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Muppet Wiki:Current Events Archive 29 (July-Sept 2008)

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Archive of Current events.

Main page font

I'm not really crazy about the new font on the main page... Are you going for a different look? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 15:07, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

I like it a lot. It contrasts with the Upcoming column which reads like a ticker. The news section reads like a newspaper and looks classy to me. What do other folks think? —Scott (talk) 22:58, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I think I would like it better if it only applied to the news section. Right now, it spreads to halfway through the quality articles section, so it looks weird to me. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:02, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
When the font changed, at first I thought it was my browser or something (which has sometimes altered fonts when something isn't loading right or what have you). Now that I know it's intentional, I'm not sure how I feel. I can kind of understand the newspaper look, but it *really* looks awkward for the opening statement of purpose right at the top. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 23:26, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Originally, I only had the news section use the Georgia font and everything else was the standard Arial. It looked really funny, so I tried the whole column and it looked better. But I guess that's just me. I just thought it was all looking dull for the front page. —Scott (talk) 01:28, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm ok with the font although I find it a bit unexpected. What bugs me much more is the irregular spacing between words. I know it's a function of lining up the column edges, but it bugs me. I've always found it hard to read (ie not just on this page). -- Wendy (talk) 01:47, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
By the way, did you guys take down the welcome box with the "x articles since 12/05/05", or is that just me? -- Ken (talk) 03:46, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, we took that off when we switched to the new layout. It's pretty redundant -- the number of articles is already listed in the community box on the left. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:07, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh. I'm running Monobook, so I'll have to switch over and see what it looks like. -- Ken (talk) 05:11, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

So, the font -- the more I look at it, I really just don't dig it. Georgia is a serif font, like Times New Roman, which means it has a lot of extra bits of black on each letter. So it looks nice, and fancy, but in small type, a serif font is harder to read than a sans-serif font. This is from the WP article on sans-serif: "Sans-serif fonts have become the de facto standard for body text on-screen, especially online. It has been suggested that this is because the small size of the font causes serif fonts to appear excessively cluttered on the screen."

Georgia is more readable than other serif fonts, but I think in general it's better to use a sans-serif font for text. Maybe it's cause I've passed the shadow of the valley of 35, but I have some love for the older folks who don't happen to be blessed with perfect eyesight as I am. Arial looks dull, but it's readable. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:19, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

This conversation kinda stalled... I took out the Georgia font for now, so we can talk about it some more. Anybody have an opinion one way or the other? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:24, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Bolding and Italics

Danny and I were talking, and I guess it's never been a clear policy about whether we should italicize and bold a book or album title when it's at the beginning of an article page. How does everybody else feel about it? -- Ken (talk) 05:02, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Right now, the majority of pages with a book, film, or TV title are bolded and italicized, including our core articles (The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, etc.) and have done so for years (almost since the beginning). It's how Wikipedia does it and it's how myself, Scott, Wendy, and quite a few other users have been doing it before. When someone forgets, it usually gets fixed. It's the same way song titles have it in bold and quotes, since that's the rule and it makes it easier at a glance to see what's being discussed and to tell it apart from a character or culture or merchandise page. I never thought anyone had a problem with it. The only issue, which was discussed so long ago I can't recall when, was at one point using quotes versus italics and coming up with a style guide, which we did (italics for movies, TV shows, books, etc.; quotes for individual episode titles, sketches, etc.) -- Andrew Leal (talk) 05:29, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I think this is another example of me having my own stupid opinion. :) I think the bolding at the beginning of an article is enough emphasis that you don't need italics. But if I'm outvoted on that, it's okay. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:13, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm just surprised because, as per the example of Monster at the End of This Book, you started it and have been doing it for years, up until the past few months even when you've been adding books in vast quantities. :) It's not a matter of emphasis but the basic rule that titles of books, movies etc. are italicized, songs, short stories in quotes, and the bolding really doesn't change that. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:02, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Aha! Looking around, I did find this discussion from December 2005, so Danny *is* on the record as saying he prefers articles titles without italics *or* quotes, and looking through the contribution history, he's left them out most of the time (not always, as seen here and here, among others). Danny, since that was the only statement and you've never removed italics from titles and since you've followed the grammar rule in all other instances, I think we all assumed your omission was carelessness rather than an organized protest. :) -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:34, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm fine with the quotes for song titles. I think italics/bold for books doesn't look right. It's been kind of an unorganized protest. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:00, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Is it just books, or period? The examples I could find of your recent italicizing were movies. But strictly speaking, the rule applies to everything that would normally be italicized in a sentence, since the bolding doesn't really change or affect that (and the italics don't add emphasis so much as they simply follow the rule and at a glance denote the title as a movie, book, album title, or TV production as opposed to a character, song, or some club Telly made up). Though has come up before, while we *generally* follow proper grammar rules (especially if the majority are used to it), we have made adjustments for the specific needs of the Wiki. It just feels kind of late in the day to completely reverse in this instance, if that makes sense. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 20:25, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
That makes sense. This has just been my stupid opinion, so I'm okay with changing what I do. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:37, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

We have a standing guideline on the wiki that the topic of the article gets bolded in its first mention. This is a carryover from WP. We also decided some time ago on a style format for titles which I won't bother repeating as it's been covered. I don't see any reason to forego one situation when another applies. —Scott (talk) 22:39, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree; follow both styles when both apply (ie italics and bold). Although I think I forgot to do it on the books I just added.... -- Wendy (talk) 03:58, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

International capitals

We've been adding a lot of international books and records lately, and I've realized that we're inconsistent about how to capitalize titles in other languages. We know the English rules, and apply those consistently, but German and Dutch seem to have different rules.

In German, what we call Die Schönsten Geschichten is written as Die schönsten Geschichten on both CD releases. The Pixi-Books include both Guten Morgen, Bert! and Grobi kann super nett sein.

In Dutch, the only capital is at the beginning of the title (except for proper nouns). What we call Pino Zingt Cijfers is written as Pino zingt cijfers; ditto for Poehéé! Het verhaal van Sesamstraat.

I'd like to propose going with the local capitalization, as best we can figure from the book or album cover. When the title is written in all capital letters, we look on the internet for another source which writes it in upper and lower case, or we make our best guess based on other titles. I think if we default to English rules, then we'll probably look silly to readers who know the language -- it's kind of like mistranslating the words, or not using accent marks.

What do other folks think? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:18, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, I was just going to ask you about that. I've been spending a lot of time on German and Dutch eBay and Amazon, as well as other sites, and it's like getting a crash course in those languages. The capitalization was starting to bother me too, so what you proposed sounds fine to me. -- Ken (talk) 17:30, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Just to clarify something, shouldn't we still use English rules when we're capitalizing the translations? -- Ken (talk) 06:49, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
So far, I've been trying to follow the general trend of the original, but you're probably right. It's kind of weird to follow the original, since it never ends up working well. Yeah, let's use the English rules. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 18:54, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I generally go by what's on the cover if we have it, but the international roles not only vary from country to country but seemingly at whim sometimes, so I'd be fine with following the English rules. So by that logic, all important words would be capitalized, but conjunctions, articles, and so on in the middle ("och," "el," "le," "con," etc.) would remain lowercase. Would that make sense? Also, it would probably help to let our currently active overseas editors (Henrik, Paul) know so they can weigh in. I think that's the biggest downside, whether it would potentially discourage or confuse international users, but that's easily clarified by, well, asking our international users. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:06, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Andrew, I think you misunderstood... We decided above that we're going to do the actual titles exactly the way they are on the cover. The question that Ken and I were just discussing was how to capitalize the English translation that follows.
For example: on the page for Het beste bedtijdboek van Bert en Ernie -- do we write (The Best Bedtime Book of Bert and Ernie) or (The best bedtime book of Bert and Ernie)? I've been doing the latter, but now that Ken's brought it up, I think the former is probably best. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 19:47, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, as written, the follow-up question didn't seem especially clear, and I wasn't sure what you meant when you said "you're probably right." In that case, yeah, capitalize. Sorry for the confusion. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:57, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Here's a crash course in the Danish language. Names and places are always in capital letters. Then theres a handful of words that have more than one meaning it concerns the words "I", "Dem", "De" and "Deres" (variations on the english word "you") capital letters are used to separate them from "i", "dem", "de" and "deres". But as in many other languages the publishers sometimes use capital letters in titles, that differ from the proper rules due to design. With Danny example I can see the logic in both, so I will remain neutral on this subject. Henrik (talk) 20:03, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

In general, for every language, we're trying to use titles that reflect what's on the book cover / DVD / title card. The exceptions are for obvious things like titles that are written in all capitals, like The Muppet Show Book, or all lower-case, like Waar is Purk?

The conversation that Ken and I were having above was to establish that that same principle should apply to German, Dutch, French, etc., as well as English. So here are some recent examples: Tommie zoekt Purk, Mariechen, die rasende Reporterin, Wie viele Kätzchen sind es? and Mystiske dager på Sesam Stasjon.

When a title is all in capitals, then we try to follow the rules as best we can -- for example, Oskar hat Geburtstag is all in capitals, but I used Tutter hat Geburtstag as the model for how to capitalize. If we're not sure, and don't have any models to go on (as with Des Experts en Bévues, for example), then we default to English rules until we learn better.

I hope that makes everything perfectly clear. :) -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:39, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Main page news section

We haven't updated "Today on Muppet Wiki" for three weeks, so it looks like we're just tired of updating it, and it may be time to call it a day on that. Ever since the ads started appearing on the main page in June, I've been thinking that it looks a little bare -- the ads push the picture down. So I wanted to come up with something we could put in that space that would provide a little current-events vibe, and also include some pretty pictures.

So this is my proposal: Sandbox:Main page news. If the New York Times is to be trusted, we may be heading into a period where there's more news for us to post, so we might as well use that space to draw attention to our up-to-the-minute wiki coverage. We can just update it when we get something new, without feeling the pressure of the old dates staring at us. Having the brand-new stuff featured on the main page may also help us a little with search engine stuff.

