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#1 Alahmnat

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 06:12 PM

Quickly, I wanted to note that this article is currently protected because of a parsing issue with the section headers used.

Now, to move on to the nitty gritty, I'd like to deprecate this massive one-entry-to-rule-them-all format in favor of something a lot more flexible. Ideally, I'd like to put together something like Wikipedia's entries for time, with articles for each year and each individual date, linking to various entries on specific events as necessary.

For example, the entry for 1323 DE would have a note in it regarding the beginning of the Pento War, and additional notes detailing specific events from the war as dated in the timeline above. The Pento War reference would link to its own article where the conflict would be described in detail, linking back to various dated events as necessary. Additionally, there would be an entry on Leevot 12, which would contain a reference to the beginning of the Pento War in 1323 DE, linking to the entry on the year and the entry on the war. It would also contain references to anything else (of importance) that ever happened on that date in any year.

This works pretty well if we continue the tradition of keeping D'ni history chronicled strictly in D'ni time, and the Restoration effort chronicled strictly in surface time. While I can certainly understand the move made to separate these two timelines on Cyan's behalf, creating something of a clean break from the rest of the mythology from which to tell this new story, it's something of a thorn in my side when it comes to trying to keep everything consistent for the Archive. Even making yearly entries titled with the D'ni year and surface year side-by-side is of questionable accuracy since D'ni years don't overlap completely with surface years despite being virtually the same length (someone remind me to "thank" RAWA for that one next time I see him wink.gif), to say nothing of the fact that each D'ni day could line up with about 5 or 6 surface days depending on the year you're looking at, so doing "D'ni Month & day / Surface Month & day" entries would be completely impossible.

The simplest solution, but also the one that would generate the most work, would be to just set up two matching timelines, one using surface time, and the other using D'ni time, tagging them with separate child tags of "D'ni History": "Timeline: D'ni" and "Timeline: Surface". Beyond that, I can't think of anything that would be terribly intuitive to save us the trouble of having to duplicate this whole mess for those who prefer to see when things happened in any given calendar.

Given the amount of work this is going to entail, I want to turn this out to the rest of the Archivists and company to provide some feedback. Should we even bother deprecating this monolithic entry? If not, how can we make it more user-friendly? If so, how can we optimize the workload to make restructuring this mess as easy as possible?

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#2 Dudemom_2000

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 07:04 PM

I have a timeline that parallels the D'ni timeline with the surface timeline. I have been working on it for The Puzzlers and would be more than willing to share it if you are interested. It is currently posted over at www.thepuzzlers.net

Here

#3 Alahmnat

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 06:57 PM

Okay, my apologies for this being late; this weekend has ended up being a lot busier than I planned.

The following is a full layout of how the D'ni Timeline Project should be executed. I've had this subject open for feedback for over a month and nobody else has really weighed in on possible steps, so I'm going to run with a system based on something that RIUM+ and I came up with together. It's a bit more work to maintain, but in the long run I think it makes a more complete and accessible system. There are two components to this system: a single, monolithic "D'ni Timeline" article built in place of the existing one (the Grand Unified Timeline), and a collection of individual articles for each year and date (month/day) in the timeline (the Distributed Timeline). Full outlines of these systems are as follows:

