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Muppet Wiki:Current Events Archive 32 (July-Dec 2009)

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Archive of Current events.

Bigger pics in tables

I was messing around with some episode tables today, and I realized that I'm not sure why we use 200px width as the picture size. Our typical picture size is 300px, because the pics look better when they're bigger, and the episode table pages have a lot of white space that might look better if there was more room for the picture. I tried it out on Sesamstraat Kerstspecial 2009 to see what it looks like. What do you guys think? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 21:50, December 28, 2009 (UTC)

I suppose they could be a bit bigger, but I think the ones on the Sesmastraat page are a bit too big. - Oscarfan 22:09, December 28, 2009 (UTC)
Maybe 250? -- Ken (talk) 22:18, December 28, 2009 (UTC)
I like the idea of bigger pictures for the tables, I admit it looks a little odd on the test page, but there are pictures missing and there isn't a lot of content in the Descriptions, so it might be different on a Sesame Street page. -- Nate (talk) 22:26, December 28, 2009 (UTC)
Here's a test I did, set at 215px. Even 225px looked a bit big to me. - Oscarfan 22:29, December 28, 2009 (UTC)

eBooks

Sesame Workshop is doing a big push right now for eBooks -- they launched an eBooks section on sesamestreet.org a couple weeks ago, with five books available to read.

Today, they launched a new series of iPhone apps that allow adults to record their voices reading Sesame books which they can then send to their kids. Here's an article about it -- there are four books released today, all from the "Where is the Puppy" series.

So I guess we should start noting these on the book pages? For song pages, we list the video clips on Sesamestreet.org as "Online Releases". Do we classify these as reissues? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 02:05, December 23, 2009 (UTC)

I was thinking of something similar lately, as far as what to do with music downloads. Danny and I had agreed that making a page for The iTunes Store seemed strange, and I was thinking of noting downloads of singles and albums on their pages, so people can look for them on downloading websites, which is not just iTunes anymore. So getting back to how ebook versions of print books would be handled, I would only use "reissue" to refer to another print version of a book. I would call an ebook version of a previously released print book something like "online version" or just say that the book is also an ebook in the text. -- Ken (talk) 03:10, December 23, 2009 (UTC)

Errata

I started putting a new heading called "Errata" for some of the nonfiction books that contain obvious errors. The idea is to warn potential readers, and to promote Muppet Wiki as a sometimes more reliable source of information than the books themselves. In my opinion, however, pointing out errors is only useful if we can source the correct information accurately; otherwise, it's the wiki's word against that of the questionable books. I would welcome the opinion of others regarding the practice of putting in Errata headings.— Tom (talk) 18:25, December 20, 2009 (UTC)

I think that's a fantastic idea. I agree with both the usefulness of it and the importance of citing sources. Do you have some examples of pages where you've added an Errata section? I'd love to see them. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 18:01, December 21, 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Danny. I've added he heading to Sesame Street Unpaved (book), where at least one erratum needs substantiation, to Jim Henson: Puppeteer and Filmmaker, and to Inventors and Creators: Jim Henson. I can add sources to the last two, but the bit about Snuffy in Unpaved needs someone else's attention. So, anyway, my original message is partly a plea for help in sourcing corrections for obvious errors.— Tom (talk) 19:15, December 21, 2009 (UTC)
That Snuffy thing in Unpaved could be a bit tricky... His second major performer, Michael Earl, is a member of this wiki and has confirmed it. All official sources I know of regarding this have been from him. --Minor muppetz 04:05, December 23, 2009 (UTC)

OK, if Michael Earl has confirmed these facts to you, then maybe you could source the info as a personal communication from him to you. If not, and you can contact him, then perhaps you could get him to re-confirm the facts to you, so that at least we have a source. What do you think?— Tom (talk) 13:50, December 23, 2009 (UTC)

What I was saying is that these confirmations weren't a personal correspondense. He's a member of this forum, and would have probably corrected it if he wasn't. He's posted at Muppet Central, and talked about performing Snuffy a few times. He was also invovled with a number of other official sources that I recall. But it seems like he's never mentioned in any official books about Sesame Street.

Also, since we are pointing out errors in non-fiction books, it might be good to provide multiple sources as much as we can, to show that there are different sources (and that might help prove that a certain source isn't the incorrect one). --Minor muppetz 14:17, December 23, 2009 (UTC)

I agree about multiple sources, unless one is completely definitive. For example, I cited Henson's University of Maryland Program of Commencement exercises on the University of Maryland page to show that he graduated in 1960, but I just linked to that page in pointing out an error in a book, since the admins don't like excessive reference tags. Also, if Michael Earl has posted on Muppet Central and if you know his username on the wiki, then you should be able to contact him, on Muppet Central either by private communication or email (if he has the latter option enabled), and here, either by leaving a message on his talk page or by email (if he has that option enabled.)— Tom (talk) 14:29, December 23, 2009 (UTC)
Well, I figured it would be better for one of the moderators to maybe comment on stuff like information that was posted by the people involved (a few Henson people are on the wiki, even if not very often), but I just got the 40th anniversary book and it does confirm that Michael Earl briefly played Snuffy (oh, and I alreayd found an error in the book... Can't remember where, though). --Minor muppetz 14:25, December 25, 2009 (UTC)
You are correct that I am not an administrator. By the way, if you don't want to contact Michael Earl yourself, and don't want to out him publicly, then maybe you could send me his contact info via email, and I could try contacting him. Yes, Karen Falk and others happen by the wiki occassionally, but she's told me that she doesn't feel that her job is to correct errors here, unless they're completely egregious. Also, Joe Mathieu has written me that he's been by and noticed questions that he could answer, but for one reason or another hasn't. So we can't assume that because someone has an account here that all information the said person can correct has been corrected. And even if the info is correct, then sourcing is always nice. :)— Tom (talk) 15:15, December 25, 2009 (UTC)
I see now where the info is coming from: the Talk:Michael Earl page. All we have to do is reference that page; problem solved.— Tom (talk) 16:44, December 25, 2009 (UTC)

Downloads

I'm bringing this up here because I wasn't sure where to ask it. Now that we have one album and 2 singles that are download only (and I'm sure more will be coming), I was thinking how that relates to some other areas of the wiki. I'm still new to the whole downloading thing, so maybe those who are more familiar with it can help. Since we're treating downloads as a format (the only difference being not having a catalog number), I'm wondering about some things. For example, why are we listing everything that's available on The iTunes Store? Some things are on Amazon for download, but they're not listed on Amazon's page. Are we listing everything that's there now in case it gets taken down, and therefore becomes "out of print"? Should we just have a downloads page, and list where everything is on both sites? Are there legal places you can download besides iTunes and Amazon? To look at it another way, why even have an iTunes page at all? To me, that would be like making a page for Target, and listing Sesame Street DVD's that you can buy there. Sorry for all of the questions. Like I said, not being able to buy a physical copy of a recording is new for me, and I'm still trying to process what that means as far as cataloging and documenting titles. -- Ken (talk) 05:47, December 15, 2009 (UTC)

I agree that it's weird to have an iTunes Store page. It was created when having Muppet stuff on iTunes was new and exciting, but obviously that's not going to be the case for much longer. The same will be true for Hulu and other distribution networks. As Ken said, we don't list the inventory for physical stores, or services like Netflix. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 18:59, December 15, 2009 (UTC)

My Home not loading

I don't think this has anything to do with the rich text editor, but a few minutes ago my home page would load properly, then turn into this:

-- Nate (talk) 18:21, December 10, 2009 (UTC)

I'm having the same home page issue right now. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:37, December 10, 2009 (UTC)
Grr, this must be a bug. What browsers do you guys use? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 19:45, December 10, 2009 (UTC)
I'm on IE 8 and I think Nate said he uses IE 7. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:48, December 10, 2009 (UTC)
Okay, thanks -- I just verified it here... I'm filing a ticket to get that fixed. Growf. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 19:54, December 10, 2009 (UTC)

Yeah I'm on IE 7. -- Nate (talk) 20:01, December 10, 2009 (UTC)

Techs are looking into it now. Thanks for reporting it so quickly! You guys are the first people we heard from about it. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 20:03, December 10, 2009 (UTC)
Checked just now and it's fine (so either they fixed it or it went away for now). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 21:00, December 10, 2009 (UTC)
Yup, it got fixed. Thanks for the report! -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 23:32, December 10, 2009 (UTC)

Looking for Music

I brought this up a couple of years ago, but since we've been getting so many new people lately, I thought it would be a good idea to mention it again. While we've got a huge music section now, there are still a lot of things (both pictures and information) missing, and a lot of those are now on obsolete formats. So if anybody has any Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle/other related records, cassettes, CD's, 8-tracks, or reel-to-reels from any country, please contact me on my talk page, and I'll talk about the kinds of things I'm looking for. The same goes for video titles, too. Thanks in advance to all of our audio and video collectors! -- Ken (talk) 06:00, December 10, 2009 (UTC)

Check out the upgraded rich text editor!

Good morning!

Today we are releasing an upgrade to the rich text editor. We've upgraded the core engine which has resulted in many improvements and an overall more stable editing experience.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Much faster loading of the edit window.
  • Images and videos will now use built-in browser drag and drop functionality which is much more reliable.
  • Reworked article parsing which results in fewer spacing and formatting changes in underlying wikitext.
  • Advanced code (e.g. templates and parser tags) will be represented by a puzzle icon in edit mode - hover over them to see more info.

We are excited to release this editor and are looking forward to hearing your feedback. If you come across a bug, strange behaviour or have a question please post it here or on the Central Wikia blog post. We will be working around the clock over the next week to ensure a smooth transition.

If you would like to sandbox test the editor, you can use my personal test wiki - kirkburn.wikia. (If you do, please use new pages, and play nice!)