What do you guys think? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:38, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, the problem of maintaining that section has come up before and lately it's just gotten worse. I've had a hard time getting the gumption to update, especially as days mount and since periods will go by where new pages either aren't very interesting or, as of late, most of our energies are spent on cleaning up or pruning existing areas (with new articles just as kind of a sideline). Son the whole, I agree with the news box idea. However, I still like the original "Today on Muppet Wiki" idea, which was to showcase odd, unusual, amusing, or newly discovered articles and obscurities. Nearly three years in, obviously that happens less often now, but a few gems still come up that could merit main page exposure. So I'd like to save a slot in the newsbox for that kind of thing, but instead of the pressure to update daily or even six at a time or what have you, it can change when and as someone comes across some really nifty article or merchandise picture or what have you. A lot of other wikis use a "Did you know" format. I'm not sure about phrasing, but maybe something like that? (And if need be, if there's a time where Muppet news is slack but a lot of new Wiki discoveries are added, the balance could be adjusted). Just a thought. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 00:19, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with everything you said. It would be nice to also have some space for non-news items. Do you think a separate space, or mix 'em up? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 00:22, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
That's a great idea! I've been feeling like things are getting better for the fans, as far as new stuff, as well as re-releasing old stuff. So the main page would be a good place to highlight that, as well as other strange or interesting finds. And I like the layout on the sample page, although I know that that could change. -- Ken (talk) 01:59, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
It's not a bad idea, but it's still something to update on a semi regular basis. Less than a "daily" for sure, but still something that could go forgotten for a while. —Scott (talk) 02:13, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, the benefit is that if it's forgotten, then at least it's got something that will look fresh to a new reader. Taking out dates means that it doesn't look as stale, even if it is. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 03:06, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree that taking out the dates would help (and I'm as guilty as everyone else of not having the gumption to go update the front page). However I think the layout with the pictures makes the page too cluttered -- I don't know where to look or what goes with what. I think the News and the featured articles could be mixed together quite handily; we're unlikely to feature something for news that we don't have an article on anyhow.... so my vote would be just to take out the dates. -- Wendy (talk) 03:47, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I just put the current draft on the main page to see what it would look like. I agree that it's a little cluttered, although at least now it's cluttered with Muppet pictures rather than just ads. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:01, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

We got sidetracked on this yesterday because images weren't appearing, but I don't want to lose track of it. My suggestion is that we put the current draft on the main page, and then fix it from there. It's not perfect, not everyone is happy with it... but it's better than our third straight week of September 1st. What do you think? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 21:46, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

It doesn't matter much to me because I use 1280px screen resolution, but the accompanying screenshot is what it looks like for most of our anonymous readers. It's looking more than a little cramped. —Scott (talk) 22:06, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I think that looks fine. It looks cramped to us because we're used to having a huge wide-open wiki page, but by web standards, that's pretty much the usual column size for text. I think it's important that when someone comes to the main page, they see a clear picture of Miss Piggy, rather than a lot of text and the top of Big Bird's head.
We've put a lot of time and love into the main page picture, but let's face it, the ads have pretty much negated the value of that picture. In the screenshot you posted, Sugarloaf and are so dominant that the only way to make the page Muppety again is to get a picture into the left column. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:21, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Another thing that I think would be good for the main page would be to have featured articles that have recently been improved. Sometimes there are articles with only a little bit of info that get updated in big ways, and unless this is noted in the edit summary, people might not realise it. I've noticed this at times when Sesame Street episode pages are improved. If the pages already existed then there isn't an N beside them in the recent changes page, and sometiems I don't realise it until awhile (I can usually figure it out, though, if I see several new images loaded in "new images", especially if an epsidoe number is included in the image title). Just something to think about. --Minor muppetz 17:18, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
For right now, it seems like the only objection to swapping in news is whether the pictures make it cramped or not. So I'm going to swap the text now, and then we can talk about how/whether to include pictures... Any objections? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:56, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Works for me. I'm on the fence right now about the pictures, especially one for every news item (just one, to counterbalance the ads and attract the eye, *might* work, I'm not sure yet). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:22, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't want to necessarily have one for every item... but if the picture is left-aligned, then it always looks weird to have the text wrap around it. So I put in two pics to keep a consistent left margin. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 19:25, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

I made a few adjustments to Sandbox:Main page news: I added ad space and took out the header so we can see what the spacing will look like. I also made the left-align pictures smaller so things don't look so cramped. I moved the Kermit-peeking picture just under the 300px box ad because you can see and identify something Muppety there rather than just the top few pixels of whatever picture we happened to have voted on that week. It also brings the added bonus of bringing the Upcoming schedule back up again where people can see it. I figure if we really want to have a nomination process for the community to pick a picture of the week, we can do it at the bottom and feature three at a time or something so there's something interesting there and a variety. But, I'm sorta leaning toward letting that part of it go. —Scott (talk) 19:42, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

That version looks great to me! I really like putting the Kermit pic there -- that gives a little extra "white space" and also keeps it Muppety. Now that I look at it, we should've had that there all along! It's perfect.
The one tweak that I would make is to give it a little bit more breathing room around the "Muppet News" header -- like half a line above the header and half a line below.
Yay, this is awesome. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 19:46, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and I agree about letting the main page pic go. I'm sorry to see it go, but what can ya do. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 19:47, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Cool. I added some space to the template we're using for that header bar. —Scott (talk) 19:54, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I like it too. I'll miss the main page picture, but as noted, the ad situation ruined that anyway. An idea might be, during holiday weeks or when someone has something timely and fitting, to include an image there in the leftbox. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:59, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Cool. Wendy had expressed some concern... I'd want to hear from her before we put it up. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:42, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm still not in love with the extra column of pictures: 3 columns always looks cramped on my smallish screen to me. But it is better without the main page picture.... And I'm willing to be overruled. -- Wendy (talk) 18:34, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Linking dates

I don't like linking every date. There, I've said it. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 03:29, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

You mean linking years? --MuppetVJ 03:32, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I've been kind of feeling that way, too. For example, in the celebrity bios, it doesn't make sense to me to link every year in a person's career, when the links will suddenly take you to what the Muppets were doing that year. That's always seemed kind of strange to me. In some cases, it makes sense, like with the merchandise, so you can see what else came out that year. But not every single date on every page. Is that kind of what you were thinking about? -- Ken (talk) 03:47, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, it's good to bring this up. It all started with the timeline pages, really, and escalated when song boxes were added, often linking to dates in the 1800s until they were removed. I do think it's worth linking years for Muppet books, show dates, etc., since they're directly relevant *and* it provides a useful linkback (the timeline pages in general could benefit from clean-up, since a lot has been added or corrected since then). For other stuff, not so much, especially when, say, one's including random years in a person's bio or for the run of some show that the Muppets mentioned or were referenced by. Speaking for myself, and I'm probably not the only one, it's reached the point where one links dates only because of the certainty that if you don't, someone else will (and in general, the year pages are not and will never be the most interesting pages, outside of the current year in development). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:55, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, you guys said exactly what I was trying to say. I feel like we've created kind of a monster with the timeline -- a set of fairly boring pages that are linked from most of the pages on the site. 2005 and 2006 are both in the top 25 of most linked article pages; 2006 has 637 links. (Well, 638 now that I've just made another one.) It feels like linking the dates has just become a habit, which doesn't add much value to the site. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 16:38, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I think it makes most sense to link to dates when the date is relevant to the article as it directly relates to the Muppets. So: "Candice Bergen (b. 1946) is a celebrity well known for playing Murphy Brown from 1988-1998. She appeared on The Muppet Show in 1976." Note that the only date linked out of the four used in the sentence is 1976, for her TMS appearance. —Scott (talk) 17:43, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
How about on merchandise pages? "Hallmark released a Miss Piggy address book in 1980." Link, or no? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 18:14, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I'd say link, especially since in many cases, the merchandise isn't mentioned on the year page yet, as we're finding new stuff all the time. Right now, it doesn't really work, but prune out the extraneous celebrity-related dates (ala Scott's example), check "What links here" for 1980, and one could easily bring that page up to date with current Wiki knowledge. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 18:44, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I guess my thought is -- why bother? It seems like a lot of work to link and update pages that ultimately we don't really care that much about. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 18:49, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
So, you're saying just do away with all year links, regardless? -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:02, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
No, don't get rid of year linking. As Andrew said, if we can weed out the extraneous stuff, clicking What Links Here on 1980 would be very useful in building up the page for 1980. —Scott (talk) 19:29, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, we agree on the general stuff. I'm just advocating for fewer links. You guys have said take it out for celebrity dates. I think we should take it out for some other areas too. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:47, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes for merchandise pages. We don't cover a lot of merch on the date pages, but it would be interesting to do so beyond just books and DVDs and xmas ornaments. —Scott (talk) 21:32, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Danny, what other areas were you thinking about taking them out of? -- Ken (talk) 03:27, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Now that I look at it again, Scott's example with Candice Bergen above really says everything that I wanted to say. Just link when it's directly related to the Muppets -- the kind of thing that we would put on that year's page.
That being said, we've got thousands of pages that don't follow that rule, so it's not like we're going to go and fix all of them now. If we agree on that guideline, then we'll just do that from now on, and then fix pages as we go along. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 04:35, 25 September 2008 (UTC)


My YouTube account was recently shut down for non-Muppet/Sesame related reasons. I'll be removing some dead links, please feel free to remove any I missed. I was using the account to source a number of items on the wiki. I'll be setting up another account where I can link to for sources if they need be. If there's something that needs a link, please let me know. —Scott (talk) 15:10, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

NYT article on Muppet relaunch

There's a great article in today's New York Times: "Disney Prepares to Use its Marketing Magic to Bring Back the Muppets".

