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Forums: Index > Rin's Travel Agency > Archive > BTS overhaul: changes to footnotes, citations, development, and trivia


The professional referencing on the ratchet wiki looks overdone. "Stout, Garcia 2012"? That style of referencing simply isn't suitable for the wiki. We are a wiki about FF games, when referencing an FF game we can just state the game name and link to the page and that can be it. I think similarly with books, although including a publisher/author/imprint qualifier in some cases (e.g. Famitsu, BradyGames) will be useful just because people distinguish strategy guides by them. Some books have the same info but over multiple ISBNs.

I also don't believe info readily available in the game need be cited. It makes adding information to the wiki far more cumbersome for newcomers. I can't see it working here on our scale. Now I'm not against adding citations for scenarios and dialogue in the game if the editor feels it's obscure or a reader is questioning where it is from. I don't think making it a requirement will be fun for anyone though.

And so I also don't see the value in splitting Citations and References. Our sources are the media the things appear in, that is obvious. Anything revealed outside that media should be cited because that is not obvious. Our articles don't have many citations unless they're focusing on out-of-universe things, but in such cases it's not like we end up citing the same thing a lot. I see the Ratchet wiki makes a lot of references to some Developer commentary videos, but you should totally make an article for those videos, and the citations should link to it! You don't need to repeat all that Harvard stuff every time, just the page link and the timestamp. JBed (talk) 04:09, January 14, 2020 (UTC)

Addendum: If we're citing books and games not in our scope, adding more info to the citation makes more sense. Not Harvard levels, but the books should list the name, publisher, author, ISBN, and mebbe year. I can't really imagine there's any situation where citing a non-FF game makes any sense though. JBed (talk) 04:14, January 14, 2020 (UTC)