Thanks,
Kirkburn (talk) @Wikia 13:28, December 9, 2009 (UTC)

And here's a note for everybody -- We're getting the upgraded Wysiwyg editor early, at my request. It's not released sitewide yet -- it's just on a few wikis that are testing it out, to find all the bugs that we need to fix.
Scott and I have been pretty vocal about the bugs with the previous version, and we've been helping to test the new version. We wanted to be part of this early release, to make sure that the issues that show up on our wiki are the ones that they're working on fixing!
But -- that means that new editors on our wiki are using a Wysiwyg editor that we know still has some teething issues. So we'll need to be a little patient over the next week or so as all the new bugs surface... Don't be mad at the new contributors; it's not their fault! We'll have to do a little bit of cleaning up after people when the Wysiwyg editor causes problems, but then we can report those as bugs, and make sure they get fixed.
I'm always confident about using Muppet Wiki to test some of this stuff, because I know that we're an awesome, solid team that can deal with little glitches and turn it into something positive. I really appreciate everybody's patience as we keep working to make the site better. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 22:35, December 9, 2009 (UTC)

Sesame Street eBooks

Sesamestreet.org just added an eBook reader section to the site, which apparently offers five free books per week. They say that they're launching an eBooks store, so there will be some for sale at some point.

I'm hesitant to start adding eBooks links to book pages -- but this could be a good resource for some of our book pages! What do you guys think? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 00:39, December 9, 2009 (UTC)

Neat, let's link to em! It looks like they used the audio from the DVD edition of Monster at the End of This Book, but kept the original illustrations. —Scott (talk) 01:01, December 9, 2009 (UTC)
Well, I'm not sure if they're going to change next week... So I dunno if those links will still work. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 01:02, December 9, 2009 (UTC)

Using galleries

Now that we've got a fixed width for the site, it should be a lot easier for us to lay out a page no matter what screen resolution you're using. Here's a guide to using gallery sizes to enhance the look of our pages that won't create any overlap or white space. The trickiest one is using a gallery on a page with images aligned on the right side of the article. In these cases, galleries should be limited to 2 columns per row and a width of 170px:

<gallery perrow=2 widths=170 heights=170>

Galleries without images aligned to the right of the article are easier. We can use a larger thumbnail size and spread out to 3 columns per row since we're using the full width of the article:

<gallery perrow=3 widths=200 heights=200>

In most cases, the heights can match the widths. But there are cases where it looks nicer to have them higher or shorter depending on the content. All the thumbnails in Muppet Magazine are taller than they are wide, for example. So we have the widths set to 200 and the heights at 250. As in Miscellaneous Cameos, most of the thumbnails are wider than they are short, so the height is set to 150. There's one or two in there where the height matches the width or is even taller, but the shorter thumbnail looks nicer for the majority of the table.

One last thing. The 'image not available' placeholder we've been using stretches out to a size that looks ridiculous with the bigger galleries. So I created an alternative to use which you can see in the Bruce Connelly pet owner entry on Miscellaneous Cameos.

Hopefully that's not all too complicated, I actually think it's pretty straightforward. And we get to build prettier pages! I feel like we have a grown-up website now :) —Scott (talk) 21:49, December 8, 2009 (UTC)

Good Job Scott! That is great! -- Nate (talk) 22:20, December 8, 2009 (UTC)
It looks good to me, too. A while ago, I was wondering why some record galleries were 175, and some were 200. I didn't know if one size was better, but now we can have them all match at 200. -- Ken (talk) 07:20, December 9, 2009 (UTC)
So what's with that fixed width, anyway? It feels confining. Powers 21:54, December 10, 2009 (UTC)
I think I'm having issues with the fixed width too. I wasn't tech saavy enough to describe it, but here is what I see when I shrink a window down to work with it on a smaller size. I cuts off a lot of the left hand side that I can't access unless I max out the screen.

-- Nate (talk) 22:19, December 10, 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, that's what a fixed-width design does. It leaves whitespace on the sides if your window is bigger and cuts off content if your window is smaller. Powers 23:07, December 10, 2009 (UTC)

I Just Adore Four

ApplauseBert4Balls

Tomorrow is Muppet Wiki's fourth birthday! We started the wiki on December 5th, 2005. The first edit was on the Fozzie Bear page: "Fozzie Bear is a bear." I'm proud to say that we have kept to that high journalistic standard for four years running.

So -- it's a nice moment. Four years! For all of us who were there at the beginning -- doesn't that feel like forever? It's unbelievable. The wiki has been a huge part of my daily life every day for the last four years -- so much time, so much thought, so many pages and pictures and discussions and surprises and new friends. I know that's true for a lot of people here.

I mentioned to a friend that it was Muppet Wiki's fourth birthday tomorrow, and he asked, "Are you all doing something to celebrate?" I said, yeah, of course -- we're all going to go and work on the wiki, like we do every day. And every day it gets better and more fun. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 00:19, December 5, 2009 (UTC)

WHOO! GO US! - Oscarfan 00:58, December 5, 2009 (UTC)
Here's to many more years on here and hope we can unveiled more secrets or lost things that can be found. - Steven 02:00, December 5, 2009 (UTC)
I only wish that Jim Henson could have lived to see this wiki (and the whole Internet, for that matter). I'm sure he would have said, "Hmmm." -- Ken (talk) 02:21, December 5, 2009 (UTC)
Ken, you crack me up.  :) Happy 4th, everyone! — Julian (talk) 02:30, December 5, 2009 (UTC)

HO, HO, HO...llywood Bowl

Similar to the Dutch "Sinterklaas," the German "Nikolaus" — or better St. Nick for you — delivers small presents, stuffed in both of your boots on the morning of December 6th. Some of you might've had these files already, but for those who didn't, consider them your present today. Don't step on the pig when you slip in your boots!

(Link expiration date 12-12-2009, or until downloaded 100 times. Lather, rinse, repeat!)

Make merry, fellow fans! :) — Julian (talk) 20:49, December 6, 2009 (UTC)

Hey these are great! What a nice gift! Merry Nikolaus :) —Scott (talk) 21:57, December 6, 2009 (UTC)

Preview of One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure

Found this sample video of One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure and it looks awesome that I have to share my findings with everyone. It gives you a nice panorama view of Sesame Street and we can hear how Hu Hu Zhu speaks in English. Wonder who did the voice for Hu Hu Zhu here? If this ever come to my city, I will definitely see it. - Steven 02:00, December 5, 2009 (UTC)

That's awesome! I posted the video on One World, One Sky. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 08:17, December 5, 2009 (UTC)
That sounds like Tyler Bunch is performing Hu Hu Zhu. (There's also a photo of him performing the pig in the 40 Years book...well, all that can be seen is the top of his head!) Man, Tyler's done a lot of Sesame stuff lately, all of which is fantastic. -- MuppetDude 20:50, December 8, 2009 (UTC)

New Yorker fans?

By any odd chance, does anyone here have the complete New Yorker on DVD set? There's an article about Sesame Place that they published in 1981, seems to focus on the research behind their computer play systems. -- Zanimum 16:47, November 28, 2009 (UTC)

My father might have it. I'll bug him and see if he can look up that article. — Joe (talk) 05:24, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

New Messages...Not!

For some reason, I am told that I've got a new message in my discussions, even though the last one was days ago. Has anyone else run into this trouble? -- MuppetDude 17:44, December 4, 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, there's a yellow sitewide message from Wikia at the top of your talk page. You need to click dismiss this message to make it go away. But before you do that -- click on the link and read the Wikia update! It's interesting. :) -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 17:50, December 4, 2009 (UTC)
Um... too late. Eep. What was it about? -- MuppetDude 17:51, December 4, 2009 (UTC)
Here's the link -- Wikia's Fall 2009 Update. :) -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 17:54, December 4, 2009 (UTC)
Although I'm also having trouble with persistent new message notifications, so maybe there's also a bug. I'll find out... -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 17:54, December 4, 2009 (UTC)
I'm having the problem too. I saw the message, read it, clicked dismiss, and it's no longer on my tlk page. But I'm still getting the yellow new message notification at the top of all the pages. -- Brad D. (talk) 17:56, December 4, 2009 (UTC)
The yellow sitewide message doesn't show up if you click the (last change) link. I didn't see it at first, but after it finally loaded, I was able to dismiss it and now I don't have the orange notification. —Scott (talk) 17:57, December 4, 2009 (UTC)

It looks like there's a bug with the new messages -- I'm seeing it reported on Central as well. I've reported it to the ops folks; hopefully it'll get fixed soon. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 17:58, December 4, 2009 (UTC)

Ah, spoke too soon. The orange notify came back and I can't get it to go away now either. —Scott (talk) 17:59, December 4, 2009 (UTC)

Should be fixed now... -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 20:34, December 4, 2009 (UTC)

Muppet Christmas Portal

I just had an idea that I'd like to throw out to the group -- a Muppet Christmas portal, along the same lines as the Sesame Street: 40th Anniversary portal that we made last month. Something that we can link to in the sidebar and at the top of the main page that helps people find the best Christmas content.

I'm hoping to link to real articles rather than categories -- so link to "Santa Claus" rather than "Christmas Characters", "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas" rather than "Christmas Specials". We'll lose the "completism" angle, but instead we'll give people a fun browsing/exploring experience. So -- I don't have time to work on it this morning, but I'm throwing it out in case somebody gets inspired to start it. What do you think? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 18:16, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

From last year: Muppet Wiki:Christmas -- Brad D. (talk) 18:23, December 3, 2009 (UTC)
There's this: Muppet Wiki:Christmas. Which might be a bit much. I was thinking of putting a portal on the Christmas category similar to Halloween. What you're describing sounds like something in-between. —Scott (talk) 18:22, December 3, 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm thinking of something more along the lines of Sesame Street: 40th Anniversary, or what we've got for Category:Muppet Characters. We pick a short list of pages that people browsing through our Christmas stuff might like to see. I'll start the process:
Those are all interesting pages, and could help people browse around and get into the Muppety Christmas spirit. So we could set up a portal like on Muppet Characters, just showing people those. Not meant to be comprehensive -- just a fun selection of interesting Christmassy pages for people to enjoy. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 18:52, December 3, 2009 (UTC)
Okay, it's done. I'm sure it can be improved, so feel free, but now we've got some Christmas cheer up on the front page and in the sidebar. I choose "Muppets Christmas" as the page title for maximum SEO love. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 23:45, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

