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01 December 2012 @ 01:56 pm
Chess Wiki  
You may or may not have heard that I am starting a Wiki for Chess-- meaning, like Wikipedia or TV Tropes, a collection of articles about things related to Chess that anyone can edit. The wiki is running PmWiki, which is the same type of wiki TVTropes runs on.

Currently I'm on what may be the most difficult part of the process, especially since I've never tried to run a Wiki before, which is figuring out how to organize these pages. I'm attempting to find a good compromise between keeping everything sorted and easy to find for reading, but also not so full of rules to follow that it becomes intimidating to edit (which I recognize is often a problem with sites like this that I create and a problem with a lot of wikis in general). Here's my current idea for the hierarchy of things (pages in the lowest level are just examples of the sort of things that would fit in that section):

  • Productions and Concerts

    • 1986 West End Production

    • 2008 Royal Albert Hall Concert

    • 2010 Signature Theatre Production

  • Songs

    • Merano

    • Anthem

  • Characters

    • Anatoly Sergievsky

    • Florence Vassy

  • Merchandise

    • 1984 Concept Album

    • 2008 Royal Albert Hall Concert Video

    • 1988 Broadway Souvenir Program

  • Miscellanea

    • 1956 Budapest Uprising

    • Tim Rice

    • Bobby Fischer

    • Bangkok

You may already be seeing some of the challenges that are going to come up here, specifically in naming things. For one, us fans are not always consistent in how we refer to things, and the show itself is even worse. There are some things we can do to mitigate this. For example, it's easy to set a title for a page that is different than its URL, so the page can be /Productions/1988NewYork but the page title and listing of productions shows it as "1988 Broadway Production". We can also easily set up redirects, like the page "Freddy Trumper" can automatically send someone to "Frederick Trumper."

But I figure we need to set down some ground rules for consistency. I've already started setting up pages for productions and concerts in the format of YearCity. So, as previously mentioned, the page for the Broadway production is located at /Productions/1988NewYork. The Royal Albert Hall concert is located at /Productions/2008London. Then we can bicker about what the individual production pages should actually be titled, but at least we know where to find them.

As for songs and characters, this is particularly tricky. My instinct is to name one version to use as the standard. The obvious choice being the Royal Albert Hall concert, since it's probably the most well-known among active fans of the show right now, and Tim Rice considers it the official version, and we can use the IMDB page as the standard for character names and song names. This still leaves the question of how we address songs and characters that aren't in that version. Oldest source available?

I'm not too concerned at this point about the actual content of pages and I don't plan to be very strict about that.

Obviously I am open to suggestions on these things and anything else related to the wiki.

ChibiSilverWings: Love Tsushi is in Ditto-lovechibisilverwing on December 2nd, 2012 07:24 am (UTC)
I think this format and your ideas all sound pretty good, I think the main thing to be concerned about is just to be constant and from there, people will get the hang of it. I've not even done any editing on current wikis so my advice is sadly lacking, but I'd love to see a project like this. Good luck and let us know when you make more progress!
zédille: Pooh and pigletzedille on December 3rd, 2012 09:43 am (UTC)
(now do you understand my pain when I think about trying to organize/list bootlegs?! Though speaking of which, I'll get back to doing that now, and maybe I can finish with that by the end of the year.)

So categories -- are you distinguishing concerts vs stage productions? Or semi-staged concerts? There's a whole spectrum there. And, huh, I just realized, why do we talk about the London version and not the "New York" version? Is it the Sydney production (what I prefer) or the Australian production? Eh, well, having years will be helpful for all that.

Otherwise, I want to suggest broadening the "Miscellanea" category, which seems to be the IRL side of things. So why not expand on things you already have listed, and make categories for the IRL corrollaries of people and events? There's the whole handful of chess players (Bobby Fischer, and then the whole bunch of Russian players that Anatoly and Viigand are drawing on, plus Lothar Schmid who's the equivalent of the Arbiter, and Petra Leeuwerik who might be Florence), and the IRL chess matches that those people were involved in (plus these are what get referenced and worked off of -- ooh can we have sections explaining the references in the songs' pages?), plus various IRL people involved in the show and in different productions (so we could have pages for the various actors listing which production they were in, and what role they had, and we could link to things).

Hm links I wonder if you might have a category for bootlegs? Or you could indicate that in the article for each production (like, "no known bootlegs exist," "no complete recording but a few clips on Youtube," "video/audio exists" (with the presumption that people would know where to go for the links), or for ones where multiple bootlegs exist, "this recording is bad, this other recording is better quality" or something like that?)

And (sorry, have I wandered more into the content side of things?) I hope we can have different versions of song lyrics, classified by song (drawing on Sylvia Stoddard's site, of course, but there you have to navigate through different productions, and you can't look at the different versions of a song as much), and someday also scripts/transcripts for easier referencing (hurrah Ctrl-F! or could you imagine, an index for versions of the show with the WALTER YOU BASTARD line? the possibilities!)

