Editor FAQ

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Becoming an editor

Q: How do I become an editor?
A: Start by subscribing to the mailing list, then write a post to it where in you introduce yourself. If you're the shy type, you may want to lruk for a few Days, or a few Moons, before introducing yourself. Tell who you are and what your interest in the project is, how you expect to be able to help, and state your wish to be given editing privileges. If you've already made an account (the Chief Editor is not auomatically notified of new account creations) say what your user name is. If you haven't, you'll be asked to make one.

You won't be asked a lot of questions, as long as you tell the basics about yourself, including your real name and contact information (email), as well as any online user names that the Chief Editor might have once known you as. Nobody gives a fuck about your sex, species or sexual orientation, except insofar as you being unusual can potentially enrich the Sagatafl project with additional factual information, and your chronological age is screamingly irrelevant.

Most likely you will have a bunch of questions to ask, before you actually request editor privileges. That's all right. Ask. Unless your questions are hostile, or indicate that you are coming from a background that is fundamentally incompatible with Sagatafl (for instance if you are a Dramatist), your questions will be answered.

Ask for editor status.

The most likely, or rather least unlikely reason, for not being given editor status, is that a bunch of other people have recently been given editor status, and there's a "brake principle" or -hypothesis in force, which says that giving editor status to too many people at once is a bad idea. It's better to let in a few every Moon, and watch how things play out. But if you do ask, and are told to wait, you'll be listed on a secret queue and given editor status once the Chief Editor deems it timely (it's not on a first-come-first-serve basis - prioritization may happen). The worst thing you can do if told you'r on queue, is to reduce your mailing list activity. Keep participating.

Also, don't worry about being told you're on a queue. Currently (as of May 2011) there are two editors, and no waiting queue to get in. Most likely you will get let inright away.

Q: I accidentally forgot to disclose an online identity under which the Chief Editor may have once known me. Am I screwed?
A: Contact the Chief Editor ASAP and tell him. The sooner you do this, the better. The one thing you do not want - trust on this - is for the Chief Editor to play private detective and find out that you've withheld such information from him. That's when you're likely to get in trouble. Particularly identities you've used on RPG discussion boards or closed forums, or on Usenet or other NNTP servers.

Q: I'm not sure if I'd make a good editor.
A: That's not a question!
Q: Sorry... But I mean, is it a full-time job? What would I have to do? What if English is not my first language? What if I'm not very good at technical stuff like server thingies and wiki markup code?
A: Being an editor at Sagatafl Wiki is not a full-time job.

Editors bring a wide variety of skill and motivation. Some perform lots of low-level edits which seem rivial but which actually add up to a huge improvement of wiki quality over time, for instance by editing typos or grammar errors, or by looking deeply into article categorization (the tag used to classify articles, and the hierarchial tree-structure which the categories form). Others get down and dirty with the difficult and tricky technical stuff, PHP, wikitext markup code, CSS, and so forth. Others again focus on the game mechanics, joining in the effort to improve flexibility, or they go into attack mode and try to disprove the claim that Sagatafl character creation is proof against abusive optimization. Other kinds of editors focus on the writing of the wiki, not in the sense of grammar and spelling, but the flow of the text and the clarity and unambiguity of sentences. Others again help with the visual side, making photos and diagrams, or even by adding photos and graphics to articles, actively seeking out pages that will benefit from visual embellishments. Some editors might not actually contribute per se, instead they only add tags to articles that have problems, each tag specifying a particular kind of wrongness, and relying on others to come by and fix those errors.

As for language issues, and wikitext expertize, there can be a large element of learning in being a Sagatafl wiki editor. The Chief Editor's personal experience of taking on English as a second language is that every single time he stepped up his involvement, getting more directly into active usage of the languag, he'd improve and find himself more motivated to learn more about spelling and even grammar (the way his mind works, he's never had to work on vocabulary). There won't - probably - be any formal classes in English writing or in wikitext markup, but if there's something you're unsure of, ask on the mailing list. Chances are, you're not the only one who will benefit from the answer to your question.

Also, most wikitext is simple. It's actually much simpler than HTML, on average, with the main hurdle being tables, and even those are much simple to write and to read (and error-check) than HTML tables. Elaborate tables are difficult to make, but simple ones to present game-mechanical information so that all options and consequences are visible at a glance, are trivially easy to make.

In fact, both when it comes to language and wikitext, if you're an editor with a particular teaching expertize, you can contribute to this wiki by writing articles that teach either subject matter. Just not that such articles are not copyrighted, and so just because you "give" them to the Sagatafl project, this doesn't prevent other people from copying your material and re-using it on other sites, in original or modified form.

