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Wiki News: April 28, 2008

The Elder Scrolls Construction Set Wiki has gotten a face-lift!

Welcome to the new TESCS Wiki! This new Main Page has been designed from scratch for the sake of easing navigation on the Wiki. After considering complaints regarding finding information, a great deal of effort has gone into making everything as accessible as possible.

Meaningful Main Page

The new Main Page provides not only the same simple blurbs found on the original page, but also dozens of useful links and sections that will be updated much more frequently than the Featured Article or News sections.

The new Did You Know section offers one-line snippets of articles, leading you to new and exciting facts. Here you'll find all kinds of useful things, the kinds of facts that you might not have even known to look for! Each contains a link where you can learn more.

There's also the What's New section - so you'll always know what articles have seen major improvements and where new additions to the Wiki have been made. These new articles may be cutting-edge modding techniques, great new tutorials, or simply notes of improvement in the Wiki. Check back frequently to always stay on top of what's new!

New and Improved Table of Contents

The old Table of Contents on the Main Page has been moved to its own page, complete with a link from the Navigation box. The Table of Contents is now far more organized and complete, with descriptions of every entry in the list. The list now follows the organization of the pages that it links to, providing a far more streamlined entry into the Wiki.

Portals - Your gateway to modding knowledge

In order to provide users with the most coherent collection of information, the Portals have been hand-crafted to provide all of the information on a facet of modding in one place! There are Portals for AI, Animating, Building, Modeling, Quests, Scripting, and Texturing, each with a full compliment of features:

Each Portal has its own Featured Content, similar to the Main Page but devoted to that Portal's topic. This means instead of only a single Featured Article, we now have ten (including old ones)! All Featured Content, past, present, and upcoming, can be found at the Featured Content Portal!

Portals also have lists of tutorials, tools, and basic information, plus links to other Portals which may be of interest. Portals have lists of simple things you can do to improve that Portal - getting involved in a Portal is a great way to help out the Oblivion modding community!

Help Pages

Also with this redesign is a huge improvement and addition to the Wiki's help pages. Everyone should read the all-new Welcome to the Wiki - the new welcome page is chock-full of ways to make your browsing experience the best that it can be. Absolutely guaranteed to have at least one thing you didn't know about the Wiki, it's a must-read!

In addition to the new Welcome, there is also a great list of simple things you can do to improve the Wiki, for everyone who wants to help out, and make the Wiki the best resource it can be for all modders!

For those interested in diving deeper into the Wiki, we also have a full compliment of Editing Guides, explaining what we're trying to achieve and how you can help us achieve it, both technically and stylistically.

And if you have any questions, be sure to check out our new FAQ! The FAQ answers some of our most common questions, and can be a great source of information about the Wiki!

New Service Pages

Two new features of the Wiki bear special mention: Request an Article and the Administration Noticeboard. These two pages provide detailed instructions on how you can get everything you need from the Wiki!

Various Other Improvements

In addition to all of the above, please note some other great improvements:

  • Article Nomination - let your voice be heard! These are some great articles on the Wiki, but are they really ready to hit the front page or a Portal? Let everyone know what you think!
  • Search Terms - definitely a work in progress, but we have finally come up with something of a solution for the much-maligned Search Tool! Also, if you're still having trouble with your Search, give this Help Page look-through!
  • Toolkit - the Toolkit is a Wiki editor's best friend. From a simple link in the Navigation box, one can find all sorts of handy links and references for improving Wiki articles. Note the Article Tags in the Toolkit - everyone can use these to let the Wiki editors know that a page needs attention! Try to use the Tags as frequently as you can, whenever you have an issue with an article - tag it, and let us know!
  • Wiki User Styles - these great pieces of code allow you to completely customize the way you view the Wiki. Move things, resize things, stretch things out! Give yourself more room, reduce those ugly black borders - all of this is possible!

Wiki Policy Changes/Additions

Please note the following Policy issues on the Wiki:

  • Bylines - As has been noted before, Bylines ("by ________") are not allowed on the Wiki. While this has always been true, for a long time it was never enforced, leading to a number of bylined articles as well as the confusion that they were allowed. We have taken measures to determine the community's opinion on this issue, and for a great many reasons it is widely believed that bylines are extremely damaging to the Wiki. For this reason, bylined articles will no longer be accepted, and we therefore ask that authors either release their work for public use, or else find other hosting for their work - each section of the Wiki maintains a list of links to outside articles for just this sort of thing. We have no objection to bylined articles, they just cannot be on the Wiki.
  • Questions - The old Questions category on the Wiki ballooned to a massive size, making Searching for information ever the more difficult, and making the job of keeping the Wiki clean and up-to-date nearly impossible. These questions were all too specific, of little or zero value to anyone but the original author, and by all rights should have been asked on this Forum. Therefore, we have closed the Questions section, and will direct all specific mod questions (e.g. "I did this and I wrote this script but it doesn't work why not?" type questions) to the Forums. Questions on the Wiki should be about the Wiki - asking where information is, asking for clarification on an article, that kind of thing. These are questions the Wiki editorial staff is equipped to answer. The others require the broader knowledge and quicker response time of the Forums. For this reason, we have begun the process of going through the old questions, and deleting them after documenting any important information on the Wiki properly.

Any and all questions, suggestions, or critiques of Wiki policy belong on the Community Portal.

Continuation of Revitalization

The original Revitalization of the Wiki thread has resulted in some serious improvement for the Wiki, and so we are glad to start another thread on the Forums! The thread is there for the sake of the community - discussions will still be held on the Wiki, at the Community Portal - and we still encourage everyone to join in those discussions! But the thread provides a convenient way for the community to give feedback - and we want to encourage that!

So we have started a new thread, specifically for feedback. We'll answer questions, but larger issues to discuss will be moved to the Community Portal. The goal is to create a simple, easy place for people to share their thoughts without having to sign up for a new account, learn a new syntax and style, or worry about jumping into the middle of a long discussion. We want it to be as accessible as possible for our users.

So, a huge thank you to the community for their thoughts that started this project, from your TESCS Wiki "Sheriffs", Qazaaq, Haama, and myself. We want to hear what you think!