The First Part is Silent

Here's an interesting thing I want to mention on Current Events in case anyone missed it (the Sandbox doesn't show up in MyHome). It's a description of a tape that David wrote down on a trip to Paley. It's hard to make out exactly what it is, so maybe we can all figure it out together. —Scott (talk) 03:44, November 30, 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Scott! I've just added the fact that Omar's cooking segment had similar elements of the Swedish Chef. While some information gaps may be hard to fill at this moment, one thing I'm trying to find out is the record that Omar is lip-synching to. I think it's Stan Freberg's voice of a chef preparing ingredients, then crying loudly from peeling onions. I wish I knew my Freberg better..... he never recorded "I Never Harmed an Onion", did he? -Dave Splurge 00:16, December 6, 2009 (UTC)

Hidden Gems

Just thought I'd point out a great new page Enrique started for Hidden Gems in case anyone who relies only on MyHome for what's happening on the wiki missed it. —Scott (talk) 21:51, November 28, 2009 (UTC)

Free 40th Anniversary of Sesame Street Postcard Giveaway

Hi all: I had some 40th Anniversary of Sesame Street postcards printed a while back, and the minimum order was 100, so I've got tons left over. If you'd like one or more, please fire me an email from my user page. I've also got tons of postage that I tend to get at a discount on Ebay or from other sources, so there will be no charge for shipping either. All fans are welcome, including Toughpigs, Muppet Centrals, Wiki editors, etc.— Tom (talk) 18:06, November 19, 2009 (UTC)

What do they look like? -- MuppetDude 18:22, November 19, 2009 (UTC)
O ye who would look a gift monster in the mouth! Sorry, Tony, for making you repeat your question: I just didn't want to clutter Danny's talk page. Here's a more detailed description: the front is glossy and features a picture from page 50 of Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street (on the stoop of 123 Sesame Street and depicting all the original Muppeteers and cast members, as well as Joan Ganz Cooney and someone else I can't identify) touched up in Photoshop to remove the "1969"s in the upper left corner and tastefully bordered in green and yellow to echo the design of the Sesame Street sign. Also to echo that design, the corners of the postcard are rounded. The back is undivided and non-glossy, with my own 40th Anniversary of Sesame Street logo in the upper left corner. The postcards are offset-printed in CMYK color space on 15 pt card stock; they are not laser-printed because, in my experience, laser-printer toner does not adhere well to smooth card stock and is easily scratched off. The front of the cards also contain text appropriate to the event. The following individuals have reacted favorably to the overall design of the postcards: my brother (a professional graphic artist), my friend (an avid critic of graphic design), and Mobo85, the last of whom received one of these postcards in the mail from me, posted on November 10, 2009 from zip code 10023.— Tom (talk) 18:56, November 19, 2009 (UTC)
This is a very nice offer -- thank you, Tom! I'm looking forward to getting mine. :) -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 16:35, November 20, 2009 (UTC)
Just tell me where to send it, and whether you want it postally-used (with a special surprise stamp that I had made just for this purpose!) or new. In either case, you may have the stamp :)— Tom (talk) 17:21, November 20, 2009 (UTC)

I can now add our own Danny Horn to my list of those who are happy to have received this wonderful card. :)— Tom (talk) 13:24, November 25, 2009 (UTC)

20,000 pages!

We did it! We hit 20,000 pages this afternoon -- a huge milestone! When we hit 19,000 pages this summer, we wondered if we'd get to 20,000 by our fourth anniversary on December 5th. I wasn't sure back then -- I figured we'd get there within a couple months of the anniversary, but I didn't think we'd actually hit it by now. But then another big anniversary came along -- Sesame's 40th -- and I think that's helped to get us all really energized and excited right now!

So this is a crazy, huge moment, and we should all be really proud of this beautiful and strange thing that we've built. 20,000 pages, with more than 4 million words and 56,000 pictures -- the longest and most detailed work about the Muppets ever written.

Obviously, Nate deserves a special bow today, because he's been on a new page run lately -- I think he's created 100 pages in the last few weeks, all of them interesting and fun. But he just gets one solo bow, because we've all put so much time and energy into this crazy thing.

So a big hug and cheer for all of the top contributors -- Scott, Andrew, Brad, Guillermo, Ken, Nate, Wendy, Michael, Peter, Enrique, Tony, Steven, Nick, Henrik, Paul, Garrett, Joe, George, Danny D., Ryan, Yoshi, Philip, Justin, Julian, Grant, Warrick, Alexander, Martha, Matt, Emma, Erik, Tom, Daniel... plus more... Phew! More than 2,000 people have helped out on the wiki so far.

2,300 Muppet characters... 1,600 Sesame Street episodes... 1,000 Sesame books... 870 Muppet songs... 119 Sesame Street monsters... 68 Grouches, 46 aliens, 20 discographies and 12 fictional holidays. So much stuff! And it feels like we're just getting started. When do we get to 21,000? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 23:50, November 16, 2009 (UTC)

Aw, come on, Danny, you can't leave yourself out of the list up there! Let's hear it for Muppet Wiki's #1 contributor, and the best Product Manager that Wikia's ever had, Danny Horn! Yaaaayyyyy!!!!! -- Ken (talk) 02:34, November 17, 2009 (UTC)
Fozziebeard
Hooray for us! Drinks are on the house! —Scott (talk) 03:17, November 17, 2009 (UTC)
SHABBADOOYEAH!!! -- MuppetDude 14:23, November 17, 2009 (UTC)

What is a "collectible?"

Is there a consensus on this Wiki concerning what constitutes a "collectible?" Some say that a collectible is an item that was made to be collected. In my view, this use of the term is marketing ploy to get people to buy something by implying that it may be valuable some day. I believe that the term can certainly encompass Kubricks and Palisades and other items that are made to be collected, but that it has a broader meaning as well and includes unusual or rare items that were never intended to be collected but that nevertheless attract the interest (and dollars) of collectors.— Tom (talk) 21:02, November 16, 2009 (UTC)

This discussion is taking place at Category talk:Muppet Collectibles. —Scott (talk) 21:03, November 16, 2009 (UTC)
Amicably resolved.— Tom (talk) 23:32, November 16, 2009 (UTC)
I spoke too soon. Discussion still active, albeit non-combative.— Tom (talk) 23:46, November 16, 2009 (UTC)

Titles of Headings: References and Muppet Mentions

Hi folks. I'd like to open for discussion the practice of using References and Muppet Mentions as headings within articles. I agree that reference tags can be grouped under a Sources heading to avoid confusion with references, but for newbies the difference between References and Muppet Mentions is not immediately clear without sifting through the lists that follow these headings. For examples, in the Star Trek page, I would advocate changing References to References to Star Trek in Sesame Street and Muppet Media and changing Muppet Mentions to Mentions of Muppets and Sesame Street in Star Trek Media. Sure, we lose the succinct alliterative quality of Muppet Mentions, but we gain clarity. In fact, I made these changes but was immediately reversed by an Admin, who argued that people would rather spend their time doing something other than changing headings. But what about consistency? Well, sure, if someone like me is changing the titles of headings as he comes across them, then some articles will still use the old heading format while some will use the newer, and I would argue, clearer format, but I think we all know that this Wiki is a work in progress and that consistency and standards are something we must work toward and should not expect to appear suddenly. I argue to allow editors to change headings for the sake of clarity (something that I really don't mind spending my time doing) without being perfunctorily reversed by Admins.— Tom (talk) 20:41, November 16, 2009 (UTC)

I appreciate the thought behind this, but I think the suggested headings are unbearably clunky. I would be happy to revisit the words that we use, but the suggestion would have to be more appealing than "References to Star Trek in Sesame Street and Muppet Media". That heading is practically longer than the content under it. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 22:40, November 16, 2009 (UTC)
Ditto. The categories themselves bear clear definitions of the distinction between References and Muppet Mentions, but originally both were catch all categories which we gradually split up by type (TV References, Movie Mentions, etc.) so maybe repeating the definitions on each subcat page is warranted. Additionally, if this is an issue that confuses a lot of visitors, it can be explained in Muppet Wiki:Policies and Guidelines (and perhaps that page itself linked to prominently). I personally don't see it as an issue, though, and definitely dislike the clunky suggestion of amending it to "Mentions of Muppets and Sesame Street in Nancy" or "References to Superman in Sesame Street and Muppet and Creature Shop and Other Relevant Henson Media" and so on, for each subject. Can you think of a wording you'd prefer that's not clunky and, ideally, wouldn't have to be tailored to each page? -- Andrew Leal (talk) 22:56, November 16, 2009 (UTC)
I can see that I won't prevail with my original suggestion. Hmmm. Short and sweet, eh? I agree that looking down the lists clarifies the difference between the two headings, but good style dictates that headings should do some of the work for the reader. As far as "References" goes, I don't have a suggestion, but "Muppet Mentions" could be changed to "Mentions of Muppets" to distinguish it from the other obvious possibility, i.e. Mentions by Muppets (or Mention in Muppets, etc.) The problem is that many of the "Muppet Mentions" are actually Sesame Street mentions that may or may not have to do with Muppets per se. Hence my clunky original suggestion. Personally, I'm not afraid of a little clunkiness, as long as it clarifies matters and doesn't grossly violate any grammatical or stylistic precepts.— Tom (talk) 23:32, November 16, 2009 (UTC)
Maybe "References to Star Trek" and "Mentions of Muppets or Sesame Street." Would have to be tailored to each page, but in a pretty obvious and straightforward way. I don't think there's one word that covers both Muppets and Sesame Street.— Tom (talk) 23:38, November 16, 2009 (UTC)

