As recommended by User:JaydenKieran, I post most of my thought about the Wiki's policy of naming articles here.
During the discussion about the deletion of page Realms in favour of using the page Cosmology, the main argument for keeping the page Realms seemed to be based on semantics, on the account that the term "Cosmology" does not appear in the game (instead being coined by JMods during RuneFest) and therefore the article shouldn't be named.
I found this to be odd, give that we already have the Wizardry page for the lore of magic, Lordship of the North Coast for the unnamed political entity in Northern Morytania and Eastern, Lunar, Northern, Southern and Western Sea for the hypothetical division of RuneScape's oceans, despite the fact that none of the article names are referred to anywhere in the game: in fact, all of them are inventions of the Wikia users.
Klenter's Pyramid was another example of an in-game object with no name being named by users of the Wiki in order to write about a location, only for the JMods to add the name to the game when Menaphos was introduced to the game: in fact, the namer of the article admitted that he should've used another name for the article, since the pyramid was not just for Klenter, but for all high priests.
So, if we do not want to look arbitrary and inconsistent in determining what articles can and cannot exist based on the article's name, and cause what is essentially headcanon by users of the olden days of the Wiki to be made canonical, we have three options:
- A) make a policy which allows articles without in-game term like "Cosmology" or "Zarosian Empire" to exist,
- B) introduce a new template which adds a banner on top of the page, telling that the article's name is not "canonically confirmed" but the name is used to cover the available information regarding the topic, or
- C) remove all the articles in the Wiki regarding topics with no canonical name.
Personally, I would prefer the option A), while B) is an acceptable compromise. Adopting policy C) actually causes a lot of problems: for example, if somebody would want to be an article about the Zarosian Empire, under the policy B) such article could not exist since the empire remains officially unnamed, despite the fact that there is a lot of information about the Zarosian Empire which has not been documented in the Wikia.
In fact, it seems to be a recurring theme on the Wiki that articles are only being made if we have an official name for the subject of the article, regardless of how much information we have about the subject. As mentioned before, it has resulted in a situation where subjects like Zarosian Empire or Bandos' race, which by all accounts should have their own articles, do not have an article because we have no canonical name for them, while there are pages for even the most obscure and insignificant things in the game, as long as they are named.
Support B, doing something like what Wookieepedia does with Template:Conjecture. Doesn't choosing B mean you also accept A though? They're not really two separate options. -- 07:28, September 22, 2018 (UTC)
- Well, they're not mutually exclusive, but I imagined that sometimes there might not be a need for a big banner that says "the name for this article over here is not canonical", but now that you mentioned it, it is probably a smart idea to implement both options. Originally, I did not even consider the possibility of having a banner template and only had the options A and C.
But yeah, to answer your question: yes, I would accept B if I accept A, though it should probably be pretty important to establish both A and B, and not just one or the other. AquaMage2459 (talk) 10:47, September 22, 2018 (UTC)
Support A/B - Don't we already do something similar for articles on Template:Battles? We make up titles all the time for events that take place in-game, which aren't given any official name. I don't agree that a specific name has to be spoken in-game for it to become canonical. B can get a little obtrusive, but I guess with common sense it can work. It looks useful for articles where there isn't any name specified and it's hard to give a specific name (eg Western Sea). --Haidro (talk) 11:52, September 22, 2018 (UTC)
Support B - Per fetus --23:18, September 22, 2018 (UTC)
Support B - As we are meant to be encyclopedic, I feel that when we are using a "made up" name to cover a "real" topic, we need to disclose this. As there is a good amount of information that can be considered canon, that may not have a canon title/name etc, "B" seems to be our best option. I would also be okay with "A", but am strongly opposed to "C" (just because an idea doesn't have an official name, doesn't mean the information available pertaining to that idea shouldn't be published). Only caveat I would add is that all information posted about a topic obviously still needs to be properly sourced/verifiable. This proposal should make clear we are not opening up to any and all conjecture about RuneScape as a whole, just allowing for the use of a "placeholder" (invented title) that Jagex has not officially recognized at this time. (Following is just an example of what I am envisioning)
Strong Oppose - Support Option D - The official nomenclature should be used where available (i.e. realms should definitely be used over something absurd like cosmology). When there is no feasible official name to use for something, I don't see a reason not to use a name for it we find appropriate (I guess there is no good official name for something like the Zarosian Empire. bad_fetustalk 17:52, September 23, 2018 (UTC)
- It's probably worth noting that the term "Realm" is not official nomenclature: while it is used frequently in-game, there's no actual definition regarding what a realm is, unlike the terms "Abyss", "World", "Plane" and "Void", which have a clearly defined meaning in the lore of RuneScape's cosmology, meaning that the term "Realm" is a wastebasket category at best and utterly useless for defining anything about RuneScape's universe at worst. In comparison, while "Cosmology" is not used in-game, it is used by JMods to refer to the structure of RuneScape's universe, so I would argue there's more weight for "Cosmology" being the name for a page detailing the lore of RuneScape's universe than "Realms". AquaMage2459 (talk) 13:32, September 25, 2018 (UTC)