The Grand Unified Timeline
The D'ni Timeline article will be built in place of the existing one so that all currently-distributed links will continue to point to the most recent version of the timeline. It will be broken into two main sections: "Classical" history and "Modern" history. The Classical era will run through the conclusion of Myst IV: Revelation, after which there is a 200-year gap in the timeline before the Modern era begins. This Modern era of D'ni begins in 1987 with the re-discovery of the Cavern by John Loftin. The Classical era will be documented using the D'ni calendar as the primary date system, with Gregorian dates provided in parentheses to the best of our abilities to estimate them. Modern era dates will be recorded in Gregorian time, with D'ni dates provided in parentheses. Secondary time system dates (i.e. Gregorian time for Classical era entries and D'ni time for Modern era entries) should be calculated from BrettM's Cavernian Calendar Converter available here (Windows only). Further, this Grand Unified Timeline entry will be broken into further sections within each era as follows:
  • The Timeline will make use of the Archive's new Table of Contents feature. The Classical and Modern eras will be marked as h="1" using the header tag in the Archive, and will serve as the main headers for the Table of Contents. Everything else will reside beneath one of these two headers.
  • Classical history will be broken down into D'ni millennia (3,125 years each). These sections will be marked as h="2" level categories.
  • Each millennium will be broken into centuries of 625 years (100 in base 25). These will be marked as h="3" level categories.
  • Within each century will be collections of decades, with years broken out beneath them individually. Each year will have a brief description of any events that took place during that time, ordered by date if possible; otherwise ordered according to common sense or the sequence in which they appeared in the source text. The year's header itself will link to a separate entry for that year to be described in full detail in the Distributed Timeline segment of this document. If necessary or useful, individual entries along the timeline will be linked to articles which provide more in-depth information about the event (i.e. anything having to do with the Pento War will link to the Pento War article in the Archive).
  • Modern history will begin with breakdowns on a decade-by-decade basis, since there's not nearly enough information so far to really necessitate century- or millennium-sized divisions of time. These will be indicated as h="2" level categories for the Table of Contents.
  • Breakdowns will continue as they did in the Classical era, with individual years broken out within the decades. There will be no h="3" level in the Modern era timeline.
  • For years with considerable amounts of information (such as 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2008), the year will be further broken down into constituent months. As with the Classical timeline, brief summaries of events will be provided, with links to more detailed entries included as needed.
Ideally, at some point these sections will be collapsible, with "major events" included under each collapsed header so that you can get a feel for approximately where something you're looking for is located, but at this time, I haven't put together the code necessary to make that possible, so for no, we'll run with a re-organized version of what we've got.

The Distributed Timeline
The second – and far more time-consuming – component of this Timeline Project will be collections of individual entries that can be used as link-to points for articles referencing specific years, months, or dates (similar to Wikipedia's time-based entries). As with the Grand Unified Timeline, we will need to approach this with an eye to covering both the D'ni and Gregorian calendars. Unfortunately, because of the slight discrepancies between the D'ni calendar and the Gregorian calendar, this largely means a duplication of a lot of material. For now, I'm willing to content myself with having the Distributed Timeline only record events in the primary calendar in use for that time period (in other words, Classical history will only exist within the Distributed Timeline as D'ni dates, and Modern history as Gregorian dates). This simplifies that system sufficiently so that we're not duplicating our content across three different articles (the Grand Unified Timeline, and two Distributed Timeline entries). The articles themselves will be constructed as follows:
  • An article will exist for every year of the timeline, titled as follows: "XXXX DE (<equivalent Gregorian dates here>)" for Classical history, and "XXXX AD (<equivalent D'ni dates here>)" for Modern history. These year-based entries will basically be copies of the years in the Grand Unified Timeline. They exist so that if an author wanted to reference the year in which something happened, readers would be able to quickly see what other events happened in that same year. Currently, this is not possible, as the Grand Unified Timeline does not support links of this nature.
  • An article will exist for each month/day combination for which we have history. For example, Leevot 10 or August 15. There will be no equivalent dating for these articles, because there is no way to line up a single D'ni month/day with a single Gregorian month/day; even if both were 24 hours long, the D'ni calendar drifts back and forth slightly over the Gregorian calendar. A good example of this is the D'ni new year, which can be anywhere between April 20th and April 22nd. These month/day articles will contain a list of years and a summary of the events that happened on that date in each year. As with the Grand Unified Timeline, these descriptions should be short, deferring (and linking) to full-length articles for more details. Since there will be no equivalent dating process, D'ni dates will almost exclusively be used for Classical history, while Gregorian dates will be used almost exclusively for Modern history. If a date is known with sufficient certainty that it can be placed in both calendars without possibly overflowing into a second day for either system, it may be placed in the month/day entries of both systems. Otherwise, just leave it to the yearly entries.