It's an exciting article, which fleshes out some details on Disney's plans, which include merchandise, books, and live appearances, leading up to a movie in 2010. There's also some good info there that we can use on the wiki. Go check it out! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 21:53, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

WikiaStats extension test!

Good morning! I'm here to tell you about a new feature we're testing out on your wiki - Special:WikiaStats.

For every wiki at Wikia, we generate statistics that track the number of new editors, the number of articles, and various other information important to the life-cycle of a wiki. These stats are much more detailed than the in-built MediaWiki statistics page found at Special:Statistics.

As Wikia has grown we have tried to improve our statistics package to our users more robust data. As part of our latest update, each wiki will receive a special page where any logged in user can view detailed statistical information about their wiki. In addition, a number of the statistics have had their methods of calculation updated to be more accurate. We hope this will aid users in deciding where to focus their efforts.

The new Wikia statistics pages can be found at Special:WikiaStats on this wiki. (Previously the information could be found on In addition, there will be a central WikiaStats page which allows you to look up any wiki's stats, though this is not yet live.

You can find out more about the new stats page at Help:WikiaStats on Wikia Help.

We are planning to release this to the rest of Wikia next week. In the meantime, we would love to get your feedback on the new stats page - where it's not clear, numbers that don't look accurate, or suggestions for improvement. You can leave feedback here, but it would help us keep everything organised if most of the feedback was left on this Central Wikia forum thread. Thanks! Kirkburn (talk) 16:40, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Yay! We've been waiting for this for a long time... Thanks, George! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 21:48, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

One more technical question

Is it Miss Piggy's or Miss Piggy's? -- Ken (talk) 23:55, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

That's a tough one. I think Miss Piggy's looks weird, with half the word bluelinked and half not. But others disagree. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 00:59, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
When I add "'s" to a name, I always, blue link all of it, although I might have missed a few, like Danny I think the other one looks weird. Henrik (talk) 07:34, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I always use the blue linked apostrophes myself. It's easier to read and looks better to me. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 02:13, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't really have a preference, but I've seen it both ways. Technically the 's isn't part of a person's name, but you're right in that it looks weird because it's not highlighted. I'm sensing a trend here, but I'll wait in case some other people want to comment. -- Ken (talk) 05:04, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, we're not saying it's part of the name anyway, just part of the link (as when we change a link from Canada to read "Canadian" and so on). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 05:05, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
I usually keep it out for two reasons. 1) It's just easier to type [[Kermit the Frog]]'s than it is to type [[Kermit the Frog|Kermit the Frog's]]. 2) It creates a confusing situation when it's followed by another word that links to a different article. See for example, the first link on this page. For what it's worth, Wikipedia also leaves it out of the link and they have bots that run regularly to fix it. —Scott (talk) 04:39, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

The Bold and the Bluelinked

I was wondering what our policy is on how, where and when to bold. I've noticed that it's all over the place, but I keep forgetting to bring it up. A page like David Rudman has other pages in bold, but the album titles on Sing or video appearances on Elmo aren't. So I just wanted to ask before I start changing pages one way or the other. -- Ken (talk) 22:18, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Ugh -- I don't like all that bolding. I thought we italicized the names of albums, books and movies, and put quotes around songs. The only thing I usually make bold is the page title... -- Wendy (talk) 15:10, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, that's an old thing from the beginning of the wiki. We stopped doing that, but never went back and unbolded everything. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 16:25, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Cool! Stand by for unbolding! -- Ken (talk) 00:17, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

New edit tab

Hi guys -- I mentioned last week that we were going to test out putting a tab around the "Edit this page" button on the edit bar. We want to see if making the button more visible makes it more likely that people will make an edit. So I've got baseline data for the last couple weeks, and I'll compare that to how many edits are made over the next couple weeks.

The new tab is up now -- if you're not seeing it yet, then you may need to refresh your cache. Let me know if you've got any questions about this...... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 19:08, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Sid the Science Who?

Brad has created a bunch of pages for [[:Category:Sid the Science Kid Episodes|Sid the Science Kid Episodes]] and [[:Category:Sid the Science Kid Songs|Sid the Science Kid Songs]]. As of press time, we have 35+ pages on Sid the Science Kid, which I think may be excessive, given the tenuous connection with the Muppets.

I'd like us to figure out how much coverage the [[:Category:Digital Studio Productions|Digital Studio Productions]] are going to get on the wiki. Between Sid, Unstable Fables aend Frances, there's the potential for more pages about computer animated TV shows that are essentially unrecognizable as a Muppet-related project. (Check out the number of red links on 3 Pigs and a Baby to see where this could go.)

Personally, I think our coverage of these shows should be very limited. The Henson Company sold the Muppets in 2004, and they seem to be transitioning into a pretty average computer-animation studio. I think Sid the Science Kid has about as much to do with the Muppets as a Sesame Workshop show like Pinky Dinky Doo. Maybe even less -- at least Sesame Workshop still makes TV shows that have Muppets in them.

Shows like Between the Lions and The Book of Pooh have stronger Muppet connections than Sid the Science Kid does, but we don't have character and episode pages for those. I'm not sure that we have to exhaustively document a cartoon show just because it has the "Henson" name on it.