You'll have to actually elaborate on why Harvard referencing is not "suitable for a wiki". We're an encyclopedia. We're meant to be a credible, authoritative source, and so presenting information the same way as an encyclopedia page or a research paper serves the goal. In what way is it not "suitable for a wiki"? If the opposition is just based on how much work is involved, then I'll point out that a) the ref templates require no more code than adding a sideicon (all information is stored in Module:Codename), and b) not every page needs to do this just as not every page needs a citation at all, but for ones where the editor wishes to go the extra mile to make a page more presentable, I can't see why one would blanket oppose this.
Citations for the videos, which link to the full reference for the videos, use "Stout, Garcia 2012", because otherwise you'd need to type out the full information of the video every citation. The references are there to avoid repetition. Citations for the game just use the game name followed by what is being cited, and the references for games (which are automatically generated and take no more code to add than just adding a sideicon, btw) are because a game is a source of information like any other.
Information readily from the game does not need to be cited, the citations would indeed only be added if an editor (normally an experienced editor) feels the scenario or dialogue is obscure. It's added to provide further credibility to information on a page, but not all pages would need this.
That said, if you can figure out how to hack open the games to find a bit of info, they can definitely figure out how to use a really simple citation template. These are not hard in the slightest to use, and it is reasonable to point to where they found it in the games' files as a courtesy to allow for independent verification, which requires the verifier to seek a source to ensure authenticity. So while I'm not suggesting we require all edits to do this, "makes it far more cumbersome for newcomers" seems like a silly reason to oppose adding the ability to cite obscure information with a cite template given how current citations have requirements like "use Web Archive every time you cite a web page" or "upload an audio sample for all videos" (the last one should go mind you. It's the writer's responsibility to point to a source, not provide it, same reason research papers don't attach copies of every book or study they cite).
RE: "I can't think of a situation where we can cite a non-FF game" -- I can. Many voice actors first voiced their character in Kingdom Hearts. If we have to cite one of those games in reference to any information by the voice actor, we can cite those games. Should we do so, non-FF media should have equal weighting as an FF source, meaning that a Harvard reference should be used for both (though the reference template would have to include the extra information for the non-FF source whereas the FF source would auto-generate it).--Magicite-ffvi-ios.png Technobliterator (TC) 08:10, January 14, 2020 (UTC)
I mean it's not suitable. We're not writing academic research papers, we're writing articles about the contents of a game series. It's not really about effort, it's about excess. I know what "Stout, Garcia 2012" means. It just looks so out of place on a citation of a YouTube video for a wiki about a game series. I was going to make a comment about how not even Wookieepedia goes this far when citing websites, but to my surprise it seems that when citing journalistic articles they bother with date and author, "[surname], [forename]" and all! But for other citations they just use the product's name with a link when citing a product covered by the wiki, "[video name] on [channel]" when citing a YT video, and "[page name] on [page link|website]" when citing an official website they have a page for.
That said, if you can figure out how to hack open the games to find a bit of info, they can definitely figure out how to use a really simple citation template
Question: How would we even cite game data? Sometimes I've used third-party tools to extract files in a certain way, other times I've just read bytes from a disc image. Do you want a step-by-step on how the things were accessed to be detailed, or just a vague "Elevator Hall field weight calculation script"?
"I can. Many voice actors first voiced their character in Kingdom Hearts."--but that's the thing-- why would we even use a citation? If the article states "X voiced Y in Z", then the source is obviously Z. We'd only need a source if they weren't credited in the game, in which case we won't be citing a game.
("It's the writer's responsibility to point to a source, not provide it" that's not what the archiving is for. A video no one can access can't be used as a citation.) JBed (talk) 10:06, January 14, 2020 (UTC)
That doesn't really answer the question. Why does the fact we're writing articles about a game series mean Harvard referencing is not suitable? Last time I checked, the main page refers to us "the Final Fantasy encyclopedia" that anyone can edit. So what about the fact we cover a game series means we should not present our content as an encyclopedia would, and what about the fact "Final Fantasy" is in the title means that automatically generating the author or date of the game's publish date is excessive?
Even if I were to accept this claim, the author and publish date are still relevant pieces of information. If we were to use an article that sources the SNES release of Final Fantasy VI, and one that uses the GBA release, then listing both under Reference, with the publish date and name to differentiate them, is relevant information. If we only list one, then the fact we listed the publish date is a helpful distinction.
Citing game data is easy. The citations look like this: game name followed by file name. If you can't point to a file or folder, then no worries; a citation "Final Fantasy VIII, game data" is fine in the case of Ultimecia Castle. That people know it comes from there means they know where to look instead of scouring the internet or etc.
If there's developer commentary in the game, or any worthwhile BTS info, then you'd use a citation to that game. Kingdom Hearts was just an example that popped into mind; we can't preemptively say "Lol we'd never cite another game" because there's a chance we may want to. And again, if we do, it gets equal weighting as a source compared to FF games.
If no one can access the video, you don't use it as a citation. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ In the event a video gets taken down, you find another source; if none exist, remove it. Requiring someone to actually provide the source is unfeasible.