If you're working off IMDB, I noticed they spell it "Walter de Courcy" and "Florence Vassey" -- I swear, did Florence (Vassy) steal Walter's E (I don't know where I saw it spelled as Courcey if it wasn't from the 2008 concert)? And we're going with the London-version Walter de Courc(e)y and Alexander Molokov, and not Broadway/American Walter Anderson and Ivan Molokov?

(Speaking of names, could we explain -- or I am totally willing to write up an explanation for this myself -- the Russian naming system? Really it ought to be Svetlana Sergievskaya, because I am nitpicky that way, though that does get confusing.)

These are just my two cents on things I wish were already catalogued for us :D At any rate, thank you for taking on the effort of putting this together and making it happen!
Instant Nostalgiaarqueete on December 3rd, 2012 06:20 pm (UTC)
apologies in advance I'm on my phone because this is how I choose to spend my lunch breaks

One thing that's relevant to a couple of your points is that pmwiki has something called i think groups which are like tags. i havent tried to use them for anything yet. on tvtropes, especially for indv. works you see them use this for the sections at the bottom of the page indicating that its from the 90s or a comedy etc and somethimes on trope pages too.

i think we can definitely keep song lyrics on song pages etc.

let me send this so i can go reread your post more easily...
Instant Nostalgia: [Misc.] - Photosarqueete on December 3rd, 2012 06:36 pm (UTC)
I noticed imdb is weird. trying to get krissy to clarify things based on the program since she was there.

i'm grouping concerts and productions because we don't treat them all that differently, do we?

you can put whatever you think is useful in the misc category, pages explaining refrences in the show and russian naming conventions i think are totally relevant to the wiki (not to bring up tvtropes constantly but they have a sevtion for "useful notes" pages which actually does, in fact, include a page on russian naming conventions.

ill think about bootlegs.

Okay, back to work. still working things out but heres the present state of the wiki: http://arqueete.com/chess/index.php (hopefully i'm remembering that right)
Instant Nostalgia: [B2.0] - NERDSarqueete on December 4th, 2012 02:30 am (UTC)

I got the names backwards. The way I'm grouping pages like I laid out in the first post (Songs, Characters, etc.), those are groups, and categories are like tags. Regarding what you're saying about miscellanea, I'm not sure it really needs to be split up any further because categories can help a lot, and pages can be in as many categories as you want.

Here's an example I just made (this looks a little ugly right now, but nonetheless): http://www.arqueete.com/chess/index.php/Characters/AnatolySergievsky I categorized Anatoly under "chess players" and under "soviets," and if you click either of those, you get a listing of other characters categorized that way.

So you could then put all of the productions with WALTER YOU BASTARD!!!! in a category, or all of the miscellanea pages that are about real life chess players, or whatever. And it's really easy to do this, like I just put [[!Soviets]] on all of the Russians' pages and it automatically made a page called 'Soviets' and listed them all on it. WIKI MAGIC.

Regarding character names, I just don't want to us to be picking spellings for the page names willy-nilly, you know? So I'm just thinking we use all of one version's names for consistency, and then redirect any other spellings/versions of the name to that page (and of course we can explain the differences on the page).

zédille: Pooh and pigletzedille on December 4th, 2012 05:10 am (UTC)

Ah you're right, now I think about it I think I have seen something similar to the categories on like Wikipedia. I'm still not entirely sure of the functional difference between groups and categories -- that seems very much a case of "it is whatever you want it to be" -- but I'll take your word for it. And idk, my instinct is to further separate Miscellanea because it could be separated and I guess it's just my personality that I like sorting things? Like the existence of such a large category kind of bothers me. But it's your call, obviously.

Unfortunately atm I am in the thick of preparing-for-finals but once that's over, I will sit down and come up with increasingly overspecific and probably somewhat silly ways to sort things (what do you mean, sorting by WALTER YOU BASTARD!! is totally legitimate)! Plus I'll do my best to actually start adding content in (or are you opening up the wiki to editing on the pages you've already created? I might go in and put some stuff in when I'm taking a break from my reading, this is so much more interesting than the history of Catalan surrealism...)

Instant Nostalgia: [Chess] - Playing the Gamearqueete on December 4th, 2012 05:57 am (UTC)
With Groups (and this is something I'm finding a little annoying about them the more I edit the wiki), things are very separated. Like songs all have /Songs/ in the URL, and so if you want to link to a song from, say, a character's page, you have to put /Songs/ before the name of the song or it thinks you're trying to link to a character by that name. Categories are nice because they don't really affect anything that severely, they just generate lists of pages, basically, and while you can't put a page into two Groups, you can put it into multiple Categories. I've been poking around TVTropes a lot to try and figure out their structure and it seems like they use Groups very sparingly-- basically there's a single Group that every trope page is in, despite the site looking very divided up. We can probably even mimic that a little bit and list some Categories in the sidebar for easy referencing:

  • Characters

  • And so on

  • Miscellanea

    • Actors

    • Chess players

    • And so on


Hopefully that makes sense. Or it will eventually.

