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If you have anything to discuss, that isn't directly related to anything in particular (that is, you don't know on which page's Talk page to post it), you can post it here.
Do make sure it's at least marginally relevant to the Interactive Story though; please keep completely off-topic discussions to private email.

On other wikis this page is generally named The Village Pump, but here it shall be know as Merethrond, the place it seems one goes to in Gondor (if one happens to dwell at the upper levels of the city) for marginally relevant chat...

Merethrond, the Great Hall of Feasts[edit]

In three days, as the King had said, Éomer of Rohan came riding to the City, and with him came an éored of the fairest knights of the Mark. He was welcomed; and when they sat all at table in Merethrond, the Great Hall of Feasts, he beheld the beauty of the ladies that he saw and was filled with great wonder. And before he went to his rest he sent for Gimli the Dwarf, and he said to him: 'Gimli Glóin's son, have you your axe ready?'
'Nay, lord,' said Gimli, 'but I can speedily fetch it, if there be need.'
'You shall judge,' said Éomer. 'For there are certain rash words concerning the Lady in the Golden Wood that lie still between us. And now I have seen her with my eyes.'
'Well, lord,' said Gimli, 'and what say you now?'
'Alas!' said Éomer. 'I will not say that she is the fairest lady that lives.'
'Then I must go for my axe,' said Gimli.
'But first I will plead this excuse,' said Éomer. 'Had I seen her in other company, I would have said all that you could wish. But now I will put Queen Arwen Evenstar first, and I am ready to do battle on my own part with any who deny me. Shall I call for my sword?'
Then Gimli bowed low. 'Nay, you are excused for my part, lord,' he said. 'You have chosen the Evening; but my love is given to the Morning. And my heart forebodes that soon it will past away for ever.'

From: Return of the King, Chapter IV: Many Partings

If you have anything of similar relevance to add, go ahead and pull up a chair!

However, if you want to ask or comment on something specific, try to find the most relevant page, and post a comment on the attached Talk page (for example, if you want to ask a question about the guidelines on posting a chapter, post it here) - that way your question or comment may also benefit others.

--Admin 17 October 2005 16:41 (GMT)

Standard User pages[edit]

For all users, registered or not, who did not have a user page so far, I've made a standard user page. This because I fear first-time or sporadic visitors may be put off by the editing screen, and will not find their way to the ‘What links here’ page that lists all the user’s work.

I’d like to stress that these pages are by no means a ‘standard’ for how a user page should look - you can do anything on there that you like: write a little about yourself, include a picture, links to your site/blog/whatever, or maybe you want to keep it very simple - it’s all good.

It’s your canvas.

--Admin 11 January 2006 14:30 (GMT)

Path Posts[edit]

Originally at Talk:Faramir tells them of Denethor’s involvement

Admin-ish question to all[edit]

The Path list - is that useful to anyone? Worth doing for all chapters?

You could see it as the chapter's private little chapter overview list - not all chapters, just the chapters that went before this one. And to make a new one, you just take the list of the previous chapter and add the option you followed to the bottom of the list.

-Iris 17 February 2006 16:51 (GMT)

About the chapter path[edit]

Dear Iris, I noticed it, and I loved it! The chapters chart is getting very complicated, no matter how it had improved impressively. But still, I got lost while tracing the path to find where a current chapter was originally from. So the private path worth the work. Thanks a lot! I hope it's not manually done though.

The path[edit]

Yes, I also found myself tracing back (especially whenever we got a post in a thread that had been dormant for a while), and going through the 'What links here' page was just too many steps.

But it is still a manual system, I'm afraid. I've been thinking about an automatic one, but that would involve labelling the chapters somehow to reflect the hierarchy. Right now, the system does not know we always have one page that links to two pages that both link to two new pages, and so on. It just thinks they’re links, like any other.

So you’d have to label the pages with a code that reflects their position in the hierarchy. The system would have to calculate this code automatically and place it in a new cell in the database. That’s one part of the coding.

The other part is generating the path pages (and the overview page - that could also be done automatically once each chapter has a hierarchy code). You could either do a query (a ‘search’) each time want to display a path page, and search for all the pages that are in a direct line up the hierarchy before the one you’re looking at and spit out that list, or you could generate a path page once, when the source page is created, by adding an extra link to the current page at the end of the path list of the previous page (since the system would now know what the 'previous page' is).

But that’s all a lot of coding... and for one chapter every other week, I don’t know if it’s worth it - especially since the manual process is very simple (copy the page from the previous chapter and stick a link to the new chapter on the end).
I mean, this would be some serious hours of coding vs a manual process of maybe 20 seconds per chapter. That’s a lot of chapters before break-even.

But if there’s a PHP/MySQL ace out there reading this, to whom a simple hack like this is peanuts, please get in touch and we’ll work on this!

-Admin 18 February 2006 09:21 (GMT)

About the path[edit]

Gee! I thought Wiki is doing such things already, but when read the about link below, realized it is only a content management system. To have the linkage trace back and forth and dynamically generate the path report page, we need some good and smart design, then, some serious and smarter coding. Unless we can sale it for money, guess sorting by hand would work for a while. In either case, sorry my dear Admin, you are the one who do the works. Admire, admire! Dream

Path, and the limits of CMSes[edit]

Yes, it is nothing but a CMS. A nice one, but still.

A normal site
Our Interactive Story

Or really, it's our Interactive Story that's a bit funny. Normal sites are never this organized, they have cross links going everywhere in a chaotic pattern. Drawing a map for 7 pages is still doable, but when you have 70 or 700 pages (or almost 1,000,000 like English Wikipedia) it quickly becomes impossible, as well as illogical to even want such a map - so these sites were never designed to produce one.

The 'What links here' option in the toolbox is already a very nice tool to trace your way back up the hierachy of chapters - and not one that every CMS has; certainly one of the reasons to prefer MediaWiki.

Of course I'd like to code something clever so it's all custom fit for this Interactive Story, but as long as the manual process is this easy, it's just not worth it.

-Iris 18 February 2006 16:28 (GMT)

The path[edit]

I was thinking to store each page into a database table. Each page as a node in a binary tree, having a page_id, parent_page_id, first_child_id, second_child_id. Only first chapter can have null parent, all page can have null children. As you said, the qury could be a very painful one with god-knows-how-many-layers of self join. It is like giving a bad design and have an unlucky programer to do the coding. I think we all had enough such luck in RL, we can avoid the troubles here. And saving time and energy and most of all, passion, on some nice fiction writing! :-)


Yup- that sounds like a good plan. Are you any good at PHP/MySQL programming? Want me to send you the files so you can have a look at the implementation?

-Iris 19 February 2006 13:07 (GMT)

The Path[edit]

Oh dear, the more I talk the more I got myself into... something. But sorry, I am not good at anthing that start or end or include SQL (PL/SQL, MySQL, MS SQL, SQLPlus....) Whenever there is a query involves more than three tables to join or selfjoin N times, I need to find someone else to write the query, and I do anything else. ;-) Spoiled to have DBA friends. But yes, you can send me the file (what file?), but I don't have MySQL installed and never worked with MS SQL Server. I am currently working with MSAccess. sigh.... Dream