What do other folks think? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:34, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I think that's a good question, but it depends. Also, Sid, Frances, and Unstable Fables are not all comparable. Sid characters actually look faux-Muppety, unlike Frances. *However*, Sid, Frances, and The Skrumps are all not just computer animated series. They all use the Henson Digital Performance System, puppeteered pretty much the way most full-body creatures like Earl Sinclair or Muppets like Pa Gorg are: one doing the body movements, and one doing the face and/or voice. The difference is they're manipulating a real time digital puppet, not a physical one. So from that sense, I don't think that makes much difference as far as the general stuff is, and I don't see a reason *not* to have character and episode pages. For that matter, we have one page for a Sam Plenty character, Marion Weadle, and that has no Muppet or puppet connection at all (just Henson produced and with some puppeteers as live actors) and then there's MirrorMask. And we have a page for Greg Evigan just because he starred in the Brian Henson executive produced, Henson Company released sitcom Family Rules. So that inches into a larger question of what Henson Company stuff we cover (or if it's just "stuff we don't like as much.") If the latter, we do still have redlinks for characters on the Good Boy! page. :)
In my opinion, as digital puppets made by Henson (though not Muppets, because they're not physical and Disney owns the name), Sid and Frances character pages definitely belong in a way that Book of Pooh stuff doesn't. *But* I'd say there's no real reason for dozens of song pages (right now, in fact, all the say is which episode they were in, a sentence summary, and a date), kind of like the way we decided we didn't need a bunch of soundtrack pages for Creature Shop-effects movies. They're not Muppet songs, they're not Creature Shop songs, and there's no reason the info can't be included on the episode pages.
Now, Unstables Fables stuff is actually completely different. Pre-production is done by Henson, kind of, in that they hire the screenwriters and greenlight the stuff and the pre-production designs and the voice recording. All the animation is outsourced to India, though. Right now, we have pages for a few Unstable voices ([[Steve Zahn]], [[Nolan North]], [[Jesse McCartney]], etc.). While I personally think an argument could be made that Unstable Fables voices are as relevant as some of the recently deleted international stuff, those pages are usually interesting (or can be made interesting). But the characters, less so; the only page we have right now is [[Big Bad Wolf (3 Pigs and a Baby)]], which I created with much difficulty, and I'd personally be fine with vetoing character, song, etc. pages for that kind of thing.
Then there's The Blue Elephant, a two-year old feature which had already been theatrically released in Thailand and was just dubbed (and I'm not even sure how much involvement Henson had with that aspect, without checking the credits) and put out under "The Jim Henson Company: Discoveries" label. I hadn't meant for a page to be created yet, but Brad put some of the info there, including a red-link to dubbing actress Miranda Cosgrove (so the connection for any of the voices is that they dubbed a movie which has nothing to do with the Muppets and is only related to the Henson company as a "Discovery," which is definitely slimmer than the German voice for Judge Wapner on Muppets Tonight.)
So I guess in general, it's time to re-define what our purpose, to create a Wiki for "everything related to Jim Henson and the Muppets" now means. Or specifically, how much it covers stuff done by the Jim Henson Company that has nothing to do with the Muppets (before and after they sold the name). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 05:57, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm kind of thinking out loud, but I think that just as Disney Wiki doesn't stop after Walt Disney died, I think we should document projects that The Jim Henson Company is involved in, even if they don't involve traditional puppetry. I understand making a distinction between putting their name on something that they didn't actually create, but Sid sounds like a major project that the Henson company intends to get back in the PBS/Sesame Street demographic, as opposed to the adult shows, and the tween specials. But I understand if people want to keep this "Muppet Wiki", instead of "Henson Wiki".
Another question which kind of relates, since the Muppet name is now owned by Disney, but allowed to show up on Sesame merchandise, who are Eric Jacobson and Steve Whitmire actually working for when they bounce back and forth between Disney specials and Sesame Street? Are they Henson company employees who have an agreement to perform characters in those 2 universes that are no longer owned by the Henson company? I just bring this up because the Muppet universe has been carved up into so many pieces, that are owned by so many different companies, that it gets difficult to decide if we only want to cover the characters created by Jim Henson, or if we want to cover the things that the company he founded did and does in the future. -- Ken (talk) 06:31, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
It's a good question Danny, and I have actually been thinking about this after you brought up the questions about entries in the international voice actors. Personally I would think that the coverage of the future Henson digital projects should not be excluded from the wiki entirely, after all the company behind it are historical for the Muppets and the "Muppet technology" lead to the digital performersystem. However I don't think that there should be as much details, maybe just a page about the production and thats it.
I really think there should be a policy about this, because while I was writing this it struck me, that in theory people could start adding Disney productions on here as well, with the reasoning that we add non-Muppet stuff on the wiki from the company that have owned the Muppets, so why should the current owner not have it's productions listed. Henrik (talk) 07:02, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
While it's a legitimate issue, I don't think people adding Disney pages is an issue, since it's not just "some company that owned the muppets" but the company founded by Jim Henson and which still bears (and trades on) his name. By the same token, Disney Wiki is a mess and not a good model, but that's because Disney is a global empire which extends into so many areas and productions, whereas even if we fully documented Sam Plenty, Good Boy, etc., it would still be a drop in the bucket compared to the overall Muppet coverage. Apart from examining what "all things related to Jim Henson" means re the company, there's our other measuring stick: is this something of general interest to our readers on the whole? That's why we have Category:Frank Oz Films, Category:Connections, and pages like Sesame Street Cast in Other Roles, based on legitimate interest in knowing what other stuff Frank Oz and other folks have worked on (and in general, managing to tie those back to the Muppet world). I think that could be done with Sid, iffy with Frances, no on Sam Plenty, etc. We haven't taken a vote in ages, but depending how this develops (and since lately only a few users have really been active in current events discussions), that may or may not prove useful. Part of the issue, though, and also I think why Danny's concerned, is the fact that in general Muppet news has been scarce, so sites like Muppet Newsflash and some of the fan boards cling to any news from Henson (announcements of optioned properties, live action web shows, DVD re-issues of Gulliver's Travels, etc.) for lack of anything really Muppety to sink their teeth into. So it may be partially an issue of how much of that we want to encourage/discourage. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 20:17, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Yup. I see this stuff as the new Frackles -- something that only interests a select number of people on a particular fansite.
I think the criterion of "it's made by the company that Jim Henson founded" means that these projects always have some relevance to the wiki. I wouldn't ever say that we should stop covering the Henson Company's output. The question is just in the level of detail that we want to put in, which for me really means the number of individual pages.
Somewhere along the way, we decided that From the Balcony episodes would all be on one page, although FtB characters have their own category. I don't remember how we came up with that, but I think it's appropriate for that project.
It usually helps at this point in the discussion for me to start making lists :) -- so let me try to make a list of what "coverage" means for us. Here's a list of how many subcategories we currently have for various projects, as a measure of how much coverage that project gets on the wiki right now:
  • 26 subcats: Sesame Street
  • 11 : The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock
  • 9 : Sesamstraat
  • 8 : Bear in the Big Blue House, The Dark Crystal, The StoryTeller
  • 7 : Dinosaurs, Dog City, Labyrinth, Muppet Babies, Muppets Tonight, The Muppets' Wizard of Oz
  • 6 : Farscape, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss
  • 5 : The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Elmo's World, It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, The Muppet Movie, Muppets From Space, Sesamstrasse
  • 4 : The Animal Show, Big Bag, Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, Follow That Bird, The Great Muppet Caper, The Jim Henson Hour, Kermit's Swamp Years, Mother Goose Stories, The Muppets Take Manhattan
  • 3 : Animal Jam, The Hoobs, Mopatop's Shop, Puppet Up!, Sesame Beginnings, Tinseltown
  • 2 : The Ghost of Faffner Hall, The Land of Gorch, Late Night Buffet, Muppet*Vision 3D, Sam and Friends, The Secret Life of Toys, The Tale of the Bunny Picnic
  • 1 : Dr. Dolittle, Five Children and It, From the Balcony, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Muppet Monsters, Panwapa, Play With Me Sesame, Unstable Fables, The Witches
  • No category: Buddy, Donna's Day, Frances, Good Boy, Telling Stories with Tomie dePaola
On the whole, I think that matches up pretty well with how much we care about a particular project.
  • Everything from 4 subcats and up is pretty much core Muppet Wiki material -- the various puppet shows and movies, plus a few special Creature Shop productions (Dark Crystal, StoryTeller, Dinosaurs, Labyrinth, Farscape). The top three are obvious -- Sesame, Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock. Below that, it depends on how much effort someone is willing to put in to build the pages. Wubbulous World doesn't really deserve more coverage than The Jim Henson Hour, but we have a contributor who's psyched about building those pages.
  • We give 2 to 3 subcats for more marginal puppet projects -- shows that nobody really cares about or where there isn't a lot to say.
  • Creature Shop movies and miniseries get one category each for Characters. Actors just go in a general "Creature Shop Movies Actors" type category.
  • Stuff that we really don't like doesn't get any categories at all, even if it has puppets in it (like Tomie dePaola).
With that in mind, I find it hard to justify 3 subcategories for The Skrumps, and 3 for Sid the Science Kid.
I think we should give the digital productions the same level of coverage that we do for From the Balcony and the Creature Shop TV shows. -- a Characters category, and that's it. Episodes and songs can go on the main page about the production, like we do with From the Balcony.
Phew, that was a lot of work. But making lists always helps me think. :) -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:36, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Thankfully the first episode of Sid the Science Kid is all about teaching kids how to make lists. They don't know it, but they're creating a generation of wiki people. Anyway, I agree with that rundown. No need to have separate pages for Sid and Frumps episodes and songs. —Scott (talk) 23:46, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
That sounds fair (since in general the Muppety relevance lies in the characters and who's performing them more than anything else), and for the most part won't affect much except merging info. There might be more to say about Frances episodes than Sid at some point, but I think that's a Wubbulous situation. That is to say, as with some other things, if/when we ever get a hardcore Frances fan willing and able to make really good, generally interesting pages about the stuff and argue for it, I think that would be a different issue. But right now, with all the Sid stuff, it seems less because of actual passion for a show which barely aired today then "Finally, something new to fill up pages with." How about Unstable Fables, though? (Which as said, aren't digital puppet shows at all, just outsourced animation). Voices and no characters? -- Andrew Leal (talk) 00:05, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
I would say celebs only on Unstable Fables. We've got one page for a Character... but I could personally live without it. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 02:18, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, so far we have pages for the four "star names" and Nolan North and Tom Kenny (who are semifamous, at least to soap opera and Spongebob fans respectively), so probably just unlink everyone else unless they have another connection. That sound about right? And yeah, if we're going to discourage more character pages, we may as well nuke the one there. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:23, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Yup, I agree with all that. Another example of better living through wiki discussion. :) -- Danny@fandom (talk) 04:38, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

By the way, should we copy this discussion somewhere? I think we have a lot of discussions like this in Current events, where we reach a good consensus decision and establish a new policy... but then it ends up in the Current Events Archives, which is getting to be like the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. There's treasure in there somewhere...

So where could we put this particular policy discussion, so that we'll be able to refer to it a year from now when somebody wants to create episode pages for the next digital production? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 04:42, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Create a "Muppet Wiki:Henson Digital Productions policy" page (or something along those lines)? It can be short and just sum up the general conclusion, and a copy of this discussion can be parked there for easy reference. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 04:47, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
I copied it to Category talk:Henson TV Shows... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:03, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Do we still have the pages about what Muppet Wiki is and is not? I figured we could update that too, so people will know what we do and don't cover, and in how much detail. -- Ken (talk) 05:07, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Ha, this is as far as we got with it ;) —Scott (talk) 05:14, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, we got busy with something. I forget what. Oh, I know, we were building a wiki. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:19, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Actually, there's a lot more, but it's all on the talk page, and none of it was fully finalized to move to the article. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 05:20, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
This got me thinking, if/ when the Fraggle Rock movie finally gets released, should we have multiple subcats for that, or should everything go in the regular Fraggle Rock categories? --Minor muppetz 12:16, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
I think we can worry about that if/when we ever come to that. —Scott (talk) 14:16, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry for jumping in late here, but to me, I would put Sid the Science Kid on par with Dinosaurs. Both were produced by the Jim Henson Company. Both feature characters produced by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Both feature characters that aren't "Muppets". Both were made without Jim Henson himself. Both feature the work of Muppet/Creature Shop regulars performing the characters. Both feature characters brought to life with technology that Jim worked on and somewhat pioneered. Both feature collaboration of waldo-rigged facial controls and a body suit performer.
So if we say no to Sid songs, episodes, characters and merchandise, I would say that Dinosaurs should be trimed down too.
I know Sid is new and may not be as beloved by all the online Henson fans, but I think objectivly speaking it is as rightful to be covered here as many of the other topics. This is Muppet Wiki, but we do have some equally in-depth coverage of non-Muppet creature-based projects from the Henson Company (Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Dinosaurs, Storyteller). Why not Sid?
And I don't think the number of sub-cats we have shows how important something is (or should be). But rather reflects how much there is to talk about or how much subjective interest we the editors have. I would not say Sesamstraat is more important than Muppets Tonight because we've given it more coverage and depth here; and Muppets Wizard of Oz is higher than The Muppet Movie.
I know we don't want to become the Good Boy Wiki or turn into a Family Rules Wiki. But I think that all Jim Henson Company projects deserve their coverage here. I think that we should give full coverage to any new production produced by the Jim Henson Company, with puppets from the Creature Shop that are puppeteered (either flease-and-foam, anamatronic, or digital). So Pajanimals, Skrumps, Animal Jam, Dinosaurs, Puppet Up, Frances are all fair game. Things that may be missing some of those qualities -- such as no puppets (Sam Plenty or Unstable Fables) or no Henson producing (such as The Flintstones, Hitchhikers Guide or Where the Wild things Are) or who knows (Jim Henson Discoveries) -- would get limited/minimal coverage. We cover films simply directed by Frank Oz and have pages for film that the Creature Shop recolored the sky in. I think covering episodes, characters, merchandise and other items that are directly related to projects, characters and worlds created, produced and puppeteered by the Henson Company and Creature Shop should be within the scope of the wiki. -- Brad D. (talk) 20:55, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I think we're in agreement that some things deserve fuller coverage than others. You're drawing the line at Family Rules and Sam Plenty; I'm drawing the line at Sid and the Skrumps. You think that Sid is on the same level of interest as Dinosaurs; I disagree.
In the end, I think it comes down to a matter of taste. Is the Henson Digital Puppeteering System a new form of puppeteering, or another way of producing computer animation? It's both, really. You feel like it's puppeteering, and a cousin to Dinosaurs; I think it's animation, like Unstable Fables. So we draw the line differently.
Either way we go, we're not talking about taking any information off the wiki. We can set up the Sid the Science Kid page the same way that we've formatted the From the Balcony page, with all of the episode and song info contained in the table. So the "coverage" is exactly the same, as far as the words and pictures that will be included on the wiki.
The only question is whether to have those words and pictures on one page, or spread across 30 pages. Does it bring the wiki more value to have those as separate pages, or in one place? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:58, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
To clarify, just like stop-motion animation is *not* the same as real time puppeteering of a marionette, so these Henson Digital things are neither on the same level as Dinosaurs or Unstable Fables but a bit in between and with a whole lot more in common with eerie mocap movies like The Polar Express and Beowulf than any of the above (using the exact same mocap suits even). There's also a big difference in terms of sheer history between Sid and Dinosaurs. Dinosaurs has been around long enough to be rediscovered, have awards, we have evidence that Jim Henson personally was pitching the show (or some version of the concept) before his death, to receive critical attention and for fans to appreciate. It's in fact not clear exactly how much the Creature Shop "built" any of the digital characters outside of the technology (how much has been turned over to other animators and artists and so on). Sid has been on the air all of three days, and how many of us have actually seen the episodes? Right now, the pages just parrot in their entirety or paraphrase info from other promotional sites, and Henson's been doing a pretty good job of promoting the show without us (though "Sid" banners have been appearing regularly on the main Wiki page as well). If/when enough people have seen the show to expand it beyond, individual pages might make sense. But may I also point out something like Play with Me Sesame. We could use more expanded coverage of it in general, but we haven't created full episode pages (just content entry for the DVD), because outside of access, in general there's not much to say about the "March with Bert" or whatever the other new segments are on a regular basis that can't be said on that page or hasn't been said elsewhere. I think Danny's right, it's an issue not of what's said right now but where it's included. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 23:12, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I missed this conversation earlier too, but I'm sort of against limiting the wiki content artificially, and I think it's artificial to start picking and choosing Henson productions to cover or even in what depth we cover them. It feels uncomfortably like we're heading towards the "notability" arguments they have on wikipedia when we say "this show deserves an episode guide but this doesn't". I don't see any reason why Sid shouldn't get covered here, and in as much depth as somebody wants to cover it. That said, I quite agree with Andrew that it can be on one page for now until somebody comes along who is passionate about it and can expand it beyond basic info; I just don't think we should make a policy that certain shows only deserve so much space. -- Wendy (talk) 02:38, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
This is actually the kind of judgement that we make all the time. We have pages for writers and composers, but not for sound editors. We don't have character or actor pages for movies where the Creature Shop contributed effects. We don't track background puppeteers or toy recalls. Some Muppet Mentions are interesting enough to warrant a page; some go on the Minor Mentions page. We're always making choices, big and small, about what to include and what to leave out, what gets a page and what doesn't.
It seems like we're all pretty much in agreement that the information belongs here, but should be consolidated onto one page. So I don't mean to start the conversation over again about how we make this particular choice... I just wanted to point out that this wasn't an unusual kind of conversation for us. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 16:55, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikia updates

