratchett
Jun 16th 2017 at 10:00:23 PM

Arguably what we need is a subpage system that allows us to create pages such as Series/Castle/TropesAtoD or Main/TimeyWimeyBall/DoctorWho which would be indexed underneath their main pages, but I suspect that would just open another can of worms.

rmctagg09 The Wanderer from Brooklyn, NY Relationship Status: I won't say I'm in love
The Wanderer
Jun 16th 2017 at 10:24:30 PM

That sounds like something we couldn't even do until 2.0.

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RabidTanker God-Mayor of Sim-Kind Relationship Status: TV Tropes ruined my love life
God-Mayor of Sim-Kind
Jun 16th 2017 at 11:16:11 PM

So I have an question; with the pages being auto-indexed, do we still get in trouble for not adding an page that we created to more indexes or is this an valid excuse for me being lethargic like I'm usually am?

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SeptimusHeap from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Jun 17th 2017 at 2:41:56 AM

Most pages do not get autoindexed.

RallyBot2 King of Nitpicking from Nowhere Significant Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, they are imaginary
King of Nitpicking
Jun 20th 2017 at 11:46:31 AM

Back on the topic this is supposed to be on, a whitelist for namespaces.

Does anyone know if wildcards would be possible in a whitelist, e.g. Tropes[A-Z0-9]To[A-Z0-9]? That would solve the example-splitting issue while allowing the examples to be associated with the parent.

Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Jun 20th 2017 at 11:52:32 AM

No, what the developers are going to give us is the ability to enumerate allowed namespaces. If we go the TropesA-Z route, we'll have to manually create and open any new namespaces that are requested.

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Candi Sorcerer in training from Closer to rimward than hubward Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
Sorcerer in training
Jun 22nd 2017 at 2:24:38 PM

Random thinking, throwing stuff out:

wild mass guessWould it be possible to program a function where behind the scenes, the mods and admins check a box to turn on a subpage namespace for a trope or a work?

All the capabilities are there in the code, but they have to be officially turned on.

Common subpage namespaces (i.e. YMMV) would always be on. Others, like breaking down by trope, media, letter, etc., would kick up an error message if the namespace was off.

This is probably far too complicated programming wise, though.

Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving. -Terry Pratchett
Fighteer Geronimo! from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Geronimo!
Jun 22nd 2017 at 3:11:59 PM

It's not a thing we have in mind for this iteration of the namespace system. In the proposed 2.0 design, namespaces as an organizational unit will disappear, so the point is moot.

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Elle Relationship Status: I wanna know about these strangers like me
Jun 23rd 2017 at 1:23:27 PM

This weekend I can put in a bit of time to help move things and I propose starting with Discworld since it's more straightforward (while also being one of the larger ones). I will throw a thread in the short-term projects forum for it and poke the Discworld thread in Literature for assistance.

Edit: Thread.

edited 23rd Jun '17 1:58:06 PM by Elle

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Jun 25th 2017 at 3:30:19 AM

Was there consensus to reintegrate the Discworld entries at this point? I thought we would start with the smaller ones, which could lead us to a best practice that can be applied to the dinosaurs later on.


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