Support A & B ish – I agree that rather than not having articles, content that exists should be given a sensible page name so that information about the subject can be covered on the wiki, for examples of the seas and pyramid naming would fall under that in my opinion. In that case a template to indicate this would be a great idea. However I do feel that there should be caveats: I was and still am opposed to having pages with names such as “Cosmology” when the content that would be included in such a page can be written about appropriately in a page with a canonical/in-game name i.e. realms. I would also say that “wizardry” is not really an appropriate page and its content would be better placed, e.g. in Magic. “Zarosian empire” could exist as a section on Zaros, why does it need its own page? My issue is not that I believe content without a definite canonical name should be excluded from the wiki; just that I believe it should be handled in an encyclopaedic way. When we go down the route of having pages with these sort of titles and grouping related contents with a dubious dedicated page it feels less like the information is being recorded in a factual way; and more like the writer is imposing their interpretation and theories on the facts. Because of the way that lore is typically written about, with (in my opinion) a lack of good citations and objectivity I feel like allowing these kind of titles opens the way for people to create poor quality articles which are not factual at all and merely cover theories (I guess this would be an example of what I mean). Therefore, I would argue that where possible content without a canonical page name should be placed in appropriate related existing pages, before applying the option A+B as a last resort. 14:17, September 24, 2018 (UTC)
- Some notes regarding the caveats:
- • "Realms" has no canonically defined meaning, therefore it would be inaccurate to call the article about the structure of RuneScape's universe by a name which does not even have a consistent meaning. In comparison, "Cosmology" is a term used by JMods themselves, albeit outside of RuneScape.
- • I would argue that if a page for the Zarosian Empire were to exist, it should be its own article. After all, just because article has something to do with Zaros, it shouldn't be part of Zaros' article: if that were the case, Zarosian Extermination should be a part of Zaros' page, as well. Besides, I don't think that it'd be a smart idea to combine an article about Zaros and his personal history with an article about a society that Zaros created and how said society functioned and how its history played out: there'd be so much material about both that people would simply start arguing for the pages to be split due to the fact how clogged it'd make Zaros' page.
- • Same argument can be made for your proposal regarding other potential articles. It is clear that names have power regarding whether or not an article should exist, since even the most obscure characters and topics have a page as long as they have a name, but if they don't have the luxury of having an official name they will likely remain unmentioned: in fact, should the Zarosian Empire be mentioned by name even once, I could assure that the moment it happens, people would begin to build an article for it. So, I would prefer to have articles for the "nameless topics": after all, that way in case they are referred by a canonical name in the future, we don't actually have to create new articles or split old ones which could cause way more work than necessary. All that would be needed is to rename the article and all the mentions to the hypothetical old name of the article, which would be significantly less work for everybody involved.
- I've been thinking about this a lot. You've raised some good points about how this would be a hindrance to people trying to add content to the wiki, as well as how incorporating seemingly related information wouldn't be accurate in a lot of cases. That would also be sort of anomalous with how we do things elsewhere on the wiki; with granularity and pages about future content (which are created even when official names are known when there is a lot of information known about the update). This thread mostly concerns lore and as I said I have been concerned about seeing complaints that our lore pages aren't up to scratch, as well as all the conflict that seems to go on over these pages. This is definitely something I'd like to see addressed, but you have managed to convince me that opposing your suggestions isn't going to help in sorting these issues out so I'm happy for the A and B proposals that you made to be into place. I disagree with what is said below about having a Yew Grove thread every time a page is created with a potentially contentious name; hopefully page creators can justify any names they have chosen without needing to have a formal discussion every time. 11:19, September 28, 2018 (UTC)
Support A/B but... it seems like the real issue here isn't whether or not the information should be on the wiki at all, but rather a debate on what the name(s) of said articles should be. For example, it seems that everyone is in agreement that the information that would appear on the aforementioned "Cosmology" article should be on the wiki in some manner, but there is disagreement on what the title of the article should be. Are we to have a Yew Grove thread about every such article in order to determine a consensus on what everyone feels the name of the article should be?19:18, September 25, 2018 (UTC)
- That is, indeed, a good question. It would probably be woefully inefficient to have a debate for every single topic with no canonically confirmed name. Sometimes, as is with the case of Cosmology, there is quite a bit of disagreement over what a suitable name for the article would be; in other cases, such as with the inclusion of a hypothetical Zarosian Empire article, there probably wouldn't be that much debate. I think it would be a case-by-case situation, where only articles which people felt were important to have a specific name would require a Yew Grove thread: for example, the article about Cosmology. Honestly, it's too early to propose any policies for an issue which might pop up, so if this proposal passes, I suppose we only have to wait and see. AquaMage2459 (talk) 06:51, September 27, 2018 (UTC)