Q: What's this about watching each other? Are we being paranoid?
A: The likelihood of a person hostile to the project requesting editor status is small. The real twin dangers are accidental sweeping changes, such as a novice editor being unaware that he has select-marked 2/3 of an article and then accidentally hitting the Delete key, and then clicking Save, and not noticing it. Or an editor, most likely one who has been inactive for some time, having his account compromised, possibly via keylogging or social engineering. It's not very likely that a hacker would choose to sabotage this wiki, but these days, hackers are sometimes children with nothing constructive to do, and so might find some vandalism fun.

All such accidental and malicious changes can be reverted, and a hacked account can be fixed. Thus the only problem is finding out about them as soon as possible, so that the restoration requires less effort.

So that's one more thing an editor can do: Watch other editors. Especially ones who have become inactive (with or without saying that they're going on leave), and also those that are new, or who are less than new but give the impression of being somewhat inexperienced with basic computer use.

Q: My editor privileges was taken away from me. What have I done wrong?
A: Since this hasn't happened yet, being a purely hypothetical question, the only likely reason I can think of is that you have become inactive, and have not made any edits for a period of time, maybe a couple of Weeks or a couple of Moons. In such a case, it is official policy to revoke editing privilegs temporarily, until the editor contacts the Chief Editor an tells him that he's ready to resume editing. No insult or offence is intended, but accounts that have been inactive for a long period of time are probably the biggest security risk.

Q: So there's a minimum quota of edits I have to make, per week, or else I risk losing my privileges?
A: No. The aim is to make this wiki a friendly and welcoming enviroment, and anyway having a quota would be absurd.

Q: I don't like having an "editor" box in the left-most (narrow) table on the Main Page. I feel overly exposed.
A: Keep in mind, your Editor Box tells only your user name. This doesn't have to match your real name, as long as the editor knows what it is. If you still can't live with being boxed up like that, you can't be an editor. Contact the Chief Editor and request to be removed and to have your editing privileges removed.

Q: I always consistently use the same name online, wherever I am, and have done so for over a decade, and even all my real life friends call me this. Just about nobody knows my birth name. I am this name, even though it's not on my birth certificate. My real name is pointless to you, so I won't tell it.
A: The Chief Editor will handle such issues on a case-by-case basis. There's no harm in asking; he'll probably say no and demand to know your real name, but it's not a certainty.

Q: What's preventing me from lying about my real name?
A: You're gambling on you being smarter than the Chief Editor, and that there's a zero percent chance of him catching you. Hint: The chance of being caught is higher than 0.0%. Don't take the risk.

Q: Are there any requirements for higher editor rank?
A: At some point high up on the scale, you need to provide additional contact routes to the Chief Editor. You won't ever have to give your phone number (although if you are very technical and can understand spoken Danish, it could be desirable), but being on Facebook, and/or active in the IRC channel (not yet implemented, but it'll be on the FreeNode network), is necessary in order to be a really high ranking editor

Q: What's the deal with editor rank? Aren't we all equal except for the Chief Editor who is more equal than the rest of us?
A: No. But it boils down to a few technical rights, which will probably be given out more on a basis of need and interst than on actual rank, and to visibility and emphasis. A higher ranking editor is on more involved, and more deeply involved, in the project. Nobody can boss anyone else around, but it's quite possible that senior editors will be given areas of expertise, their domains, to oversee and develop and maintain, and so anybody more junior who wants to work on that aspect of Sagatafl or the wiki will have to talk to that person in a more direct fashion.

Q: What are the different possible ranks anyway?
A: That has not yet been consistently settled. So far two editors exist, one being Loki who is Junior Editor (but very upwarly mobile once he comes back from extended leave) and the other being the Chief Editor who, as the name implies, is more equal than everyone else.

Q: I don't mind the idea of an Editor Box, but I'm worried I'll get a silly label or something.
A: That's not a question. As for silly labels, the Chief Editor is merely trying to fake having a sense of humour. If you don't like your label, contact him. If possible contact him with a suggestion for a better label.

Q: What are the various technical rights that ediors can or can't have?
A: This Q will be A'ed at a later date. Currently, just think in terms of rights on an as-needed basis. IF you can demonstrate a need for a right, through motivation and ability, you'l get it. If not sooner then later.


Not being able to edit

Q: I registered for an account, but I can't edit.
A: No, of course not. This is not Wikipedia. Accounts cannot edit at all before they are upgraded with editing privileges, and such upgrades don't happen automatically. In fact nobody else is notified when you create an account, and no contact information available to other editors is stored when you make an account, so you're nearly invisible. You have to go through the procedure outlined in the above section.