Hey folks. There's always a lot going on in the world of Wikia, so I want to take a minute to update you on some things.

We started testing a new way to handle redirects last month, to help raise our Google ranking. It turned out to be a great success -- every search term that I tracked improved over the four weeks. I was also tracking a control group to compare, and those just showed typical random rises and falls. I'm really pleased with the results, and this is something that we're going to roll out Wikia-wide over the next couple weeks. So once again, Muppet Wiki leads the way. Hooray!

Site stability
The tech folks changed our front end loadbalancers a few weeks ago -- don't ask me, I don't know what it means either, but it's supposed to help our site performance. Unfortunately, any tech change means that there are unexpected glitches that need to get fixed. In this case, it caused a series of problems -- slower page loads for logged-in users, people being logged out for no reason, and Opera users not being able to access the site.

This was compounded by some unrelated problems -- an ISP outage, some database overloads, and a new spotlight system that overloaded the ad server. From the tech end, these are each unrelated problems -- but from the community's point of view, it's just one damn thing after another.

The slow page loads and Opera problems turned out to be complicated and hard to fix, so for now, we've switched back to the old loadbalancer system until we can figure it out. Hopefully, that means we'll get a minute to catch our breath and have some stability on the site before we make more changes. Next week, we need to make some more changes to the ad server that will hopefully go pretty smoothly.

Then (probably two weeks from now) we're going to upgrade to the new version of MediaWiki, v1.13. That will obviously come with its own share of glitches and bug fixes, but overall, it's supposed to have a bunch of performance fixes that will make things better in the long run.

So there's a lot of things that need to get fixed. We need to put some new things in place so that we don't have any more periods like we did over the last few weeks, when the site is down practically every day. It'll take a minute to make all those things happen -- but we're on the right track. I hope you guys know that I'm speaking up every time there's a site outage -- reporting problems, and pushing for fast fixes.

Wikia Newsletter
One new thing that we may see coming up soon is a test for a Wikia Newsletter -- a new way for Wikia staff to communicate with all of the users when there's something new. One thing we're really missing is a good way to tell people what's going on when there's a problem, and what's coming up when there's something new to be excited about.

The community team is working on a new way to do this -- a newsletter that will be published on every wiki simultaneously. It'll show up as a page on the wiki -- probably Muppet Wiki:Wikia Newsletter. When there's an addition to the newsletter, it'll show up as an item on Recent changes, so the folks who watch RC will know that there's something new to read.

This is very early testing -- we want to know if this works, and whether people like it and use it. So right now, it's going to be tested on five wikis, including us. (I always volunteer us for tests that I think sound cool.) Last I heard, it was going to start later this week or next week, so you may see it popping up in RC.

So that's all the interesting stuff I can think of. While I've got my Wikia hat on, if there's anything I can tell you, let me know. There's a lot going on right now, lots of good stuff percolating. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:06, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I've been curious about something. How has the new ad situation been going since the changeover 2 months ago? -- Ken (talk) 02:26, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
It's been going well so far. I can't get very deep into specifics, but our revenue has gone up just the way we expected it to. We're starting to attract premium advertisers, which is gradually lifting us out of Google-ad land. We're now working on version 2 of the ad process -- making it work better on the back end so that we can deliver the ads that work best, and dump the ones that don't. This version won't be anything that the user will notice on the front end -- it's just behind-the-scenes stuff. We've still got a ways to go, but we're moving in the right direction. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:06, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Cool! Thanks! -- Ken (talk) 06:16, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Another update -- We're testing out changing the edit tab, to make it more visible. It's a change in our css, so it's a pretty simple thing to turn on, and then I'm going to compare the edit rate over the next couple weeks vs. the last couple weeks.
I just put it up a second ago, and now that I look at it, I want to tweak the look of it some more... so it'll change again in a few minutes. I'll let you know when the actual version is up. :) -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:39, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Apostrophes in non-English titles

I've been cleaning up some Dutch Ernie and Bert LP's, and I was wondering about something. How do we alphabetize something like the album 'k Wist Niet Dat Je Kwaad Werd!? By the "k", or the letter that the apostrophe stands for? I figured this might come up with other non-English titles. -- Ken (talk) 05:34, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

I think we do it by the K. If an English language album was called 'Nuff Said, we'd alphabetize it under N... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:58, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! After I wrote that, I was thinking of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, but I guess the lowercase "k" was what was throwing me. -- Ken (talk) 21:24, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Spacing for Initials