Tagging
Because of the extension of canon into modern-day history, with explorers from the surface contributing to the extended history of the Cavern, the D'ni History tag has been re-named "History". The Grand Unified Timeline entry will continue to reside in this category, along with any other lengthy articles documenting complex events from Classical or Modern history (for instance: the Pento War; or the entrapment, rescue, and death of Wheely Engberg). Individual timeline articles for years or dates will be tagged with either the "By Date" or "By Year" child tag of History, but not with the History tag itself. This will keep the History tag free of clutter and article build-up, and also keep the By Year and By Date entries within easy reach by making them accessible as tag links from within History. The timeline itself will simply be renamed "Historical Timeline" once it's completed, in order to be more culture-agnostic.

Extended Applications
This system was designed so that newcomers to D'ni history would have quick access to a full document detailing D'ni's Classical and Modern history, and so that article writers can have access to an extensive system of supplementary articles that can be used to tie their article into the Archive more directly, by providing historical context for their entries wherever possible. While this was intended mostly for use by those contributing to the Chat Log Project (details below), I'm sure that this is something that can be used by other groups of contributors.

For the Chat Log Project, individual logs can be linked to the date and year of the event. They should also be properly tagged so that searches for tag sets such as "Chatlogs + Episode 5: Scars" will return relevant results. With the chatlogs linked directly to the date and year of the log, readers can quickly view other information about that year or date and possibly gain quick access to other relevant logs without the contributor having to compile a full list for themselves by crawling through the database looking for related entries. This also keeps the relational elements up-to-date, as when new chatlogs are added and linked into the year or date (and the corresponding year or date entry is updated with a link to that entry in return), older logs are automatically tied in to the full list of available logs.

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#4 Horatio252

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:20 AM

***This project is now in the active planning phase.***

This seems to be the work ahead of us, broken down into steps.

1a. Edit the Grand Unified Timeline (currently only Alahmnat can do this for technical reasons)
1b. Create an article for each year, include those which we have no information for. Include links back to GUT. Tag as "by year". --- This may sound like a lot of work, but it should go fairly fast.
1c. Create an article for each day we have information for. Include link back to year and to GUT. Tag as "by date".
2. Fill in information for years and months after October of 2006. --- As we have not been keeping a record like this so far, we can probably cheat off of other sources, most easily GoG.
3. Link the GUT to year and day articles.

After this we should probably appoint a chronicler to record events as they happen including creating day articles and edits to the GUT (or submitting edits to Al for the GUT).

What else needs to be worked out before we start? I'll create a prototype article for classical and for modern history before I give a general go-ahead to everyone else.
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#5 Alahmnat

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 06:03 PM

I think we also need a better accounting of the history between 2002 and 2004 during Preafter and Prologue, but beyond that, I think you've got it pretty well nailed. I'll work on getting the GUT article ready for modification by the general populace this weekend.

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#6 Horatio252

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 08:03 AM

That plan seems good then.

I will try to create prototype articles today, Monday at the latest.

One thing I would like to do is ask anyone who is interested in helping with this project to to reply here on this thread and let us know that you wish to be involved and how many hours per week you are willing to commit to help. 1-2 hours per week is fine for a commitment (more is better though biggrin.gif ), just pick something you can do and stick with it. Not only will this help me plan the project, but it will help you stay involved. Making a commitment can help turn good intentions into actions. I have no intention of hounding you for not sticking to your commitment, you should feel bad all by yourself wink.gif I already got a PM from one individual letting me know he wants to be involved, so I am optimistic.
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#7 Alahmnat

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 04:15 AM

After a few stumbles resulting from a few too many BBCode tags being written in a fuzzy state of mind, the GUT article has been made ready for editing. Beyond reformatting the BBCode and correcting a few typos, I haven't done anything to the article itself, so the work of making it GUT-compliant according to the outline I wrote up a while ago still needs to be done, but at least now y'all don't have to wait for me to get around to doing it wink.gif.