Yeah, I'm fine with you (or anyone) jumping in and adding to things whenever you feel up to it. The general feeling seems to be that people want to help but they're confused about wikis, so I'm going to try and clean it up much more before I'm like, hey everyone... I've already created pages for most of the songs, for example, so that other people don't have to try and figure out how to add them. I don't know how long it'll take before I think it's ready to properly unleash on the world, so.
zédille: Pooh and pigletzedille on December 4th, 2012 06:17 am (UTC)
Ah, I see what you're getting at with how Groups are a lot more rigid a classification system than "classifications". So I imagine you'd have to distinguish between the Arbiter as a character and the song by that name. Though idk, I still kind of think "actors" are clear and self-contained enough a group (there's not going to be much overlap with any of the other miscellaneous IRL groups, they didn't inspire the songs or anything) that you could bump it up to the same level as the other explicitly and directly show-related Groups (songs, productions, merchandise.)

Are there any templates? I know Wikipedia is pretty big on those, and if you drew up one of those it might be easier to just go around through pages filling them in, so populating the pages might be less challenging. Like for characters there would be stuff about "affiliation", "productions they appear in," "songs they have", etc. For productions/concerts there'd be date, location, cast, tracklist, plot framework, photos, etc, and even if you don't explicitly discuss the existence of bootlegs, we ought to link to anything on Youtube and other articles about things, etc. (like the type of stuff that you've posted a lot of on Tumblr.) Idk, just my two cents again.
Instant Nostalgia: [B2.0] - NERDSarqueete on December 5th, 2012 03:27 am (UTC)
I do think you might be right about Actors.

I don't know about templates, I'll have to look it up. I'm sure there's lots of wiki stuff out there I haven't realized yet.
Instant Nostalgia: [Chess] - Playing the Gamearqueete on December 6th, 2012 03:49 am (UTC)
I DID SOMETHING COOL TODAY that doesn't solve anything we've discussed but I wanted to share


Table of contents. Footnotes. Figured out how to make tables.
zédille: Pooh and pigletzedille on December 6th, 2012 07:08 am (UTC)

As a note, regarding Quartet -- the Arbiter also has a set of alternate lyrics Something like "point seventeen, no ?? play screen will be allowed in the hall" and "point twenty-three, the board will be made in Sweden of non-aligned wood", and so on. These lyrics were on the concept album, and various other concerts based on the concept album ( ex Skellefteå 1989, Gothenburg 1994. NOT the June 2012 concert, for all the director said) have used those lyrics, though I don't think any staged productions ever have.

*Gothenburg and Skellefteå also have the "... fruit" variant of Anatoly's lines. Have any staged productions other than the OLC used that, or has it always been "... nut"?
zédille: Pooh and pigletzedille on December 6th, 2012 07:09 am (UTC)
And looking at all your tablework -- I hadn't realized that the Broadway version had different harmonies/arrangements -- did the 2008 RAH concert also have that version?
Instant Nostalgiaarqueete on December 6th, 2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
I seem to tune out everyone but Anatoly and Florence so I didn't even know the concept album was different.

No, I don't think I've heard fruit outside of orig. London. And I think RAH used bway for this song, seems common for everyone to steal bways ending regardless (why do I not remember coding that ending? but I need to get back to work so I'll look at it later.)
Instant Nostalgiaarqueete on December 6th, 2012 04:54 pm (UTC)
I correctly remembered not remembering. Squareone must not have had the ending layed out (I mean where they're all singing over each other). I'll poke around the score when I get home because I want that.
zédille: Pooh and pigletzedille on December 7th, 2012 06:43 am (UTC)
I guess we were paying attention to entirely different things with the score -- I've always paid attention to the Arbiter (you know how I love him!) and am easily amused by everything he does and says! the image of him just standing in the corner repeating the match rules like anyone's going to listen, or trying to assert his authority futilely), but I hadn't really noticed that London and Broadway had different endings. Or arrangements, really. I look forward to seeing your explanation!
zédille: Pooh and pigletzedille on December 8th, 2012 05:21 am (UTC)
OH AND I was mucking around the Theater District downtown and found a book of vocal selections from Chess in a store. So I guess the whole thing was based off the concept album (Freddie & Anatoly are referred to as The American and The Russian), including Quartet, which had the Arbiter quoting the match rules ("point twenty-three, the board will be made in Sweden, non-aligned wood) and it had the "fruit" line at all. I was surprised, I thought that they wouldn't still be printing that, but I guess rights are rights...