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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:04 pm 
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We have less than 2 months to fully archive all of the content and story of Myst Online: Uru Live for future posterity. I, for one, would like to be able to have a permanent record of everything that we did in the Cavern available for viewing by whomever wishes to remember or discover it.

As some (or all) of you may know, I have been working to build out the capabilities and content of the Archive at DPWR for some time now, coming in fits and starts as real life has allowed (and unfortunately I'm often entirely too busy for my own good...). Anyone interested in helping to create this record of our time in D'ni is welcome to participate. Please assist the Guild of Archivists (what few of us there are, officially or not) in the build-out of the Archive by providing any or all of the following information:
  • Descriptions of Ages, places people, etc. If an entry doesn't exist, please consider creating one that can be built upon by others.
  • Photographs, KI images, screenshots... whatever you want to call them. Please provide anything you have for the categories mentioned above. Images of events (both Cyan-run and player-organized) are also more than welcome.
  • Chat logs of anything you think is important. DRC announcements, the efforts to rescue Wheely, Beginner's Bevin orientations, All-Guild Communication meetings, speeches (Watson's comes immediately to mind as one I don't think we have)... if you've got it, post it!


In addition to these categories, I would like to call for help in building out the timeline of D'ni's "classical" (pre-Fall) and "modern" (re-discovery and restoration) history. I will be posting more information regarding how to handle the timeline on the DPWR forums once I get home from work this evening, but until such time, please be compiling your own lists of important Cyan-driven and player-created events to be added once the system is fully in place.

As so many have said these past few days, we are Uru, and our history is just as important as the Ages we were given by the DRC. I don't want to lose this history, and while I recognize that I'm getting this bandwagon rolling just a wee bit late in the game, I still think it's important that we have a record of our story within the long tale that is D'ni.

Participation in the Archive requires an account on DPWR, which is free, we don't sell your emails, and all the standard privacy stuff. Once you're registered, use the following links to contribute:

The Archive
Archive Requests Forum (for seeing what needs to be done, or asking for a specific item you'd like to see added, but don't have the time or source material to do so)
Archive Help, for all your Archive-related posting needs. Please read this if you are at all confused about how to use the Archive, as well-made entries require less maintenance :).
Details on the D'ni Timeline project will be added to this topic by the end of the night. Further discussion is encouraged and appreciated.

Please note that the chatlog archival process does depend in some part upon the timeline project. These can proceed parallel to one another if those interested in contributing to the chatlog project also lend a hand in building out the timeline at the same time. Further information will be provided in my pending post regarding the timeline project itself, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, please feel free to contribute whatever chat logs you can to the Archive, and please be sure to tag them appropriately. Tagging instructions are available in the Archive Help linked above.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:59 pm 
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What a worthy project.

Announcement posted to GoMe feed.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:31 am 
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Great idea!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:50 am 
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That's a great idea, Alahmnat.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:06 am 
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Quick (and belated) update: the Timeline Project has a full mandate now. I have provided the full text copied from the post on DPWR for convenience below. Before I get to that, though, I want to note that the main Timeline entry is still currently protected because the Archive's upgrade has damaged the dates within the header tags, making it next to impossible to get anything useful out of it or update it in any minor way without destroying the dates themselves. This makes updating the Timeline entry problematic, but work can proceed on the second portion of the Timeline Project – the Distributed Timeline – without any ill effects. I will work on getting an updated version of the existing timeline assembled by the end of the week for people to pile more information into at their discretion, at which time the project will proceed full speed ahead.

Also, anyone interested in assisting with the Chat Log Project, please register on DPWR so that we can start discussing how to best format the logs we've got so that they are easily legible without being edited for content.

And now, for the Timeline Project outline...

The following is a full layout of how the 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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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:25 am 
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Alahmnat wrote:
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.

I'm sure you've thought of this, but standardizing chatlog time signatures to a common zone (e.g., Cavern time), or at least filing them with the logger's time zone, is quite important. There are several instances where events took place within a short period of time, but their order could be confused if different loggers are from different time zones (chat logs record logger time, not cavern time).


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:45 am 
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Yeah, that's a sticking point I'm still trying to figure out how to work around... For now perhaps the best solution would be to post the timezone offset from Cavern Time if it's known, and clean it up later when there's a solution in place.

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