Looking around, I've noticed a general inconsistency regarding initials in names, specifically spacing. Off and on, we've had pages like J.D. Smith (moved by Danny from "J. D. Smith") and A. A. Milne (moved by Peter from "A.A. Milne"). We have B.P. Richfield and George H. W. Bush, and so on, and names like Tolkien show up in both forms (J.R.R. and J. R. R.) So, what's the general consensus for what to use? I did some checking, and formally at least, the old rules haven't changed, requiring a space after every punctuation mark, including periods used in initials. Both MLA (as shown here) and APA styles agree on that. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 23:25, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Good question! I'm always happy when you spot inconsistencies like this.
I respect the MLA / APA styles, but I think they're written for print rather than computer screens... things look different on a screen. Personally, I like putting the initials together; I think it looks cleaner. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:30, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I was always taught that a space goes in-between initials, but I do think they look better together in digital form. Or maybe I'm just lazy. I'd say we should go by style standards until we can find a better reason that justifies a digital alternative. —Scott (talk) 02:54, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Looking around some more, I noticed B. D. Wong was also moved (from B.D. Wong, by Brad), H. B. Gilmour (from H.B. Gilmour, by Wendy with an "odd spacing" comment), and A. B. Cito (from A.B. Cito, by Scott in November), and I think that's the biggest issue. Whatever we do, we need to be consistent *and* we need to let other users know why we're doing it that way. Instead, pages either remain the way the person created them, or are moved if someone else comes along and disagrees, no edit summary or discussion. I'd favor the style guide myself, since in general, I don't think punctuation rules need to be abandoned just because the text is on a computer. However, looking around, a lot of places online ignore that rule; the ABC bio for T.R. Knight, for example. In some cases, like k.d. lang or B.B. King, it's a deliberate choice (and generall, my own feeling would be to follow the rules unless it's fairly clear that the lack of spaces was intended), but in other cases, it's not clear if it's a choice or just a casual usage. Wikipedia in general spaces, and there's also the fact that we observe the rule when it concerns things like P. Kevin Strader and Michael J. Fox (it's just sometimes ignored when more than one initial is involved), and when three initials are involved, like Tolkien, I personally think it looks a lot messier. But on the whole, I think the most important thing is that there's community consensus on what to use and that if we're going to do it our own way, it's worth documenting somewhere (since it's not the first time confusion has occurred because people aren't on the same page). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:31, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
We didn't really bring this to a conclusion... I agree that we should have a standard. I think it looks better on a screen to have no space between -- J.R.R. Tolkien vs J. R. R. Tolkien. But I'm not super hot about it, so I'd be willing to go with it if people feel strongly the other way. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:21, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I'll ask Wendy to weigh in, since she did some moves as well, but my glance through the history (I noticed J. P. Grosse too), suggests that for three out of four users or more (Peter, Wendy, Scott, Brad), it's intuitive to include the space and the lack thereof is confusing. So if we go the other way, we need to create a policy page or something to make it absolutely clear why we're doing it and to point to folks who are confused, since the standard writing rules (and even Wikipedia, mostly) do it the other way (IMDb has gone back and forth, and right now doesn't include spaces). My own inclination is to space when using full names, but when dealing with things like P.J. and D.K. (or any fictional character where the spacing seems to be consistently the other way), I'd say leave as is but make the spaced version a redirect. That's not according to the strict rule, but I think that makes more sense as an aid to users (and where usually we have no written than when applied to actual people like A. A. Milne and J. R. R. Tolkien, where the majority of the world spaces their names (as mentioned in past discussions, Muppet Wiki straddles the lines between formal and informal application of certain rules, often bowing in favor of what looks better or works better for the average user, and looking at the history of the page moves, it appears that the average editor expects spaces and will move a page if they come upon it, unless told why not to). Any cases where it's clear that a specific spacing is intentional and not just what someone decided to use are worth pointing out on the talkpage as evidence, the same way we do with character name spelling and production titles and so on. That's what sounds workable to me anyway. I kind of wish more people had noticed this discussion (and hopefully some may still weigh in), since as I said, I'm really most concerned with weighing what most users will expect and type with accuracy and so on (I've used both on the Wiki, depending also to some extent on what redlinks use and so on), but based on the past cases, it does appear to be the other way around on the whole. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 23:53, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I've been following this since the beginning, but I didn't want to say anything, because I've never been quite sure what the rule is myself. I would go with what the rule would be for books, but I know that sometimes things can change when you're typing on a website. So I figured I'd let the English majors and computer people discuss it. -- Ken (talk) 02:10, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
As Andrew guessed, I'm more comfortable having the spaces, and would instinctively choose that route. Aside from a few select names which I've gotten used to seeing both ways (eg. Tolkien), the names look wrong to me without the spaces. Then again I like two spaces after my periods.
I think whichever we choose we should be consistent. Either all initials have spaces or all don't. Making it one way for real people and one way for characters is confusing. And we might as well create the redirects from the opposite spacing choice to minimize people moving pages around :). -- Wendy (talk) 02:34, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Good point on both consistency and redirects. I was just throwing ideas out (and for that matter, I think one reason it looks odd is because we still have P. Kevin Strader and so on, it's just when there's more than one initial together that we're running into problems). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 02:35, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Okay... it looks like I'm the only person who likes it without the space, so I'm happy to concede on this. We'll put spaces in. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:01, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Video Clips

Hey, Scott, has some really old Ernie and Bert clips. Can we link to the actual clip, or do we just put "Online:" on the E&B sketch page and let people search for it once they get there? -- Ken (talk) 03:09, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

That's a good discussion for the community. Should we link directly to the clips? I just added one as a reference for Rosita, but with such a confusing and long URL, I wonder if the format will change as the site evolves. They're still calling it a Beta version. —Scott (talk) 03:12, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a good question. Looking at the site, I'm not sure that the Beta thing means they'll completely rework the video player (I doubt it, in fact, but can't find any e-mail to ask). Something which would simplify it somewhat, though, is a template ala the YouTube one. I checked, the first port of the URL is always the same. After the last equal sign is a long string. I don't know whether some users might find that harder than copying and pasting (as some always did with YouTube), but if the full URL is posted, we can always fix it. I just came up with [[Template:SSvideo]] as a test (reworking it from Scott's YouTube code), and tried a link out at Muppet Wiki:Sandbox. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:24, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Another issue is that direct linking works, but only if one found the clip through a search or one of the many browse categories (characters, themes, etc.) Otherwise, say one watches one clip and then chooses another on the side, or from the main video page, the URL doesn't change accordingly. Not really a problem as long as people pay attention, but. Right now, my own thought would be that direct linking is worthwhile when it's a sketch that's not otherwise available or is used to source something (as Scott did), but for things like "Put Down the Duckie," which are widely available in various formats, I'd just note it's inclusion on the site. How's that sound? -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:30, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
And in a related question, now that SS has 3 official video sites (YouTube, and, if we see that clips are playing in multiple places, should we mention all of them? I'm thinking that later on, one place might pull a clip, and we might not find out about it right away. -- Ken (talk) 03:35, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
YouTube, even as an official source, shouldn't count, since it's just a secondary distribution/promotion means, and in general, it's the least reliable for many reasons (outages, the workshop can private certain things, etc.) Worth linking to the general channel, but not tracking what's on it, in my opinion anyway, since it's also the easiest for any person to see for themselves what's there. To date, I don't think anything has been pulled from the video player and seems fairly unlikely on the whole. I don't think has any unique show clips, it just goes to the other site (though they may have some behind the scenes stuff hidden somewhere, and do have opening themes for the international shows embedded on the relevant pages). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:55, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
My impression is that will eventually go away as soon as the new website has been up and running for a while. It was announced as a beta version for better things coming later, which I presume is the new site, itself which is still claiming to be a beta site.
As for where and when to link to them, I agree with Andrew's assessment: sourcing and rarities. —Scott (talk) 04:38, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
It looks like it's happened. Searching on Google under "Sesame Street Video Player" goes right to, and I can't find any trace of a video player on anymore. So now, do we change everything to the new (and what appears to be permanent) site? I know this will be a big project, and I've already started with double-checking Ernie and Bert's pages. -- Ken (talk) 04:22, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure that's such a big issue, actually. The new site is still using the exact same Sesame Street Video Player technology, only it's part of the main site now and direct linking is available and so on. So we either merge the pages, or continue to use the Video Player page to track video portions which are available through the Video Player (only now, if desired, we can store the URls there too). The latter makes sense to me, and means there's no real reason to change any statements that the clip is abailable online via the video player (only anything that uses the old URl, and I think only the player page itself did that). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 04:51, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, that makes sense to me too. I assume all the clips got transferred over? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:49, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm guessing they have, but that's what I'm checking now, starting with Ernie and Bert's Apartment page. -- Ken (talk) 21:43, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Sandbox namespace

I just created a new namespace for Sandbox items. Scratchpad-style articles that we've started and categorized at Category:Sandbox have, up until now, been included in the article count for the wiki's real encyclopedia articles and upon a basic search. They don't really belong in those places, so we've now got a Sandbox: prefix to place them in. In the future, instead of "foobar (sandbox)", please create new sandbox pages as Sandbox:foobar. —Scott (talk) 02:10, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Hey, that's a great fix as far as those pages contributing to our total count. However, looking at some of the entries, I wonder, is there a way to clean that up? Not to discourage experimenting, and it may not matter now that it won't affect the page count, but some have been there for over a year, with no discussion on a talk page, so that it's not really clear what the experiment is or what it was there for and they basically seem to have been forgotten and abandoned. Some are self-explanatory info or image parking, there until something is confirmed or someone has time to finish it. Some, like Ventriloquism, were just stuck there because the person didn't know how to class it. And there's a bunch, like Sandbox:Opposites, which I think Brad created in response to some discussion but never mentioned at the time, nobody noticed, and the original user seems to have forgotten about. I don't have anything specific in mind, I'm just wondering how you feel about it. Would it be worth, say a reminder either on the user page or in a talkbox, just to clarify whether it's something that was forgotten (and might be worth restarting), whether it's no longer needed, or if it's mostly just a personal list for the benefit of the user (in which case, I'm wondering if they should be moved to the user page, or maybe, as a better means of keeping track, for both that user and the community, whether creating user name spaces for some sandboxes would be useful, but then again it could just as easily encourage all kinds of fanfics and lunacy). Anyway, I'm mostly just typing out loud, so to speak. Mainly, it seems like some of these sandboxes are there because the user wasn't confident enough to put it in a category or whatever, so instead of being improved, they just sit there (like Sandbox:Productions that have been edited on video). -- user:aleal 02:22, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Yup, I agree. My goal at this moment was to move everything to a place where it all made sense. I would think each item that deserves attention should be given some discussion on its respective talk page so we can figure out which stuff we want to make into real articles and which of those still need work and how we can move them forward. —Scott (talk) 02:27, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
We could set up a "last 10 edited" box like we have on Active talk pages and Citations needed. I think that helps to separate out the current pages from the dead ones. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 18:38, 12 August 2008 (UTC)


For anyone who's ever used the <gallery> tag and has noticed that there's not a lot of space above the table on the page, I've fixed it so we don't have to keep adding an extra space anymore. —Scott (talk) 00:57, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Hooray! Another example of better living through wikis. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 01:05, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Updated Sesame Street Website!