(It should not take over an hour to re-BBCode an article... it really shouldn't... *dies*)

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#8 andys1376

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 04:11 PM

I will be committing 1-2 hours per week on the timeline project starting in September. Alahmnat and Horatio, your plans look very good to me. Once we have more people on board, maybe there should be a thread where we post what we're about to work on before we do it. For example, "I'm about to start creating by-year entries starting at 300 DE." That way we can make sure we're not working on the same thing as someone else at the same time. Would I be correct in assuming that only one person can edit the GUT at a time?

#9 Horatio252

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 08:08 PM

Okay I have created the two prototype articles are previously promised. Look them over and comment. Comment here if it a general timeline project thought and comment on the individual article if it is related to that specific article. Here are my thoughts:

The Cavernian Calandar Converter does not work for me (I am guessing it's because I have Vista here at home). So if someone can check my cross calendar dating that would be swell.

Do we want every year from 207 BE through 1 BE as well or can we start at 0 DE?

It seems rather sad without headers. Do want headers like "Events", "Births", "Deaths" similar to Wikipedia? One would only use the header if there was information that fell under it. 0 DE would thus only contain the header "events".

the the bullet points don't transfer from the GUT ( or I failed somehow). Do we want to set each line off somehow (~, *, - )? Are the spaces between lines sufficient?

I like the link back to the GUT on the year article, but I am only so-so about it on the day article. It doesn't make as much sense on the day article.


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#10 Alahmnat

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 10:42 AM

QUOTE(Horatio252 @ Aug 18 2008, 06:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do we want every year from 207 BE through 1 BE as well or can we start at 0 DE?

I'd like to include the BE information as well, but I think getting the 0 DE+ info cataloged should be the top priority at the moment.

QUOTE
It seems rather sad without headers. Do want headers like "Events", "Births", "Deaths" similar to Wikipedia? One would only use the header if there was information that fell under it. 0 DE would thus only contain the header "events".

This is a marvelous idea smile.gif.

QUOTE
the the bullet points don't transfer from the GUT ( or I failed somehow). Do we want to set each line off somehow (~, *, - )? Are the spaces between lines sufficient?

You need to wrap a set of bullets ([*]) in a list tag, like so:
CODE
[list][*]Bullet 1
[*]Bullet2[/list]


QUOTE
I like the link back to the GUT on the year article, but I am only so-so about it on the day article. It doesn't make as much sense on the day article.

On further reflection, I am inclined to agree with you on that. I'd say that for the year article, keep the link to the GUT and where applicable, and provide links to the day articles (I don't think there's going to be that many of those). For the day articles, link to the year articles as appropriate, but don't link back to the GUT.

One last note that relates to something I posted in the discussion for the GUT article... once the GUT is re-organized to fit with the format proposed here, I think the timeline's table of contents will be considerably shorter, since the decades and years in classical history won't be written as headers, but as nested list items. We'll keep banging out details as we go, but at least we're working, which is the only way to get the kinks out of a plan wink.gif.

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#11 Horatio252

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 08:05 PM

Sorry for the delay on this project. I think I have updated the articles to the agreed upon format and created a few blank years. 8 DE and Leetvo 9 are cross linked.

I want to recruit on the MOUL forums, but I want us to be ready to tell new recruits exactly what they need to do before I do that. So, chime in with any other feedback in the next few days. I will create a master format for both types of articles, and then we can recruit.
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#12 Alahmnat

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 10:22 AM

Just to save you some time, I don't think we need to include entries for years with no known historical events... that'd get really tedious really fast, and it's likely to make it more difficult to browse for dates for which we do have information.