I really don't like anything longer then what we have now. References and Mentions. I admit that at first I was confused as to what was a reference and what was a mention, but that was when we were first building up pages. Now on most pages I think it's obvious that they are references made to the given page subject matter, and mentions by the subject of the page about the muppets. I think further tailoring it to include "mentions of the Muppets and Sesame Street" is just silly. We know that this wiki is all about the Muppet and Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock and more. Obviously there isn't going to be a reference to Legos on the Batman page, unless it was a Kermit made out of legos, and we would state that and cross reference it with a Legos page. So I vote to keep it at "References" and "Mentions". -- Nate (talk) 17:14, November 17, 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Nate, for your input. As a test I changed the headings in Star Trek to "References to Star Trek" and "Mentions of Muppets." I went ahead and made the change to try to jumpstart this discussion again, as it had been eclipsed by the (justifiable) backslapping over Danny's post. You point out the exact problem that I am trying to remedy: you were initially confused by the distinction, and I was initially confused by the distinction, so the casual browser and non aficionado will also be confused. Why not clear up the confusion? I think my suggestion is succinct an adds clarity. Enigmatic headings, chapter titles, etc. may be pleasing devices in fiction, but here I think we need to go for clarity. As I'm sure you are aware, the Wiki is now cited as a primary source of information, (for example, the recent bit in the National Post.) I think we all want that information to be clear and accurate.— Tom (talk) 17:50, November 17, 2009 (UTC)
I don't have an objection to "References to Star Trek" -- I agree with Tom that it's clearer than "References" (which is often used to describe what we call "sources"), and it sounds fine. But I want to make sure that Nate and Andrew agree -- they're the ones who have done most of the heavy lifting on the References pages, so they'll know whether there are cases that wouldn't work with that heading format.
I think "Muppet Mentions" is pretty much the same as "Mentions of Muppets". The concept of "mentions" is kind of obscure anyway -- we're making a distinction that people don't commonly make. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 18:12, November 17, 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, "Muppet Mentions" means "Mentions of Muppets" where in the former "Muppet" is used as an adjective, so that's fine. I gotta say, though, not all articles follow the "Sources" heading format; some combine notes with sources, which, I believe, is appropriate in many cases and is a practice allowed by many academic journals. I don't think we need to be more rigid here than in academia.— Tom (talk) 18:31, November 17, 2009 (UTC)
I should clarify that my confusion is sort of reversed from the casual reader. Since I was building the pages, I was confused as to what was a reference, and what was a mention. A reader wouldn't hold that same confusion, as when they are scanning an article, it is obvious that it is a reference in the entry. "In Episode blah blah blah, so and so was referenced by muppet character as "a pun on their name" would be an example of a typical entry. So I don't quite see the upmost importance on changing this for the sake of clarity.
I just think that it is an un-needed change to pages that are
  • a.) most likely in the references category and the reader knows that the Muppets were referencing the said TV show, book, movie, painting, etc.
  • b.) clearly references to the subject of the article.
However, I agree that Muppet Mentions would be acceptable. I still feel that "references" and "sources" are fine. "notes" (as I have seen it used here) have been few and far between, and almost more trivia oriented then actual sources, so I am open to more discussion over that when the time comes (with examples of its use here). -- Nate (talk) 20:00, November 17, 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Nate. I think we may be talking a little at cross purposes here. As far as I know, from discussions with Danny and Scott, "Muppet Mentions" is the current standard, and I'm conceding that that heading is adequate. I know that your confusion was during the construction phase, but I assure you that my confusion was from the POV of a new user, and I'm not a particularly slow individual. Yes, looking at the list makes things clear, but as I suggested, maybe the heading can help with the clarity. At this point, all I'm asking is to be able to change "References" to "References to Star Trek" and the like, as appropriate for each page. I think we could do this as we come across pages, as it is not an urgently needed change. I just don't want to be reversed every time I make such a change.— Tom (talk) 20:30, November 17, 2009 (UTC)

Good, I'm glad "Muppet Mentions" is settled. Nate and Andrew, I'd just like to check with you guys to make sure that "References to Star Trek" would be okay... Are there any examples where that phrasing wouldn't work? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 20:36, November 17, 2009 (UTC)

Scott should be in on this discussion too, and since it would be a not insignificant style change, even if the three of us have done the most work in that area, we need to make sure everyone's aware of any changes that may be agreed upon. I'm kind of on the fence: I'd just as soon leave things as are but "References to [Blank]" is definitely an improvement over the initial suggestion. It's short and sweet and, on the whole, I wouldn't mind it as much, but it's often redundant. Here are two other possible suggestions.
One, since Tom's concern is just that some users would need clarity, it could easily be settled by hyperlinking the headings to the parent References and, if desired, also Muppet Mentions categories, where the definitions are made clear. Obvious cons are that it requires clicking and coding (Scott's bot could probably do it for the existing ones, it would have to be updated) but it maintains consistency.
Second would be to forget consistency in favor of what looks best on a given page (which we've often done in other areas, just never as regarding these particular headings which we've standardized for so long now). As a random example, Modern Bride, which Nate recently created, would look silly I think with a "References to Modern Bride," and this would apply to all similar pages where the reference is short and sweet and usually visually obvious from the moment you land on the page. So I'd suggesting saving it only for pages like Star Wars, Star Trek, and others with both mentions and references in longish lists. Looking around, Barney Miller, though it has both a mention and a reference, is another short page which I don't think is in need of any heading alterations. And I just looked at Superman, where Scott has done a fantastic job and there are so many references that they're subdivided by show/medium, and it's neatly nestled between actual appearances by the Superman character and the Muppet Mentions, so that's the kind of page where I think adding "References to Superman" isn't needed. It's not too long but it strikes me as pointless when it's already nice and neat and clear to even a casual reader. I'm not sure about The Simpsons, since that's one of a handful where the Muppet Mentions far outweigh and overbalance any, far more fleeting references in Muppet/Henson productions, so arranged as it is, with "References" at the bottom, a re-iteration might not be vital but could be helpful. So on the whole, I'd definitely like to hear what Scott or someone else has to say, and perhaps even take a look at all of the pages that could be affected (not just my casual sampling) before we decide anything. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 21:03, November 17, 2009 (UTC)
Good points... I agree, it gets more clunky and less relevant on short pages. I'd rather not link out to the categories -- I'm not crazy about linking headings, and it wouldn't necessarily be clear that you're linking to an explanation of the heading, so that adds an extra level of potential confusion. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 21:25, November 17, 2009 (UTC)
I agree, too. I'm perfectly open to forgetting consistency in favor of what works best for each page. It's certainly better than a blanket rejection of any change that might make the articles clearer. In my understanding, what Andrew is suggesting is keeping it short and sweet, like "Reference to Star Trek" but not slavishly applying that standard to every page without regard to whether it's helpful or not. Scott essentially started this discussion by (rightly, I now see) rejecting my original clunky verbage. On his talk page he agreed that the existing category names may not be the best practice, but that, in his view, they had become an unwritten manual of style. Let's try to find the "best practice" for each article.— Tom (talk) 21:29, November 17, 2009 (UTC)
These headings have the potential to get quite clunky. As in with References to Four Weddings and a Funeral or References to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for example. Readers are already on the page for Four Weddings and a Funeral in the first place, is it such a stretch to figure out what is being referenced? It seems redundant. On the other hand, I agree that the meaning isn't immediately intuitive, but I think the content makes it clear very quickly. For example, someone reads "Pigs in Space" is the Muppet Show spoof of the original Star Trek series." Oh, I see -- they're talking about References to the topic of the article that I'm reading right now. I'm not dead-set against it, I'm just weighing the practicality over the value. —Scott (talk) 07:04, November 18, 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Scott. I think we're already settled on "Muppet Mentions", which, after some thought, I feel is already rather vague, so at least one of the headings should be clear. "Muppet" is used as an adjective here, so "Muppet Mentions" means "Mentions having to do with Muppets" or "Mentions relating to Muppets," which doesn't make the distinction of whether the mentions concern Muppets in some other context, or some other context mentioning Muppets. I suggested "Mentions of Muppets" to make the distinction clear, but I was overruled, and I sort of kind of agree that most people would interpret "Muppet Mentions" as "Mentions of Muppets." I don't want to argue that point (now, but maybe sometime in the future.) Right now I've reduced my ambitions to make at least one heading crystal clear. I wouldn't assume the thing being referenced is the subject of the article; it could be Muppets in something relating to the subject of the article. Once again, reading down a list is not the most effective way of elucidating the meaning of the heading. I'd rather that the meaning of the heading tell the reader what they're about to read. Clunkiness could be avoided on a case-by-case basis, as suggested by Andrew.— Tom (talk) 13:22, November 18, 2009 (UTC)

How about this as a proposed guideline: We use "References to X" when there are both References and Muppet Mentions in the article, and when the article is longer than one screen on a typical resolution.

So we would have "References to X" on Star Trek, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Incredible Hulk and Beverly Hills, 90210.

We would just use "References" on James Bond and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (just References, no Mentions), and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (ditto, also the article is too short).

Looking at the examples, I think it's reasonable to say that someone reading the SpongeBob or 90210 pages could be confused about the difference between References and Muppet Mentions. Tom's suggestion can help clarify that confusion. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 16:57, November 18, 2009 (UTC)

Danny's suggested guidelines are fine with me.— Tom (talk) 23:09, November 18, 2009 (UTC)
Tom, would you mind holding off on any more changes? I don't think there's a "consensus guideline" here yet, just a proposal and some suggestions, not a rule that we need to add "References to Shakespeare" and so on to every page. In a comment on my talk page, Tom also mentioned this: "Regarding the 'References' the last iteration of the "concensus" about headings was that "References to" was to be used when both References and Muppet mentions sections exist or where the article is longer than one page at a typical screen resolution (Danny Horn's suggestion). My screen is 17" viewable and I'm using a resolution of 1280 x 1024, and the article is longer than one screen length and only likely to get longer." Danny, I think you meant that as a both (both mentions, references, and a long page), not an either/or? Since I really don't see how length affects Shakespeare and similar pages, when the heading is short and obvious when (like the long Superman) there are neat subdivisions, and especially when there's other text (either in the leader or right below the heading, as we tend to do "The Muppets have often referenced X") to make things clear. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 21:18, November 23, 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, Andrew; as I mentioned on your talk page, I thought the issue had been settled and that the guidelines were to be used in both circumstances, not circumstances that fit both criteria. In my view, length is a reasonable criterion, because the longer an article, the more likely the reader is to skim it before reading, hence the more important informative headings become. I will hold off further changes until we all shake on it.— Tom (talk) 21:27, November 23, 2009 (UTC)
This all sounds like it's getting really complicated. So some pages with have Blah Mentions, but not References to Blah. Some pages will have vice versa. Some pages will have both and some pages will have neither. This doesn't sound consistent to me at all, and I don't think the time going into making the changes is adding enough clarity to make it worthwhile. Like I said at the beginning, someone sees a References header on the Star Trek page. "Oh, I wonder what that means" they might say. So they read the beginning of that section, and it immediatley becomes clear what that section is about. —Scott (talk) 21:27, November 23, 2009 (UTC)
If the issue had been settled, we'd state specifically that it had with an announcement and park the guideline on the category talk page, since as I mentioned at the very beginning, this isn't some casual change, but something that affects hundreds of pages and which many of our regular editors (just as important as the hypothetical casual visitor) likely have not seen (what with the 40th anniversary excitement) and would be caught unawares by these changes. "...the longer an article, the more likely the reader is to skim it before reading, hence the more important informative headings become." I still don't see how skimming applies at all when it's one huge "References" section on a Shakespeare page, with the Shakespeare heading and even with additional text right below "References," and those aren't the kind of pages most people skim anyway (they either glance at the pretty pictures or go to the subsection, or just kind of glaze over, or read it in its entirety, unless they're looking for a specific reference in which case they're clearly not confused to begin with). I was willing to compromise, and still sort of am, but at this point, I'm leaning more towards Scott's view and just forgetting the whole thing. Or else make a list, which I really think would have been wise from the start, of the pages you see as a problem, Tom, specifically, or of every page, and go through it one by one before changing anything, which is ultra tedious but avoids misinterpretations. But I can't say that prospect excites me. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 21:32, November 23, 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Scott and Nate. I think clarity is in the eye of the beholder, and sometimes if you're too close to something you're not a good judge of whether or not it's clear (which is my I would ask other people to read my term papers in college, for example.) Danny wrote "Looking at the examples, I think it's reasonable to say that someone reading the SpongeBob or 90210 pages could be confused about the difference between References and Muppet Mentions. Tom's suggestion can help clarify that confusion." I happen to agree with him. As far as the one page rule goes, I can take it or leave it.— Tom (talk) 21:44, November 23, 2009 (UTC)