Being an editor

Q: When should I classify an edit as "minor"?
A: Currently, we're using the same definition of a Minor Edit as is used in English Wikipedia: [1]. To quote:
A minor edit is one that the editor believes requires no review and could never be the subject of a dispute.

Be very conservative with using the Minor Edit check box. IF you're in doubt, don't check it. The Chief Editor has developped the habit of describing many of his changes as "small changes" in order to avoid creating confusion about this point, with changes that are too significant to classify as minor.

Q: How do I use the Talk pages?
A: Sparingly. Anything but the briefest of discussions are best conducted on the mailing list (or alternatively in private chat, e.g. via MSN, or on IRC once we get that up and running), but for brief discussions and statements, the Talk pages are fine. Write under the "post" you want to reply to (do not inter-leave, but write your reply under the other person's signature), indenting your post with a colon, or one more colon than the post you replied to was intended with, and "sign" you post once (per post) by clicking on the signature/scrawl icon in the editing interface, which places 2 dashes and 4 tildes at the point of the cursor (the end of your post), which the MediaWiki software will auto convert to your signature.

Q: What's my personal page for? The non-Talk one?
A: For telling about yourself, who you are as a person, what your interests are what you bring to the project. If you have other creative projects you're working on, you're welcome to link to them, but don't talk about them too much on your personal page.

Q: What's my Talk page for?
A: For talking. No, seriously, it's mostly an artifact of the Wikipedia project which was correctly predicted to become large and sprawling with tens of thousands of editors (if not more?) and no central discussion place off-site that isn't using HTTP. The Sagatafl Wiki has the mailing list to use, which is infinitely better suited for long discussions.

Q: What's my Personal Wikitext Reference page for?
A: It's a place to host those wikitext commands/functions that you find the most useful, but which you for whatever reason haven't been able to internalize or memorize, and so frequently need to look up. The Chief Editor's [page] contains a lot of stuff he uses frequently, but not things that he has fully "learned" how to do, such as the BR tag to force a line break.

To reduce the need to scroll, you should place the most important wikitext commands at the top of your table. And of course once in a while delete stuff you no longer need, either because you've stopped using it, or if you are sure you no longer need to look it up.

Q: Can I get stuff on my Personal Wikitext Reference page?
A: Of course. If you can't add it yourself, ask a more senior editor to do it for you. The Chief Editor can do it in a very few minutes, for instance, if he actually knows the commands you need, or knows where to find them.

Q: Why is there so little material in the? The Chief Editor's personal reference page contains a lot of stuff that's not on anywhere in the main Wikitext category?
A: That's just because nobody has gotten around to updating and improving the general (non-personal) reference articles. It is never the intent that the Chief Editor's personal wikitext reference page should contain anything exclusive and special. That would be profoundly silly, anyway, since that page is on the web and visible to everyone. What might happen is that the general wikitext reference articles are split up into simple and advanced pages, so that new and inexpereinced editors don't have to skim past all the advanced stuff.

Q: What's the main jargon used among editors?
A: Editor jargon hasn't really evolved yet, but one thing the Chief Editor is aiming for is to have link mean internal link unless specifically called an external link. Many wikis are very self-referential, and this is good. So you don't have to say "internal link". Just say "link".

Q: I'm not sure I understand the Category structure
A: The "master" category is Sagatafl Wiki - that's for everything. This one category divides into several main branches, such as Sagatafl which is for everything game-mechanical, and Editor stuff which is for stuff that is relevant to editors (hence the name). More main branches may be added later, and note that there are more main branches than the two mentioned.

Sagatafl and Editor Stuff then each branches out into sub-categories, for instance Sagatafl has sub-categories for Character Creation and Action and Magic (note that some of these categories may not yet exist, or may exist under different names; they'll be renamed), for game mechanics about, respectively, making a character, resolving physical conflicts including movement and combat, and for learning and using various kinds of magic.

And so forth. The Character Creation sub-category has sub-sub-categories for Perks, Advantages, Skills and so forth, and a sub-sub-category like Skills may branch further out into Proper Skills, Professions, Lores and Conditioning.

Q: Why is it sometimes desirable to add an article "invisibly" to a category?

Q: Another editor has started behaving strangely, making new kinds of edits, and lots of them, for instance moving a whole bunch of articles from one category to another. What can I do? What should I do?

Q: I'd like to run a bot script on this wiki. How can I do that?




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