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#13 andys1376

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 10:29 PM

I added some year entries (and one day entry) today. Let me know if everything looks ok.

The Calendar Converter didn't work for me at first in Vista, either, but it worked when I right clicked on the program in the start menu and chose "Run as administrator". How exactly do we want do the equivalent dates? Horatio just did approximate years, but I tried doing ranges of dates. I'm not sure I'm happy with the format I used, though. I also used BCE instead of BC (and would propose that we use CE instead of AD).

One nit-picky thing for the templates - the for the [article] links, it seems to work better to not have spaces after the opening tag and before the closing tag. For example, [article id="990"]100 DE[/article] works better than [article id="990"] 100 DE [/article]. With the spaces, the underline extends too far to the right.

Do we want to have the categories (Events, Births, Deaths) in a certain order for each article that requires two or more of them, or should we just order them in a way that makes sense for each individual article? For example, in 120 DE, I put Deaths before Events because Ri'Neref's death preceded Ailesh taking over the throne.

Edited by andys1376, 07 September 2008 - 10:34 PM.


#14 Horatio252

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 10:57 PM

Thank you Andy for just diving in. I have been falling behind a bit, but someone needs to start working.

You raise good points, and I thought about them, but never really reached a conclusion. I will concede that BC should be BCE and AD should be CE. I was following Al's lead, but the CEs are more appropriate. As to the article link code having spaces, I will go back and fix my articles.

I am in favor of the categories always being in the order Events, Births, Deaths. So Ailesh taking over the throne should precede Ri'Neref's death.

The equivalent dating I don't have a definite opinion on. There at least three choices:
- the year it is for most of the year (what I originally did)
- the exact start and end dates (month and maybe day; what andy did)
- the two years across which the D'ni year spans

I favor the third option i.e. " 120 DE (7537 - 7536 BCE) ". The month & day are almost the same for every year, and so don't need to be repeated IMO. This information is findable.

Other thoughts?
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#15 andys1376

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 08:55 PM

OK, I like using the categories in order and doing the year ranges. I'll change my articles accordingly.

EDIT: In the tag view for "By Year", the articles are alphabetized, so they are not in order by year. Should we consider writing dates in four digits (e.g. 0100 DE) so that the entries are in order?

Edited by andys1376, 08 September 2008 - 08:57 PM.


#16 Horatio252

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 06:59 PM

I don't really want to write the dates in 4 digits, it is less clean and appealing. That said, I do think it is important for the articles to be listed in order. I guess I vote for four digits ( i.e. 0008DE), but maybe we can wait a day for Alahmnat to vote before we act.

Andy, I think I will focus my efforts on the GUT for the moment since you seem to have the hang of the individual articles.

Edited by Horatio252, 09 September 2008 - 07:01 PM.

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#17 Horatio252

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 07:57 PM

okay, I edited the section of the classical timeline before 0 DE. If you compare my first edit tonight with my last you will see that I added another layer of bullet points to set off the specific years and their information better. My first edit matches Al's guidelines, but I wanted to get feedback on the other format. Do you like the additional bullet points?


QUOTE
3125BE - 1 BE

625 BE - 1 BE

207 BE
  • Ri'Neref is born
73 BE
  • Ri'Neref dismissed from Ronay's Guild of Writers for refusing to Write an Age he considered questionable. Some records indicate he excused himself, though regardless, much of Ronay society considered this dismissal unfair, and some even called it "detrimental to society".
59 BE
  • Garternay's eventual collapse is made public.
50 BE
  • King Ailesh is born.
[/list]


or


QUOTE
3125BE - 1 BE
625 BE - 1 BE
  • 207 BE
    • Ri'Neref is born
  • 73 BE
    • Ri'Neref dismissed from Ronay's Guild of Writers for refusing to Write an Age he considered questionable. Some records indicate he excused himself, though regardless, much of Ronay society considered this dismissal unfair, and some even called it "detrimental to society".
  • 59 BE
    • Garternay's eventual collapse is made public.
  • 50 BE
    • King Ailesh is born.