The suggestion that I made above was: "We use "References to X" when there are both References and Muppet Mentions in the article, and when the article is longer than one screen on a typical resolution."
I'm not sure what the confusion is here -- it says "and", not and/or.
Whether we have consensus on that suggestion or not is another matter; I just want to clarify what the consensus is supposed to be about. Applying that guideline to William Shakespeare, the page should have "References" and not "References to Shakespeare", so Tom was incorrect in his application of the proposed guideline. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 18:09, November 24, 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Danny. I stand corrected. My confusion was that I interpreted the "and" to mean that two separate circumstances existed under which the proposed guideline would apply. I understand now that your proposal means "We use 'References to X' when there are both References and Muppet Mentions in the article, but only if the article is longer than one screen on a typical resolution." Thanks again for the clarification.— Tom (talk) 18:21, November 24, 2009 (UTC)
Oh, okay! I understand what happened now. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 22:19, November 24, 2009 (UTC)
I was actually confused by "References" and "mentions" as well when I first saw them. I agree that "references to x" has the potential to be very clunky; my choice for making it clearer would be "References by Muppets". This is a good match to "Muppet Mentions", is not unduly long, and is could be universally applied, which I think is a much better choice than doing one thing sometimes, and another thing in other cases. Just my 2cents. If we go with Danny's solution I'll be ok with that too. -- Wendy (talk) 17:37, November 25, 2009 (UTC)

Ah, the plot thickens! :) Well, I could live with Wendy's suggestion, though it would explicitly state that the references were made by Muppets and not, say, in a non-Muppet Sesame Street segment. Nate has already stated his opinion that distinguishing between the two is silly, but I would be interested in the opinions of others. Could we live with the reference to Star Trek made in a non-Muppet cartoon segment of A Sesame Street Christmas Carol being labeled as a reference by a Muppet? Food for thought. I think I still prefer "Rerences to [A]," where [A] need not be the full title of the page, but could be a shorter version, much like some academic journals have "running titles" on the top of pages following the title page.

By the way, Wendy, I had suggested earlier changing "Muppet Mentions" to "Mentions of Muppets" because, strictly speaking, "Muppet Mentions" means "mentions having to do with Muppets" or "mentions somehow relating to Muppets" and does not distinguish between Muppets making the mentions or Muppets being mentioned. In writing, I apply a notion called "Negative Design," which in this case means "write what you mean, but also make sure your writing couldn't be taken to mean something else." So one meaning of "Muppet Mentions" is indeed "Mentions of Muppets", but "Mentions of Muppets" is more specific.— Tom (talk) 18:11, November 25, 2009 (UTC)

20,000 pages on the Muppet Wiki

We're getting there... any thoughts on how to mark or celebrate it when we do? Max riverbottom 05:00, November 11, 2009 (UTC)

Outdated redirects

Scott and I have been playing with the new search engine that we have on the wiki now. When we find odd results, then I've been talking about them with Kyle, who's been working on the new engine, and he's made some changes to make the results better.

I was talking to Kyle today, and found out that sometimes we're seeing strange results because we have so many redirects on our site -- a lot more than any other wiki. Obviously, that's because we're super awesome, and we care about what pages people go to when they're searching for something.

But -- there's one kind of redirect that we don't need anymore, which is the case-sensitive redirect. It used to be the case that searching for pigs in space wouldn't get you to the Pigs in Space page, unless there was a redirect for Pigs In Space. That got fixed a few months ago, hooray, so we don't actually need those redirects anymore.

We left them in anyway, cause who's got the time, but recently both Scott and I have been bugged by how ugly the redirect notice is, and now I'm seeing that it might be giving us quirky search results too. So we might as well delete them when we notice them. There's a ton of them, so it's not necessarily something that we want to devote ourselves to -- but if you feel like deleting them, please feel free. Just check "what links here" first to make sure that nothing's linking to that redirect. So there you have it. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 01:31, November 4, 2009 (UTC)

I'm looking at them right now and I'll do a little at a time. I'm also taking the liberty of deleting some which are remnants of multiple merges or format changes but which no reasonable person would use as a search term or expect to lead to a page, usually with colons (i.e. "Cameos: Fran Brill," which redirected to Miscellaneous Cameos but we now have the more sensibly named Fran Brill Cameos). Similarly, while Miss Piggy Calendars makes sense as a redirect, "List: Miss Piggy Calendars" doesn't (and is only around because the calendars category went through a ton of renames, reformats, and moves before finally maturing). I'm checking the links and being cautious about those, but things like that are just old remnants which show how the Wiki changed, not redirects that actually help users. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:47, November 4, 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a great idea. And yeah, I'm sure these will get cleared up a little at a time, as we go along... -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 01:58, November 4, 2009 (UTC)
Can we get rid of stuff like In Harmony: A Sesame Street Record (LP/CD), too? Those have been bugging me for years! -- Ken (talk) 02:50, November 4, 2009 (UTC)
Done! As is, we have more than 1,000 redirects (with the result that it won't show beyond that; we'll see some more when the cache next refreshes at least), so if you see any more of that kind, mention them here. We might also urge everyone to be more careful when redirecting, since I'm spotting a lot of redirects which seem to have been created based on a whim and might bear discussion. The Royal Smart Person redirecting to Caveman Days makes sense (though redirecting to Sherlock Hemlock would make more sense). Then we have redirects for Lauren Kitchens and three other folks who appeared on Food Network Challenge; that's iffier to my mind, since I doubt anyone would search for them here by name and they're unlikely to be linked elsewhere, but it still makes a kind of sense. But then there's The Green Grouch of Yucchingham and the Five Grouchketeers, which redirects to Episode 3141. It's not a search term combination that folks would use, and episode 3141 is the only page to use that phrase at all so just typing the phrase leads to the right place. I haven't yet, but that's the kind of extraneous redirect which just feels like clutter. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:00, November 4, 2009 (UTC)
In point of fact, we have 11,408 redirects. I'm preparing a list right now. I see Ken already adding Delete tags to unused redirects and that's awesome. I just want to stress again, what Danny said, that we should make sure to click What Links Here on each of them and make sure we don't end up deleting anything that will create redlinks around the wiki. I'll have that list up soon. It's mammoth. —Scott (talk) 03:40, November 4, 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I've checked all the ones I deleted (especially since I noticed case sensitivity is fixed when searching but that doesn't change when someone links with a weird case). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:48, November 4, 2009 (UTC)
Here's the full list of redirects: Sandbox:RedirectsScott (talk) 07:57, November 4, 2009 (UTC)

Possibly an easier way to do that is to look at Special:Allpages... Redirects are highlighted with italics. That way, you can see a list that's updated in real time. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 17:17, November 4, 2009 (UTC)

Search results---first page of twenty
Are we sure that redirects are what's throwing off the number of results on the first page? Each page is supposed to show 20 results, but the accompanying screenshot only shows 14 including the redirects. —Scott (talk) 02:19, November 7, 2009 (UTC)
I'm almost never sure about anything, but that's what Kyle told me. If I understand it correctly, the engine grabs the appropriate number of results, and then takes out duplicate redirects. So even with the redirect that it's showing, there are (apparently) six other redirect results that it's not showing on that page. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 06:37, November 7, 2009 (UTC)

Ask Big Bird at NY Times

The NY Times website is currently having a feature where fans can send questions to Caroll Spinney and Carol-Lynn Parente, though many have addressed questions to Big Bird. So if any of us have any questions ::cough::that'dbegoodforthewiki::cough:: then I recommend checking it out (I've noticed that many of the questions are a bit stupid or innappropriate... I know that we all can ask much better, more intelligent questions). --Minor muppetz 02:08, November 7, 2009 (UTC)

Wow, that's cool. I check it out and it seems cool, but wondering on which ones they will address to answer and what kind of answer they will give us. Can't wait for the answers to the question come in from them. Here's the link in case people want to check it out --> Ask Big Bird a Question. --Steven (talk) 04:06, November 7, 2009 (UTC)
I thought I'd posted the link... Thanks for posting it. I'm not familiar with the website, but the paragraph before the questions doesn't say anythign about the questions being picked-and-chosen, though in some cases that might be better (a lot of people ask about Mr. Snuffleupagus's former imaginary status, Ernie and Bert's relationship, where Kermit the Frog has gone, etc.). --Minor muppetz 00:11, November 8, 2009 (UTC)

