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Columns

I purposefully included the column tags so that we would be compliant with the new standard wikia is moving toward for advertising purposes. See the info on it here. I think we should have two columns with nothing spanning both except at the bottom, perhaps a div that would include the text of the CUP. --yoda8myhead 16:46, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Honestly, I've never seen any reason to use the column tags. Maybe I don't understand their purpose fully; when they were implemented alongside the monaco sidebar last year they were never explained very clearly, and through some practical, though admittedly brief experimentation on my part, I've not seen any difference between a main page that uses them and one that doesn't.
I prefer to start a main page with a full-width table as it forces the inclusion of only one advertisement; if you look at our current main page, the 300x250px box ad is absent. I've always found the box ad to be hugely disruptive to the limited space available for a project's main page, and I have no qualms with killing it in such a manner. -- Heaven's Agent 17:12, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree that it takes up a lot of space above the fold. I guess I feel like it's an aesthetic thing, though, to open with a wide table like that. I'm also not sure if we should put borders around each box, as it makes things look really blocky. I think that's one problem with our current setup. In the version I did, I admittedly stole some of the table setup from another site, but I like that it seemed to be one single page with multiple elements instead of a lot of small boxes crammed into one page. I think both the 100% width bar at the top and borders contribute to this.--yoda8myhead 17:19, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, if we want we can remove the background color and border from the full-width table similar to what we have implemented currently; it should help. And I agree that it does look blocky, but without some form of border the individual sections lose their, well, individuality. Rather than looking like a lot of small blocks crammed onto a single page, it looks like a lot of small elements thrown together onto a page somewhat haphazardly. Such a collection tends to be difficult for a viewer's eyes to follow. I know I was having a tough time keeping mine from wandering long enough to actually read a single section; without some significant visual boundaries, the page itself starts to become unreadable due to violation of the basic reading practices we've been exposed to. -- Heaven's Agent 17:30, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
It looks much better now, without the borders and with the top box background changed to match the background. I will work tonight on getting some of the red links worked out and then, I think we can put some finishing touches on it to go live. I'd love to have this up in the next few days so that we can herald in the launch of the PRPG with a shiny new home page. --yoda8myhead 20:24, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

ToDo before live

Just making a list of some stuff to discuss and/or complete before we take this live. Feel free to add to or comment on the list

  • Discuss featured article/image frequency and policies for qualifications, etc.
  • Decide what featured article/image we want to have up when page goes live and/or on Aug 13 when the book comes out (and when our traffic skyrockets, I hope)
  • Setup gallery, or take off list for later. Determine if Character Options portal should be reinserted on portals bar.
  • Create news category for site news
  • See if we can't do something about the display of Paizo's rss feed (I already mentioned it to Gary and he said he'd look into it, though it probably won't happen before GenCon)
  • Go over content to ensure wording is what we want and no element of the wiki is overlooked. (I'm looking at you Register! Implying people need to register to edit)
  • Possibly restructure the monaco sidebar
  • Discuss protection of main page (pros/cons of keeping it open vs locking it)

--yoda8myhead 06:02, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

I did a little bit on many of these today. Red links are almost entirely gone and won't really be an issue next week anyway, which is when I'm concerned it will be most important to put on a good impression. We need to discuss as a community some of the issues that are being raised here, namely the addition of a gallery (which might end up being a bit of work), the refinement of the existing portals (especially Character Options and PRPG which I'd like to get rid of and Fiction which has missing subtemplates), and how best to direct new people to where they can learn how to start helping should they wish to do so.
The first block of text under the portal bar is a bit unbecoming to me, and I think it would be better to offer navigation options, such as by category, direct people to a general "What to do first?" type introduction and other things. Telling them to immediately register is a bit forthcoming and not inviting, as is promting them to make edits, request articles and read our help sections. If we assume people are here to read and use the resource, and try not to pressure them, we stand a good chance of converting some of them to editors who will feel that they made the decision themselves instead of as a way of stopping our whipping.
Overall, though, I think that, these few points aside, we're in good shape to have this up and running within a very short period of time.--yoda8myhead 07:46, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
----
Questions/comments:
  • What is the intent of the Gallery?
  • I think the Character Options portal should be left off. The whole thing is full of red links, and even if articles were created, I suspect that they'd verge on crunch.
  • Re: protecting the main page. I think we should try leaving it unprotected. If it gets vandalized then lock it, until then I think having it editable by only registered users is more than a fair compromise.
--Aeakett 03:40, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
The gallery is something I'd like to have eventually but it might be too much work. People have always been asking Paizo to make a gallery. They won't do it. But we can make one of all the free images. Something to easily browse the images on the wiki by year, book, artist, subject, etc. The categories are nice, but a page with thumbnails and such would be awesome too. Maybe it should be taken down until we actually get it built.
I am glad we are of the same mind about the Character Options portal. That whole thing is just a huge pain in the neck, and while I think it's important to have info on races and classes, I think the crunch line is too tempting to have feats and traits and all the rest.
Thanks for the feedback. --yoda8myhead 04:26, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
So much getting done, and me tinkering around with other things the past couple of days; I really need to find some help for some of my other projects.
The gallery would be nice, but agree it's something we should probably exclude until it's up and running. Perhaps we can have it be our next big project, when we finally complete the CSII. Or maybe put a bot to the task, if such would even be possible.
Add my voice to the idea of killing the Character Options portal. The mere fact that it's there would prompt newer chroniclers to add crunch-heavy content, and removing such additions not only represents additional work for us but can cause prospective additions to the community to turn away. I simply don't think it's worth the hassle. Besides, things like races and classes will fit into other areas of the project anyway, on the basis that they play a role in the setting.
I may be somewhat silent over the next few days. Employment prospects in my area are starting to pick up again; maybe this time I'll land something. But I'll keep an eye on changes and put my thinker to coming up with some of my own. -- Heaven's Agent 06:57, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
in the same vein, people who have come looking for an easy way to find art they are looking for have had a hard time finding the art portal(I've seen it mentioned 2 or 3 times on the boards) so even if we don't have the gallery, I think we might want a link to the categories so people can still easily find what they want.. and I agree with the player options section, lets just let it go, as just mentioning 'player' invites crunch -- Cpt kirstov 03:13, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Do you think the link to categories as a way to navigate the site isn't clear enough? I guess we could add a "browse media" button next to the archives link in the Featured Media section if it's not. --yoda8myhead 13:43, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I think that some of the board members may not com over to the wiki wise in the way that wikis are structured, so they wouldn't know to look for art in the categories. Heck when we first started, I didn't know the best way to find/use categories and I was writing articles! So I wouldn't want them to THINK its hard to find things... if you search "art" it brings you to one of the forums, and "pictures" only hits some of the Gods articles. Only "artwork" brings up the category, which may be confusing to some users newer to wikis -- Cpt kirstov 14:17, 6 August 2009 (UTC)