p.s. using Wookieepedia as an example for anything is a fool's errand given this exists.--Magicite-ffvi-ios.png Technobliterator (TC) 14:19, January 14, 2020 (UTC)
The facts we deal with are different from the facts Wikipedia deal with-- most of our articles are dealing with word of God. We have a finite number of reliable sources (the media themselves and official reference books and websites). When your dealing with Wikipedia whose scope is everything ever, listing a work's title, year, and authors is the info you need to help someone find the work. The year and author also allow people to make value judgements about the credibility of the work. On this wiki, "Final Fantasy X Ultimania Omega" definitely only refers to one thing, and we define what it means when we provide a link. If we're dealing with different versions, the wiki has its own system to distinguish/disambiguate them that we already use in articles. The dates aren't needed.
Dealing with (non-official) websites is a slightly different matter. Most of the time we reference articles we're just getting quotes of what Word-of-God has said in an interview, or quoting an event or press release. The only time I can see citing an author as having value is with opinion pieces in reception sections (but the website would suffice for me).
The ad hominem aside (Wookieepedia have several anatomy pages so I don't get your deal), I just used the first big-scope fandom wiki I could think of for comparison. How about the next three: WoWWiki, or Fallout, or Harry Potter. I never seen a wiki focused on a fandom that would use academic citation styles to cite the media the wiki itself focuses on. It would not surprise me if one exists though, because it sounds like the kind of thing a wiki might do under the misguided notion of "being professional".
"In the event a video gets taken down, you find another source; if none exist, remove it." That's the old system and it's shit. Put the extra effort in upfront and we don't forever lose information pointlessly. No one here's checking citations to see if they're still live. Our readers might, but they'll rarely report an issue. I have, but only because I was updating citations to the cite templates. And I know just why we need the clipped evidence--information was lost. And even when it wasn't, refinding things isn't fun, especially when you don't know what exactly to look for.
Ultimately the problem is the effort required, and I agree. If we could just input a video, timestamp, duration, and have a script generate a clipped video on the wiki/some reliable archive site then that would be great. If someone can do that, get on that!
Adding a way to link to mirrors would increase the reliability, but for various reasons mirrors tend to be even more unreliable than the source so I wouldn't consider an internet citation complete unless it had a link to one of the main internet archive sites or a clipped uploaded to the wiki. JBed (talk) 05:44, January 17, 2020 (UTC)
I would never assume that our sources are finite or limited. When I wrote the Final Fantasy series page, I used a ridiculous amount of sources. There's no reason to preemptively assume we won't be finding information from any source.
Full reference formats are used because you're not always citing just the games or ultimanias. Sometimes it's another book for example that still works as a reliable source, in which case you absolutely do need at least the title, date, author, and publisher (for minimum specificity and mannerly attribution), and beyond that the ISBN is the proper way to source books because it refers to the most specific version possible to alleviate any future confusion.
As a result, games should follow the same reference format for consistency. It'd be weird to see full book references and then a game reference just go by the title. "It'd be weird" admittedly isn't a great argument, and if he's arguing that there can be an inconsistency and it wouldn't look weird, we can address that separately. But if he's not hung up on that then let's move onto the other points.
In addition to the consistency point, in many cases, the version of the game might need specification, like if it was re-released and the date and/or platform changed. Not to mention, the attribution requirement still applies, not only as a matter of mannerliness (and even legal obligation if we're being technical), but also to establish within the source its reliability. It's important to specify that the attributed information is sourced from a third-party product and not a first-party Square Enix one, for example.
The point about Wookieepedia is using other examples on its own is not a substitute for an argument: we don't follow their examples just because they do it, else we'd make a page on boobs also. The important thing is if there's a reason why those other wikis do that, to which I'd say there's probably not. If we have modules that automatically generate this ({{ref|ultimania=FFVII}} is probably all we'd ever need to add btw), then there's no reason why we can't do it. In fact, it would be easier than the current refbook template, as an example, which does require the information you've confusingly said we don't need anymore.
There's no problem adding a clip or mirror for a source in the event that it gets taken down, but it shouldn't be a requirement. If you just want to add one to ensure that your source remains relevant, then that's good. Otherwise, you run the risk of your source being removed, so best to find an additional one. I would say for any video that works as a genuine source of information such as developer commentary or otherwise that the likelihood of it being taken down is actually very slim; if it's stuff like videos for glitch pages that have more of a chance of that, then you wouldn't use them as a reference in the same way.
This all said, I think I should reframe this proposal as not something to be enforced across the board, but as something down to editor preference for those who find it a useful way to organize references. Having thought about it, for a wiki as big as this, it can't be enforced at scale. I personally prefer this system a lot, hence I use it on R&C wiki everywhere as I don't have to pre-empt if I'm going to reuse the same source often. But if others don't, then they don't have to. They can still benefit from the proposed ref template and its accompanying Lua module but use it within ref tags.--Magicite-ffvi-ios.png Technobliterator (TC) 17:48, January 19, 2020 (UTC)
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