Shameless plug

I don't usually do this, but it seems relevant and appropriate. I've recently started writing a column for Examiner.com, as their "El Paso Cartoon Examiner" (I get paid per page view). This week (and likely next week), I'm doing a series looking closely at Sesame Street's animation connection over forty years. The first article is here, and naturally, I linked to the Wiki several times. Coming up will be a profile of Jim Henson's own animation work, and other Muppet/Sesame people who also worked in animation (including Karen Prell and noting Caroll Spinney's work as a cartoonist). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 06:55, November 5, 2009 (UTC)

That's a completely appropriate plug, and a great article! I like your spotlight on the Hubleys at the end; it's nice to draw people's attention to some of the interesting animators who have worked on Sesame. I did a post about it on Twitter... Hopefully that'll get some folks to check it out! -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 07:06, November 5, 2009 (UTC)
Great job, as always! I'm looking forward to future articles! -- Ken (talk) 05:22, November 6, 2009 (UTC)
Here's the latest, on Jim as animator/animation producer. Not all inclusive, partially so others can chime in but mainly because Examiner's interface is a bear to work with so I didn't want to embed more than three samples. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 09:12, November 11, 2009 (UTC)

Redirects and categories

I just discovered something. We redirected the pages for Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald to the page for Rose-Marie, which makes perfect sense to me. However, I was sad because Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald would no longer show up in the Celebrity References category. But I played around, and found that I could add a category to the pages for Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, still have them redirect to Rose-Marie, and have them show up in the category listing for celebrity references. Does anyone have a problem with doing this? I think it solves what was my biggest hangup with consolodating pages, in that the categories the individual pages were included in were lost in the listing pages. -- Nate (talk) 20:26, October 31, 2009 (UTC)

Other examples where it could prove to be useful. Just glancing through the redirects page, The Seven Deadly Sins, Avarice, Envy, Lust, Sloth, Vanity, etc., are all redirected to The Seven Deadly Sins. Placing a category tag for each individual page, would give them a credit in the individual character listings, but not have all the tiny fractual pages for each individual character.
It could also be really cool with the songs. Often times we don't even have pages for them, as there isn't much to say except, "it is on this CD", or it was in this show. And they redirect to those specific CDs, shows, etc. Adding a category tag to them would list them on the category pages, but not have tiny pages with virtually no information about the song. -- Nate (talk) 20:41, October 31, 2009 (UTC)
This actually came up recently, at Talk:The Cloverland Dairy Cow. While I'd copnsider it less vital for cases like Eddy and MacDonald (pages we likely would not have created at all had we done Rose-Marie), it's harmless and can be useful, and in cases of character merges, for the sake of the index, I'm all for it. I'm not so sure what you mean by songs, but given an example, I think it could work there too. We've done it before in the past but not widely, when it was deemed important for a title to show up in a category even if it redirects. So I'm glad you brought this up, Nate, and I think it's definitely worth doing more of. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 21:11, October 31, 2009 (UTC)
I'll work up some music examples after Halloween fun is over, but for now I'm going to have fun with it in my favorite places on the wiki, pop culture. While I agree Eddy and MacDonald pages aren't vital, they are celebrity references just as Polly Darton is a reference of Dolly Parton and so on and so forth. Just because they have faded from the pop culture lexicon in recent generations, they have their place in history and I think it's great to show the gamut of references. -- Nate (talk) 21:22, October 31, 2009 (UTC)
And if I had paid attention, I would have caught this at The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, which were categorized redirects after we merged them back with Dashiell Hammett (and is where I got honked off because The Maltese Falcon wouldn't be included on the movie references page). -- Nate (talk) 21:26, October 31, 2009 (UTC)
Oh, it's nothing to do with obscurity (I love Eddy, and besides, take a look at Rudy Vallee Doozer, say, or Snub Pollard), just that the references really seemed to be more about the movie, but it certainly doesn't hurt to categorize the redirects, like I said. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 21:27, October 31, 2009 (UTC)
Sorry I missed this conversation before! I agree with you guys -- I think having a category on a redirect page is a good solution to the problem of duplicate pages, like the Cloverland Dairy Cow or the Rose-Marie stars. I agree with Nate that we can use it for song pages (like the "Camping in Canada" songs) that we don't want to create separate pages for.
I do want to mention a little note of caution -- we should be careful about cluttering up the category pages. That doesn't apply to these examples at all, but here's a made-up example: I can imagine an eager person creating redirects for "Bunny #1", "Bunny #2", "Bunny #3" and "Bunny #4", all linking to "The Four Bunnies", and putting a Muppet Characters tag on all of them. So this is a good trick, but we should still be thoughtful about how to use it. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 01:18, November 4, 2009 (UTC)
Full agreement with that. It makes sense when we've merged characters in a grouping but only when said characters had individual names/identities to begin with or are otherwise something a reasonable person might look for on its own. In fact, we have quite a few anchored Frackles re-directs like that, mostly fan names, which I think there's no point in categorizing. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:34, November 4, 2009 (UTC)

Image placeholder

Andrew asked on my talk page about the image placeholder, which is a new Wikia feature that encourages people to add an image to a page that doesn't have one. The idea is to give people who are browsing the site a way to help out. We don't like failure boxes on this wiki, because they're horrible and they never get taken off, but I think the image placeholder helps to call out a place where someone can help.

For example, there are a bunch of minor puppeteers and international people where it's hard for us to find images. The reader who's looking at that minor puppeteer page is likely to be someone who's interested in puppeteering -- or maybe even that puppeteer him/herself -- and they might have access to a picture that they can upload.

The placeholder makes it easier for people to upload a pic, because it opens right into an upload form, and then places it on the page, so people don't have to learn how to add the image code before they make their first edit. The placeholder disappears once somebody's uploaded a picture, so it doesn't hang around endlessly like failure boxes do.

So it's basically making the "Images Wanted" page accessible to the people who are potentially most likely to be able to help. What do you guys think? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 17:29, October 30, 2009 (UTC)

I personally like it. I think its a great little attention grabber for people. -- Nate (talk) 17:42, October 30, 2009 (UTC)
I was taken aback by it, and at first assumed it was another one of those automated "Whay You See Is What You Get" additions, not something intentional, since in the cases you mention, it likely would hang around endlessly, at least say several months to a couple years.
It would make more sense to me either a) if the person adding the template has an image but they haven't got around to it and want this as a short term reminder or b) it's a case where an image is in fact relatively easy to take care of (i.e. screengrabbing from Sesameworkshop.org but the original page editor doesn't know how to do that; breaking news where images are circulating but one wants to start a page first). In the case of the movie references you added them to, it's at least until Scott or someone else with the calendars can scan the relevant images which normally would be several days at the very least if not months if one has to locate the calendar itself and so on (though I guess it does spur one on in order to get rid of the box). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 18:59, October 30, 2009 (UTC)
Part of the idea is to leave it around for new people to find -- it's not something that we're trying to hide. Obviously, we won't have it on major pages, which all have images already -- it would look silly for us to have "Add image" on the Kermit page or the Sesame Street page. But there are lots of pages where we don't have an image now, and a Muppet fan reading that page could help out -- with puppeteer pics, or Muppets Tonight screenshots, or a scan of a book cover. Having the placeholder there can encourage that person to help out, whether they come by tomorrow or a year from now. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 19:11, October 30, 2009 (UTC)

mining the new 40th book

As folks start to get their copies of the new book, I'm sure we'll all be finding cool things to add to the wiki. I can never remember the exact title of the book, so I made a template to cite it:

<ref>{{40book|**}}</ref>

The asterisks are for the page number. And don't forget the ref tags. —Scott (talk) 00:46, October 27, 2009 (UTC)

Redirects and categories

I just discovered something. We redirected the pages for Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald to the page for Rose-Marie, which makes perfect sense to me. However, I was sad because Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald would no longer show up in the Celebrity References category. But I played around, and found that I could add a category to the pages for Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, still have them redirect to Rose-Marie, and have them show up in the category listing for celebrity references. Does anyone have a problem with doing this? I think it solves what was my biggest hangup with consolodating pages, in that the categories the individual pages were included in were lost in the listing pages. -- Nate (talk) 20:26, October 31, 2009 (UTC)

Other examples where it could prove to be useful. Just glancing through the redirects page, The Seven Deadly Sins, Avarice, Envy, Lust, Sloth, Vanity, etc., are all redirected to The Seven Deadly Sins. Placing a category tag for each individual page, would give them a credit in the individual character listings, but not have all the tiny fractual pages for each individual character.
It could also be really cool with the songs. Often times we don't even have pages for them, as there isn't much to say except, "it is on this CD", or it was in this show. And they redirect to those specific CDs, shows, etc. Adding a category tag to them would list them on the category pages, but not have tiny pages with virtually no information about the song. -- Nate (talk) 20:41, October 31, 2009 (UTC)
This actually came up recently, at Talk:The Cloverland Dairy Cow. While I'd copnsider it less vital for cases like Eddy and MacDonald (pages we likely would not have created at all had we done Rose-Marie), it's harmless and can be useful, and in cases of character merges, for the sake of the index, I'm all for it. I'm not so sure what you mean by songs, but given an example, I think it could work there too. We've done it before in the past but not widely, when it was deemed important for a title to show up in a category even if it redirects. So I'm glad you brought this up, Nate, and I think it's definitely worth doing more of. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 21:11, October 31, 2009 (UTC)
I'll work up some music examples after Halloween fun is over, but for now I'm going to have fun with it in my favorite places on the wiki, pop culture. While I agree Eddy and MacDonald pages aren't vital, they are celebrity references just as Polly Darton is a reference of Dolly Parton and so on and so forth. Just because they have faded from the pop culture lexicon in recent generations, they have their place in history and I think it's great to show the gamut of references. -- Nate (talk) 21:22, October 31, 2009 (UTC)
And if I had paid attention, I would have caught this at The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, which were categorized redirects after we merged them back with Dashiell Hammett (and is where I got honked off because The Maltese Falcon wouldn't be included on the movie references page). -- Nate (talk) 21:26, October 31, 2009 (UTC)
Oh, it's nothing to do with obscurity (I love Eddy, and besides, take a look at Rudy Vallee Doozer, say, or Snub Pollard), just that the references really seemed to be more about the movie, but it certainly doesn't hurt to categorize the redirects, like I said. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 21:27, October 31, 2009 (UTC)
Sorry I missed this conversation before! I agree with you guys -- I think having a category on a redirect page is a good solution to the problem of duplicate pages, like the Cloverland Dairy Cow or the Rose-Marie stars. I agree with Nate that we can use it for song pages (like the "Camping in Canada" songs) that we don't want to create separate pages for.
I do want to mention a little note of caution -- we should be careful about cluttering up the category pages. That doesn't apply to these examples at all, but here's a made-up example: I can imagine an eager person creating redirects for "Bunny #1", "Bunny #2", "Bunny #3" and "Bunny #4", all linking to "The Four Bunnies", and putting a Muppet Characters tag on all of them. So this is a good trick, but we should still be thoughtful about how to use it. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 01:18, November 4, 2009 (UTC)

Image placeholder

Andrew asked on my talk page about the image placeholder, which is a new Wikia feature that encourages people to add an image to a page that doesn't have one. The idea is to give people who are browsing the site a way to help out. We don't like failure boxes on this wiki, because they're horrible and they never get taken off, but I think the image placeholder helps to call out a place where someone can help.