Also, should I put a note at the top indicating that article is in process? Do we have a template for that? I probably won't get another chance to make edits until Friday afternoon or Saturday morning and I feel bad leaving it a mess.


As a massive note to Andy and anyone else, to view past versions of the article (or any article) click on the "options" box at the top right of the article (next to the creator and last updated info) and at the bottom of the drop down list is "article history", click on it. You will see every edit listed. Click on the drop down menu in the options column and you will see a "compare with current" which marks in green new things and red deleted things. I pasted above the difference between what I did the first time and what I did the last time since looking at the article history does not make the difference very clear. Oh well, looking at the article history works nicer for other articles.
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#18 andys1376

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 09:21 PM

I think either using the extra bullets or not would be fine.

#19 Alahmnat

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 04:51 PM

Drive-by responses...

I like the extra bullets, it helps the date ranges stand out from the individual years.

We don't have a template for an article in progress, just for stubs. I'll throw one together in just a minute... not a huge thing to do wink.gif. Should be available as [template="InProgress"][/template] once I'm finished.

I'll have to look into entry sorting to see if there's a way to cheat it into sorting properly... I suspect not, but I'll look. I really don't like the way that zero-padded 4-digit dates read, and would prefer we stay away from those. I figured that the By Year and By Date tags would be rather jumbled when I put together the original proposal, which is why I decided to keep the GUT around despite it being redundant. If you're planning on reading a bunch of history chronologically, the GUT is your best bet. The By Year and By Date entries are more for quick inter-linking of various other articles that share those dates in history (ala 'kipedia).

While researching the way Wikipedia handles recording history, I discovered that they also include notes of how each year is represented in other calendars, and their listings are only by year as well... as you noted Horatio, the specific dates are typically accessible through other articles and means. In that case, I'd simply make sure we have the D'ni new year and its average date of occurrence in the Gregorian calendar somewhere in the Archive for those interested in knowing it. Thus, I don't have a problem with tweaking the Timeline guidelines to include only the Gregorian years in the titles for the By Year articles.

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#20 andys1376

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 07:04 PM

One of the entries for 1159 DE has a sentence fragment: "King Mararon dies of natural causes at the relatively early age of 235. Some speculate that Mararon's decision to live his life to the fullest by experimenting with drugs and other substances." Is the speculation whether or not he did drugs, or whether or not doing drugs shortened his life?

#21 Horatio252

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 09:50 PM

The best thing to do when these kinds of things happen is try to find the original source. Here, I am pretty sure that an examination of the King Mararon Notebook will yield the answer.

the most relevant bit seems to be this:
QUOTE
He died at the fairly early age of 235 in 1159 from natural consequences. Most expected the early death from his drinking and smoking, although many say it was somehow related to his coma years earlier.


I'll let you decide how you want to edit the entry in light of this information.

Edited by Horatio252, 28 September 2008 - 09:50 PM.

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#22 andys1376

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 05:17 PM

One of the divisions in the GUT is 9375 DE - 9479 DE, which is a span of 105 years instead of the usual 625. Is there a reason for this, or is this a mistake?

#23 Horatio252

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:59 AM

Sorry Andy I just saw this post today. You are right and there is another error earlier the time spans too. I'll fix them both right now.
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#24 Horatio252

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 10:25 AM

fixed.

9480 is the last classical year that we have and I wonder if someone listed it as the last year in the time span instead of the full 625 years. I know I made an edit at some point where I fixed several end dates so that they were the last date in that time span and not the first date in the next one. Not paying attention to the actual lengths I probably dragged 9480 back to 9479 and created a 9480 to something time span.

Anyway, good catch.

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#25 andys1376

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 10:58 PM

Sorry for my hiatus in working on this. I'm now happy to report that all of the by year and by date articles have been completed! I'll now work on adding links to these from the GUT.




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