Go to [1] to see what's going on! Webkinz Mania 12:40, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

OMG! The new Sesame Street website is already up already. I thought I was going to have wait till August 11th when the new season starts, but I guess not unless they are adding more. This is awesome and the video clips are the greatest. YAY! --Rocket Stevo 15:32, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
And it has video clips featuring Roosevelt Franklin, Don Music, and Teeny Little Superguy! --Minor muppetz 15:39, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Yeah! Classic clips and Presents clips that we haven't seen for a while unless we have PBS Kids Sports. You could almost spend the whole day watching all the clips. And they added more clips with Kermit in them too than last time. --Rocket Stevo 15:56, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
BREAKING NEWS! Click here: [2]. Webkinz Mania 16:41, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Interestingly, on the videos section, when searching videos by character, there are images of the main characters, followed by a "more characters" section. This section includes a few characters that there are no results for, including Leslie Mostly and Aristotle. Hopefully videos with them will be added soon. --Minor muppetz 16:58, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
As far as I cna tell, most if not all of the same sketches found on the Sesame Street Video Player are included, with same titles and descriptions. On sketch pages should we continue mentioning the sketches being included there in addition to the new site, or just replace mention of Sesame Street Video Player with --Minor muppetz 17:04, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Also, did they take down the Video Player on, or at least make it harder to find? I don't see it on the main page like it was before, but I can still get to it from the link on the wiki. -- Ken (talk) 04:11, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Just an FYI -- Sesame Workshop is launching two new sites -- and The Street site has all of the show clips - both new and classic, plus a ton of cool new games and features for kids. The video featured on the Workshop site does include clips from former CTW/SW shows like Square One and the old The Electric Company, represents international co-productions, illustrates the development, research and production process, etc. The official debut of both sites is still August 11, the same day season 39 premiers. Also, there is a new Sesame Street Channel on You Tube which is pretty neat -- new clips are being added on an ongoing basis. Carriemiller76 21:09, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
I've been noting on many pages that certain sketches can be viewed on this website, similar to how we've done it for the Sesame Street Video Player, but now that I think of it, I think that it is possible to direct-link to clips. If that's possible, should we put the links there, or just do what we've been doing with the previous video player? And one thing that I've learned thanks to this player is that Harvey Kneeslapper has actualy sung a song on the show ("Tell a Joke", the title listed on the site), but whenever I click on it I cna't get it to load. --Minor muppetz 15:03, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

The Muppets

So folks don't miss it: I started a discussion on Talk:The Muppets about how to leverage that page for extra Google juice. Please come check it out... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:41, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

We decided on that talk page to move the content from The Muppets to the main page, so we could redirect Muppet, Muppets and The Muppets to the main page and build up the Google juice. I'm excited to see if this makes an impact on our Google ranking!
I made a sandbox page at User:Toughpigs/Main page for how the main page looks with the Muppet content. I put the text at the bottom of the left column, and the pictures at the bottom of the right column. When the box ad appears at the top right, I think it'll make the page pretty much even at the bottom. We may want to revise the text a bit now that it's on the main page, but I think the layout works fine. What do other folks think? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 15:27, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Is there any way to put the picture of Kermit peaking through the page directly under the description of the word "Muppet?" So it would be in the center, rather than to the left? I know that's not how we typically do pictures, but I think it would look better there than under all of the other pictures. --Justin 14:19, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Any reason why the text disappeared from the main page? I'm guessing it was just a glitch or something. -- Nate (talk) 15:04, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
If you mean the stuff about the name, it's been moved to Sandbox:The Muppets. It was placed there after the decision to redirect, but without really looking at the text itself, which was repetitious, not especially informative or interesting to first time visitors, and just added clutter. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 17:51, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
That being said, I would love to have some actual intro text about the Muppets in that space on the main page. It would be good for Google results, if nothing else. Like, a little summary of all of Muppet history, from Sam and Friends on. I could write it, but I'm kinda hoping that somebody will start it. :) -- Danny@fandom (talk) 18:31, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Merchandise category alphabet tricks

Hey folks: I've been adding a bunch of merchandise pages lately, and I've realized that our approach to alphabetical order is a little confusing in those categories. Before I get into it, I acknowledge that I was probably the one who came up with this system in the first place. It just took me a couple years to realize that I'd made a mistake. You know how it is.

Anyway, here's an example: Sesame Street Housewares. For the Sesame merchandise categories, a lot of articles start with "Sesame Street" -- so we've been trying to sort them under the first letter of the object. "Sesame Street cookie jars" is under C, "Sesame Street trays" is under T.

The problem is, that's not really that easy to read... especially when "Sesame Street collectibles (Enesco)" is under E, and "Sesame Street plastic mugs (Applause)" is under M. Browsing through the category, it's just hard for your eye to settle on the letter you're supposed to be looking at.

I'd like to propose sorting those under S, and letting the chips fall where they may. So you'd end up with a list like this:


  • Sesame Street cake pans
  • Sesame Street cookie jars (Applause)
  • Sesame Street cookie jars (Treasure Craft)
  • Sesame Street dishes (Newcor)
  • Sesame Street keys
  • Sesame Street mugs (Gund)

And so on. In that category, there'd also be a couple things listed under E: the Elmo Animated Lamp, and the Ernie and Bert lamp.

I think that would be an easier system to browse through, and it would save everyone the trouble of trying to figure out what to do with the category tags.

If we decide to go with this option, we don't necessarily have to change everything over right away -- I know that may be a big job. I'm happy to do the work, as long as I don't have to do it all at once.

What do you guys think? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:25, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

That sounds good. I'd kind of been wondering what the system was, since I noticed that some things were under the brand name, and some were under the item's name. This is good, so we can keep similar things made by multiple companies (like hand puppets) together.
And I love the stuff you've been adding! Keep it up! -- Ken (talk) 06:38, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

New YouTube Videos

New Muppet videos have followed Sam Eagle's Stars & Stripes FOREVER!!!! Postings from Beaker, Swedish Chef and Gonzo went up yesterday 7/16/08 -- Neffle 07:39, 17 July 2008 (UTC)


Hi guys -- I've been working for a long time on figuring out ways to make our Google search rankings go up... It's been a long-standing frustration, dating back to before I was working for Wikia. We get good rankings for some pages, but we should be #1 for Kermit the Frog and The Muppet Show, and we're not. I think the problem is the way that MediaWiki handles redirects -- it shows wiki/Kermit_the_Frog and wiki/Kermit as separate pages, so Google gets confused about what to bring up as results.

So after literally months of banging my head on this, I think we came up with a solution! We tested it yesterday on a couple of wikis to make sure the functionality works, and today I turned it on for us.

The change is: When you search for Kermit, instead of doing a "soft" redirect (showing wiki/Kermit), we're delivering a "hard" redirect -- going directly to wiki/Kermit_the_Frog. But we can't take the redirect link away from people, so that's being delivered separately as a javascript cookie. Anyway, blah blah blah -- go type Kermit into the search box and you'll see how it works. It functions the same way, and most people won't even notice the difference.

So that just got turned on, and I'm tracking six pages that aren't ranking as high as they should -- the main page, Kermit the Frog, the Swedish Chef, The Muppet Show, Statler and Waldorf and The Muppet Christmas Carol. Google re-indexes our pages about once a week, so we should see the redirect URLs dropping out of the search results over the next few weeks. At that point, I'm hoping we see a big rise in our results. Cross your fingers.

So let me know if you see the redirect stuff working in a surprising or unfortunate way. I think it's working well, but if you see any bugs, then I can get 'em fixed. Keep them fingers crossed. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 01:39, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

I've found a little glitch in the redirect thing... the javascript is supposed to clear as soon as you go to the next page, but it's not clearing properly -- it's just timing out after a minute or so. So the speedy editors among us may have noticed that sometimes the (Redirected from xx) message sticks around for a couple pages before vanishing.
I told Nick about it; he's the tech wizard who's been working on this. He's working on it, and we'll be able to fix this soon. I just wanted to give folks a heads-up if you noticed it -- it'll be fixed. I'll keep you posted if anything else shows up. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:15, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

In Development

Is there any reason we can't add more categories to In Development articles? --Trogga 08:34, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

See Category talk:In Development and Category:In Development. —Scott (talk) 08:42, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I just looked there, and it's not really explained on that talk page -- it just references an old conversation, which is probably in the Current Events archive somewhere. Does anyone know if we actually had a single discussion that explains our attitude about In Development, or has it just evolved? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 19:20, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
It's actually the reverse of an evolution. Originally, the idea was not to include anything in any other category until it came out, which was something Danny and other admins enforced in comments (see here), but I can't find where the original statement was, which may well have just been on user talk pages rather than current events (that was back in 2006, when a lot of policies were just "We like it this way, and we'll remind people in edit summaries" as opposed to actual pages and rules for reference, and since there were fewer editors, "Hey, I think we should do it this way." "Okay, fine by me" conversations outnumbered current event discussions). Gradually, other users either forgot, ignored it, or just plain didn't know and admins forgot or had a harder time keeping up with it, until six months back or so when we decided the entire In Development area needed to be more closely watched, sourced, and verified. -- 20:56, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Ian made an interesting point on his talk page. We've currently got Unfinished Projects categories as sub-categories in various places. Unfinished Movies is a subcat of Movies, Unfinished TV Shows is a subcat of TV Shows, Unfinished Merchandise is in Merchandise, etc.
We've got it that way so that people can find that information. Right now, we're not really linking to the In Development category at all. We set that stuff apart so that we wouldn't confuse people about what existed and what didn't (yet)... but we may have gone so far that we're actively hiding information that people would want to read.
It would be easy to split In Development up into the major subcats -- Movies In Development, Merchandise In Development, etc -- and then have those be subcats in Movies / TV Shows / Merchandise. That way, people browsing through Movies will be able to find the In Dev stuff. What do folks think? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 21:15, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
It's a thought. I was initially thinking of exact parallels which would be problematic, but more general subcats (since a lot of stuff falls under merchandise) makes more sense than "Books in Development" and so on, since specific types will vary. With things like TV Shows especially, though, there's long periods where such a category would be absolutely empty, since in general "In Development" is a temporary category, until the project is released or clearly abandoned. Movies make a bit more sense (especially since things like Fraggle Rock have been in there for years, and may continue to be until it comes out or is definitely dead). Now that I think of it, instead of subcats, how about a list? List whichever movie/TV/toy products are currently in development and place in the appropriate category (also minimizing subcat/article issues), or a single list, ala Optioned Properties, and put in whichever categories are relevent at the time (movies, merchandise, TV, etc., and temporarily remove the category if there aren't any TV shows currently listed, and so on), and to avoid issues when something like a stage show or something unusual which doesn't fit in a major category crops up. I'll think about this some more, and see what everyone else thinks, but right now, since "In Development" is a more nebulous and changing category (albeit slowly at times), that makes more sense to me than subcats, while at the same time solving the navigation issues. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 21:24, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't see the point of splitting up In Development. It's a temporary placeholder: if it gets made, we put it in a real category. If it doesn't, we place it in the appropriate Unfinished category. —Scott (talk) 22:50, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Stuff can stay in the In Development category for a long time... Street Gang has been there since March 2006. Unbelievably, the Fraggle Rock (movie) page was created on December 5, 2005 -- our first day! So given a long enough lead time and an early press leak, a legitimate project might be in that category for years.