For example, there are a bunch of minor puppeteers and international people where it's hard for us to find images. The reader who's looking at that minor puppeteer page is likely to be someone who's interested in puppeteering -- or maybe even that puppeteer him/herself -- and they might have access to a picture that they can upload.

The placeholder makes it easier for people to upload a pic, because it opens right into an upload form, and then places it on the page, so people don't have to learn how to add the image code before they make their first edit. The placeholder disappears once somebody's uploaded a picture, so it doesn't hang around endlessly like failure boxes do.

So it's basically making the "Images Wanted" page accessible to the people who are potentially most likely to be able to help. What do you guys think? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 17:29, October 30, 2009 (UTC)

I personally like it. I think its a great little attention grabber for people. -- Nate (talk) 17:42, October 30, 2009 (UTC)
I was taken aback by it, and at first assumed it was another one of those automated "Whay You See Is What You Get" additions, not something intentional, since in the cases you mention, it likely would hang around endlessly, at least say several months to a couple years.
It would make more sense to me either a) if the person adding the template has an image but they haven't got around to it and want this as a short term reminder or b) it's a case where an image is in fact relatively easy to take care of (i.e. screengrabbing from Sesameworkshop.org but the original page editor doesn't know how to do that; breaking news where images are circulating but one wants to start a page first). In the case of the movie references you added them to, it's at least until Scott or someone else with the calendars can scan the relevant images which normally would be several days at the very least if not months if one has to locate the calendar itself and so on (though I guess it does spur one on in order to get rid of the box). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 18:59, October 30, 2009 (UTC)
Part of the idea is to leave it around for new people to find -- it's not something that we're trying to hide. Obviously, we won't have it on major pages, which all have images already -- it would look silly for us to have "Add image" on the Kermit page or the Sesame Street page. But there are lots of pages where we don't have an image now, and a Muppet fan reading that page could help out -- with puppeteer pics, or Muppets Tonight screenshots, or a scan of a book cover. Having the placeholder there can encourage that person to help out, whether they come by tomorrow or a year from now. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 19:11, October 30, 2009 (UTC)

mining the new 40th book

As folks start to get their copies of the new book, I'm sure we'll all be finding cool things to add to the wiki. I can never remember the exact title of the book, so I made a template to cite it:

<ref>{{40book|**}}</ref>

The asterisks are for the page number. And don't forget the ref tags. —Scott (talk) 00:46, October 27, 2009 (UTC)

A new Pingu wiki

Hi guys -- A new Pingu Wiki was just created, and it's super cute. I don't know if folks remember Pingu; they were included as extras in the first set of Fraggle Rock DVDs. Anyway, the people setting up the new wiki are really sweet, and it's a cute thing -- so if anybody feels like stopping by and giving them a little help, I'm sure they'd appreciate it! -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 16:33, October 23, 2009 (UTC)

Magazine appearances

I just wanted to point out a sandbox page I started a few days ago at Sandbox:Magazine covers. As the page explains, it's from The Works and shows off a bunch of magazine covers featuring Henson stuff. We have some of them covered on the wiki, but I thought it would be good to have those pages here for reference when we're scouting eBay. Not only would they be good to have covered here, but I'll bet the articles have a lot of great info we could slip into articles here. Anyway, just wanted to bring that some attention. If anyone's got any of those issues, it would be great to know more about them. I'll be scouring eBay as always. —Scott (talk) 01:38, October 19, 2009 (UTC)

Oh, that's great... A big help. Would it also help to make a list under the pictures of the magazines that we're still looking for, with titles and dates? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 01:50, October 19, 2009 (UTC)

Redirect message

Hey all. I just took out the little message you get on a page when you've been redirected from a search term. Season 40 going to Season 40 (2009) for example. This is really an editor tool, but it's a small unsightly thing that readers shouldn't have to see. It comes in handy when we need to change what, to use the same example, Season 40 redirects to, or we want to start a new article or disambig page. So to do that now, there's one extra step which most editors know how to do anyway. Just click What Links Here in the toolbox, and the link you want will be listed there, accessible in a way that won't redirect you. If you don't want that extra step, or you're really head over heals in love with that little message, you can add it back to your person css file (for example, mine is User:Scarecroe/monaco.css) like this:

#contentSub {
   display:block !important;
}

So, that's all. And that's just one more little ugly thing we don't have to look at. —Scott (talk) 00:09, October 15, 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure it's a great idea. I believe I read on Wikipedia that that message serves the purpose of reassuring the reader that she is in the right place and did not misclick or fall victim to some sort of bug. For your example, such a thing may be unnecessary but many redirects do not resemble their targets' titles and could be confusing if not called out. Powers 01:32, October 19, 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia often falls into the trap of overexplaining things for the sake of the small minority that might be confused. We shouldn't show something ugly or distracting to 99% of readers just because 1% might be mildly confused for a second. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 01:48, October 19, 2009 (UTC)

I didn't realize the change also took out a couple of other tools, so I put it back until I can figure something out. —Scott (talk) 03:57, October 25, 2009 (UTC)

Oh, blah. I liked not seeing it. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 04:51, October 25, 2009 (UTC)
Me too, I'll figure it out. As soon as I don't have a honkin' big Sesame book to look at ;) —Scott (talk) 04:53, October 25, 2009 (UTC)
Yay for the honkin' big Sesame book. Random thought -- could we right-align it? That way, it wouldn't be directly in people's line of sight... -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 17:08, October 25, 2009 (UTC)

Sesame Workshop parenting blog

Sesame-siteswelike

Julian created a page today for Sesame Family Robinson, a blog by Marty Robinson and Annie Evans about the birth of their twins. It includes some video clips with Telly and is generally completely adorable. Here's a direct link to the blog.

Plus! as a nice surprise -- there's a box along the side for "Sites We Like", and Muppet Wiki is one of the ten sites! Thanks, Marty and Annie -- we kinda like your show, too. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 21:37, October 9, 2009 (UTC)

We're millionaires! —Scott (talk) 00:09, October 15, 2009 (UTC)

Best Known As

Okay. What's your opinion on these. I give you some examples of capitalization, linkage from the box, and some with two listings if they had no real singular standout connection. Here are Jennifer Connelly (actress or Actress?), John Cleese vs. Gilda Radner (linkage or not), Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Madeline Kahn (multiple connections listed vs. only one. And in my opionion both Sesame Street and The Muppet Show are equal for Madeline, same for Malcolm, even if hers are more significant and remembered), and finally Kirk Cameron vs. Jason Bateman vs. Drew Barrymore (capitalization again: celebrity interview vs Celebrity Interview vs. Celebrity interview). After typing this I thought maybe it should go on the current events, but the box is your pet project, so I wanted to start with you. -- Nate (talk) 22:29, October 8, 2009 (UTC)