I just think it would be helpful to expose that stuff a little bit more. Right now, it's completely isolated from the rest of the category tree. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:58, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

I just thought of another option for this which might satisfy all three of us -- just put the In Development category as a subcat of Movies, TV Shows, Books, etc. So someone browsing through the Movies category will see Creature Shop Movies, Muppet Movies, Sesame Street Movies, Unfinished Movies and In Development. I think it's inconsistent to have Unfinished Movies in there, and not In Development Movies (or some equivalent).
If we add categories to the In Development category, then we could keep all the In Dev stuff together in one folder, but still expose the content a little more in the category tree. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:04, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
That sounds perfect to me (and coincidentally, the solution that would require the least work). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 23:10, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Awesome. Isn't it nice when things work out that way? If I can get an amen from Scott, then we're good to go. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 00:07, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Image links

Wendy just discovered a cool trick that's kind of amazing we haven't figured out by now. Placing #REDIRECT in an image description to go to the article that the image is about. I wouldn't want to do this everywhere, but I think it finally solves the problem I've had with disambig pages. Disambiguation shouldn't have any links other than where you're "soft"-redirecting to -- that's why we don't link Sam and Friends or Sesame Street on Henrietta; we want people to get to what they're looking for rather than get sidetracked by other links. Having the images link to the description pages has always been a deterrent for me because people like to click on pictures. So for people who don't know wikis, they get a confusing image description page instead of what they were looking for. So the click result for images on disambig pages will be the article you're looking for, and if you really want the image description page, you'll still get the redirect from x at the top of the page. Cool, huh? —Scott (talk) 00:08, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Hey, I think the new image redirect thing is cool and all. But it might be a good idea not to use it for everything. What happens if the picture is changed, with a different address? I've been meaning to redo Artie Springer, for example, using a screengrab of the character on the show and moving the publicity photo to the Joey Mazzarino page. Not a big deal, and easily undone/fixed when a new image is added, but something to think about since apparently this is going to be used on a mass scale. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:17, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I totally agree about not doing it everywhere. One other thing I found I had to compromise on was Are We There Yet?. We have a picture of Sing-Along Travel Songs to represent the song, but if that picture redirected to the song, it would be misleading for its inclusion on the album page. So I uploaded Image:Disambig-arewethere.jpg just for use on the disambig page. I've only done the As so far with disambigs, so we'll see if this works. —Scott (talk) 01:25, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I think this is awesome. I've been wishing for this forever; it's amazing we never figured it out. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:41, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
The other problem is that it becomes utterly recursive. Say I go to The Exciting Adventures of Super Grover, and want to check the image info. Clicking the image redirects me to the same page, but includes a link to the jpg at the top. I have to click that to get the file information. In some areas, this may just be an annoyance. But it should definitely be avoided with, for example, images used in the Sesame Street episode guides, since it would make it more difficult to see which pages already link to that image (and right now, more than one character or sketch page links to images of that kind). It's especially bad with something like Sesame Street coloring books or any similar gallery page. Clicking the thumbnail doesn't enlarge the image, just redirects, and that's frustrating to everyone, casual visitor and editor alike. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 05:54, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I totally agree about Sesame Street coloring books and similar gallery pages. The point there is to have a collection of images to look at, the purpose of which is defeated if clicking on them just refreshes the page. —Scott (talk) 08:33, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Scott and Andrew, I think it's super neat, but when I went to the page for Joe Mathieu, and I clicked on his self portrait, it just refreshed the page, and that annoyed me. Because there is no real article on him, just a gallery of his images. -- Nate (talk) 17:29, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Okay, fair enough. I don't want it to be recursive either. I was just going through the Joe Mathieu page and linking the book images to the book pages -- I think that's a good use of this trick. I included the Joe Mathieu portrait without really thinking about where it was going. I added a redirect for the Who's Who on Sesame Street pic because that was on Mathieu's page.
Outside of a gallery, I don't think the picture promises anything -- so recursive images on some article pages are okay with me. When you hover over the picture, the tooltip still says the name of the image page -- so people won't be thinking that they can click on the picture on Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree and it'll take them somewhere special. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 18:05, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to go ahead and undo the recursive gallery images for the coloring book and Mathieu's portrait. For the others, it's not a matter of promising anything, and won't affect average visitors, but it does create an extra step for editors who want to replace or upgrade a given image, requires that if said image is replaced with a different filename that one recreate the redirect, and adds another double redirect issue if a page is renamed. None of this is an argument against it, and I can put up with it if it's useful to visitors, but I think these need to be taken into account. With a page like Joe Mathieu, where the links are below the gallery anyway, I wonder how helpful it is in the long-term, whether it really helps the average visitor (and where it doesn't hurt to see the image enlarged without going to the page, especially for non-logged in users with the ad set-up). Just some things to consider. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:06, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I guess I was thinking that a gallery like that is the same as a disambig page... The idea is that people can see the gallery, and then follow the links to individual pages. In a gallery like that, I think a reader who wants to follow the link is just as likely to click on the picture than the link -- maybe even more likely, since the picture is bigger and offers a larger target.
It's true that the link is under the picture, but the same is true for disambig pages.
Plus, clicking the picture and going to that book page also gives people a larger version of the picture -- clicking on the Cookie Tree cover takes you to the Cookie Tree page, where you get a 300px-width picture. If you want to see something bigger than that, then you're right, it's two more clicks -- but a lot of the time, the picture is actually 300px anyway, or not much bigger. The Cookie Tree image is 368px wide, so it's not much of an improvement.
Anyway, I think it was good for us to play around with this a bit, and figure out some of these use cases so that we can talk about them. I won't add any more image links until we can all talk about it and figure out the pros and cons of using them. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 19:31, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
This is an area that affects non-logged in users rather than us. Before the ad change, you're right, it wouldn't make a difference. Now, it does. Going to the article page, one has to look beneath the ad for the picture, and if one's on a page like Joe Mathieu and, say, wanting to compare the images and his art style, it causes extra effort to see the stand-alone image (since now on the image pages, the ads are on teh side and don't distract). So I think the biggest issue is simply, "Why are we creating the redirect and who will use it?" (one which will naturally vary). The disambiguation is one thing (and I think Scott's ultimate goal there may have been to jettison the links entirely, which would work there but be a bad idea anywhere else), and is there to help "people who don't know Wikis" But if it's just to save some visitors from clinking the obvious link below in an art or merchandise gallery, which in general is more of a collection of nice images than a navigational tool on the whole, creates two to four steps for everyone else, I'm not sure it's worth it. There's still room for figuring out pros and cons, I agree. The book gallery thing is worth examining, but off the bat, I'd like to say that I think it would be a terrible idea to try to do any redirecting for any images from, say, Miscellaneous Cameos. So I think that's another question, and not one which is entirely answerable: do average visitors treat all gallery pages as simple disambiguation or navigation pages? What do people go to a page like Joe Mathieu or Michael K. Frith Sketches and the like for, to look at the pictures both en masse and in close-up, or just to get somewhere else, or (in all likelihood) as a bit of both? (In which case, I'm not sure favoring redirecting over the other is all that helpful). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 20:45, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Okay... Obviously, I saw this as a much simpler thing than you do. It's not something that I feel like I need to fight for, or advocate for -- just something that I thought was cute and harmless and worth doing. If it's a problem, I'll just revert the redirects I made. I don't feel that strongly about it. If somebody else does, then they can take up the discussion. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:13, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I'm not trying to fight against it. But I think it isn't as simple as just putting it everywhere since it effectively changes the way the image file page works and is reached (a function which may not matter to visitors, but important to anyone adding, replacing, or renaming image files), and if we are going to use this on a massive scale, a simple "why am I redirecting this, how/who will it help, and what will it affect" is worth considering. That's all, really. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 22:23, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Turning ads off for logged-in users

I just posted a message on the Central forum... Logged-in users will have ads turned off for article pages starting tomorrow, so the only place where logged-in users will see ads is on the main page.

There are two options for people who want to see how the pages look for logged-out users. There'll be an option in preferences, under the Skin tab -- a checkbox that says "Show all advertisements". There'll also be a URL toggle if you just want to see ads for one page -- you can add ?showads=1 at the end of a page URL to see what it looks like on that page. The URL toggle will only apply to one pageview, so you don't have to turn it off.

So now people will have a choice about how they see the site, and I hope that it'll encourage more people to log in. I've been working hard to make this happen, so I'm excited. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:40, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

"Fight" Category ?

Hello ! I would have a suggestion for Muppet Wiki, not too silly I hope. ;-) What about a new category headed "Fight" for some sketches and episodes (like the Rita Moreno Episode of the Muppet Show, or the battle between Kermit and the Koozebanian Phoob, for instance) ? Or maybe a Culture article "Muppet Battles", as Scarecroe suggested when I told him about it ? Bat-Power 19:48, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

I think an article is a great idea! I'm not sure about the category, but I think the article would be really fun. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:00, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Fine ! I can create the article and write part of it, but I need help. Bat-Power 20:38, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Sure, that's what a wiki is all about. Just start the article, and I'm sure people will help fix it up. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:04, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Hello, every one ! I've just started the article "Muppet Battles". I would very pleased if you could comment, improve or complete it, or add some photos. (As I say each time, I'm a French-Speaking Belgian, and I do my best in English.) ;-) -- Bat-Power 9 July 2008

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