Okay, here are my opinions, fresh off the top of my head:
  • The point of the box is to quickly explain why this person is relevant to the wiki. Examples: This is a TMS guest star, this person made a cameo on Sesame Street, this person appeared in a Creature Shop movie. That's the information that should stand out to people; the specific episode is an extra detail.
  • On that background, I think the black text stands out more than the blue linked text, so on John Cleese, "The Muppet Show guest star" is the bit that stands out. That makes it work for me, better than the TMS link on Gilda Radner.
  • The box for Jennifer Connelly doesn't work for me. I agree with the general concept, which is: "She's relevant because she played Sarah in Labyrinth." But the words "Labyrinth / actress" don't convey that to me. Because it's black, the word that stands out is "actress", which doesn't really make sense as the first thing you see. I think what we want is something like: "Appeared in Labyrinth -- Sarah".
  • Along the same lines, this is what I would do with Malcolm Jamal-Warner: "Muppet Magazine interview -- issue 13".
  • I also think it's important to pick the single most important reason why they're here. For Madeline Kahn, the TMS episode is much more important than her Sesame appearances -- it's a full half-hour with the Muppets, instead of a set of brief interstitials. If we don't pick one thing, then the box for someone like Lily Tomlin would be insane. If it's completely impossible to choose one thing, then we don't put the box on that page.
What do you think? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 22:43, October 8, 2009 (UTC)
I think the Muppet Magazine guests should look like this: "Muppet Magazine Winter 1986." Issue 13 doesn't mean anything beyond the fact that it was their 13th issue. More importantly, the magazine identifies itself as Winter 1986. —Scott (talk) 22:49, October 8, 2009 (UTC)
Oh, yes, you're right. That's a better idea. I'd still say "Muppet Magazine guest" or "Muppet Magazine interview", and then the Winter 1986 date. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 22:52, October 8, 2009 (UTC)
Also, I'd say save it for those pages where the person really needs it, or has such a complicated and detailed bio that it buries their connection. I don't think Richard Bassett needs the box (I'm trying to see if I can confirm some other film credits just to flesh that out slightly, but his connection is made obvious in one sentence and via the picture). I feel the same way about David Brenner (if need be, we can just move the Fozzie thing up) and I find the box distracting and repetitive in those cases. That's just a tip, though. Thanks for working on these, Nate! -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:55, October 9, 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. It's cool that we're figuring this stuff out; I'm glad that folks are cool with using this. I kind of thought nobody liked it. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 05:10, October 9, 2009 (UTC)
I agree the black stands out better then the blue links. Take a look at Jennifer Connelly again and see what you guys think about that. I also agree with Scott on the magazine listings. However, I'm not quite in synch with Andrew. I think we should try to use it uniformly. I kinda like that you can go to a page and immediately see how they fell into the Muppet Universe. Even if it is a simple article. Ideally, even short articles like David Brenner and Richard Bassett will get filled out a little (although I admit that some folks just don't have enough credits to fill a page out into a nice article). I think it's neat to just immediately see a box with how they are connected, and a picture. That box would draw me into the article to look for a little more depth in that connection. Also, using Andrew's arguement, if someone's page is detailed, and the information might be buried, oftentimes that is going to be someone with multiple connections that are all mostly significant (Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, et al) and they wouldn't have a box (using the "too difficult to pick just one thing" arguement).
I'd like to lobby for the box to have at times two connections (if needed), but no more then that. To me, I remember Madeline Kahn more for Sesame Street then TMS, that is where I first fell in love with her, but that is just my opinion (and might be because of an age diffence). I see Danny's philosophy on it though that half an hour with the Muppets is more significant then half a dozen or so little segments scattered over years. Although I think it would be rare to have people have two connections listed. Sort of an exception to the rule.
On another note, Teri Hatcher is one with three small connections, so instead of listing one of them, I'd be prone to say a general "commercial appearance". The box looks funky though. It's a slippery slope of interpretation, and I'm honestly ok with whatever is the group decision is.
And as one more side note. Is there any way for the box to say something about what it is. Like, "Know best in the Muppet Universe for..." or "Primary Muppet Connection:" or some other such thing? -- Nate (talk) 16:39, October 9, 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I think Jennifer Connelly works great now! Terrific. My suggestion for the other questions is to wait a few days... Now that you're using this box a lot, we're figuring out the best way to use it as we go along. So maybe we start with the ones that are easy -- one major connection, easy to add the box -- and leave the tricky ones for next week, once we see how all the easy ones work. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 17:08, October 9, 2009 (UTC)
I still don't think the box needs to be on every single person's page. The purpose of it when Danny came up with it was to help in cases where biographical text bury the connection and so on. If the first sentence spells out the connection, it's just redundant and pushes the picture down (an issue for non-logged in readers more than us). I know we've added a lot of boxes and templates, and a performer box on every page with a known performer makes sense, as do the episode and infoboxes. I'm not sure a "best known for" box when they're not even very well known to begin with and it's right there in a most obvious way is anything other than clutter. Just looking through recent changes, page like James Wilby doesn't have a box and doesn't need one since the first sentence states why he's on the Wiki, and Richard Bassett and Jon Richards and Ed Leitner and the like are the same way. I'd rather just save the box for cases where there's a reason to draw a reader's attention to it. Even if/when David Brenner's page is filled out (and I filled it out as best as is possible, I think), his connection is right there at the top. I just moved the magazine stuff up too, so it's all right there. Here's the very brief discussion when the box was created, by the way. At the time, Danny said it wouldn't be used uniformly but "the point is that sometimes I'll go to a Muppet Show guest star page, and it's not always obvious to me how to find the link to the episode. So this might be something to put on celeb pages where there's one big Muppet connection that we want to make sure people can find." -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:08, October 9, 2009 (UTC)
Yeah. I agree with Andrew and the Danny of yesterday. I think this is a good box that we should use more, but it's definitely possible to overuse it. Andrew's point about pushing the picture down is a good reason to just use it when it's relevant, and also a good reason to only have one credit there -- two lines is better than four. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 20:04, October 9, 2009 (UTC)
I totally agree with pushing the picture down, I've even thought about bringing it up that we might place it underneath the picture, but then I realize that is silly. But let me make sure I follow. Don't over use the box, use it only when an article doesn't immediately and clearly state what their major connection is to the Muppets (which to me means we need to work on the article itself for relevance), and don't use it if there are multiple connections on equal footing. Don't use it when there are multiple connections, but none are significant. But if the picture is captioned with their major achievement, then it wouldn't really be needed, would it?
Here's what I'm thinking. The following would be the "filter" we use to see what would go in that box. You would start at the top of the list, and when you hit on something they did, that is their "major connection":
  • If a celebrity hosted TMS or Muppets Tonight, or starred in a Muppet Movie then that is what goes in the box.
  • If they appeared on Sesame Street then that is what goes in the box.
  • If they had a cameo in a Muppet Movie, that is the box
  • If they were interviewed for Muppet Magazine, that is in the box
  • If they appeared in a commercial, live event, etc. a vox would not be needed?
All of that would be subject to "if the article isn't clear enough" to draw attention to the information immediately. Or would we just sorta plunk the box on the page in our own judgement? -- Nate (talk) 20:57, October 9, 2009 (UTC)
That's a great breakdown, Nate! In general, I'd agree with those standards and the "clear enough" proviso. I'm against just plunking, but definitely some will be a judgement call (and if there's disagreement, it can be brought up here or on the talk page or what have you, and we're still experimenting, so now's the best time to try it out). In some cases it's really obvious: yeah, Charles Grodin appeared in two other specials (and documentary and behind the scenes stuff) but he's best known to Muppet fans (and arguably to many folks in general) for The Great Muppet Caper.
By the way, I think one of the reasons Danny created the box as far as clearly and immediately stating connections is due to an old issue. It cropped up a few times, in current events, on Danny's talk page, etc., though right now this is the only example I can find (and it's also when the box was first brought up as a possibility). But there were others where it basically came down to disagreement as to how to approach those pages and what to put first: the Muppet connection or explain why the person was famous at all in the first place. Thus the box.
I'm still proud of Bob Hope, which I think combines everything in a readable but Muppet-centric way, and at some point it would be nice to do the same with similar celebs who've had long term, varied, major Muppet/Henson relationships (Lily Tomlin, Julie Andrews, Robin Williams, etc.) Looking at Jennifer Connelly, even, I just noticed her relevance is stated in the first sentence, but with slightly dense text around it, so that may be just a rewrite issue, it depends (since there is more to say about her as an actress, though in general less context would be needed than for folks like Pat Paulsen or Whitman Mayo, where often the reaction of younger site visitors is "Who is that guy?") I'll try to play around with it later this weekend if I get the chance (both boxing and rewriting). Looking at the page, Charles Grodin really needs some love! (And I'm pretty sure there are quotes on the Muppets and Miss Piggy we could use, as well as many reviews praising his chemistry with our favorite pig). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 21:41, October 9, 2009 (UTC)

Linking outside the wiki

Have we ever set policies about linking to things outside the Muppet wiki within an article, and not when listed as an external link. I've noticed a few pages where in the middle the article there is an external link (normally to wikipedia) about something specific. While it is interesting, it is distracting as it is not directly related to the Muppet universe as a whole. I looked around to see if we have had a discussion on this (I thought we had), but I've come up empy handed. -- Nate (talk) 00:46, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm not sure we've ever really talked about it. I agree, it can be distracting. I think the point of it is to explain a particular thing that may be unfamiliar to the reader but isn't within the scope of the wiki. But we haven't been consistent about it at all. Do you have some examples, so we can look at them more closely? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 00:48, October 5, 2009 (UTC)
We had a discussion about it, actually, waaaaay back. It can be found here. The consensus at the time, of sorts, was that it made sense when an obscure term was used in an article (see Andy and bildungsroman and Count von Count and arithomania). But that was over three years ago, so if it's an issue, we could always either reword or even foot-note in those few instances. What other examples have you seen, Nate? We have tried to discourage Wikipedia linking, within an article text, to people or movie titles and so on, but a few may have been missed. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 00:55, October 5, 2009 (UTC)
I could remember two that I've seen the last few days. Olamide Faison and Pat Galloway. I think both are not really needed. But I left them in to start a conversation. -- Nate (talk) 01:12, October 5, 2009 (UTC)
Just stumbled on a third. Sherry Amott -- Nate (talk) 01:15, October 5, 2009 (UTC)
Ugh, yeah, Sherry Amott really looks messy. It could use a re-write anyway, but half those links are duplicated below anyway, which is the way we handle things like that (i.e. links to official or portfolio sites, company sites, etc.). Likewise Olamide Faison; if anyone really cares, they can easily Google the name of his group but it doesn't affect one's comprehension of the article (in contrast to bildungsroman). With Galloway, Agnes Macdonald is kind of obscure so a link doesn't hurt, but again it's not really Muppet relevant and there's already a brief explanation to contextualize that this is a historical figure being portrayed. I think I've done this once or twice on pages like this, when dealing with significan but lesser known historical figures, but looking at it again, while not the same as Wikipedia linking recent US presidents (most of whom are known anyway), it could set a bad precdent and again the curious can Google. So I'll try to fix those later (today, I've been horribly sick, congestion, sinuses, severe migraine, and a kind of emotional breakdown on top). Thanks for bringing it up, Nate, and feel free to bring up any other examples (some others may be legitimate grey areas). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:51, October 5, 2009 (UTC)
Now they are popping up a lot as I cruise around. lol. Here's another one. Arabs. -- Nate (talk) 15:18, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Category:Active Talk Pages

I've been trying to clean-up active talkpages, which lately have grown a bit out of hand and also been ignored. Today, I managed to trim down 80+ to 33, and last month it had reached 70 plus, and so on. This is in contrast to a more common average of 30-40 tops a year ago at this time, even when admins haven't been as active in clearing it (and it's not solely our responsibility anyway). The issue seems to clearly correspond with the change to the sidebar (see this discussion), which is where the oldest items still in the category date to.

On the whole, the pile-up and clogging of this category seems to relate to two causes: 1) more questions being asked but never receiving even one response or discussions stalling without really being resolved to the point where someone feels they can pull the tag and 2) tags being left after a question has been answered or problem solved (article changed, page merged, deleted, or renamed).

As far as item one, I'm inclined to suspect a major cause, based on the stats, is moving the Active Talk Pages link out of the sidebar. One can click Muppet Wiki:Community and then access the category, but that's an extra step, and it's not clear to newbies or even to some of the more casual readers (or anyone who missed the initial sidebar announcement) that this is the new home for the Active Talk Pages category. So I suspect a lot of people may just not be seeing the questions or aware that older ones weren't resolved (or boxes not removed) and it's piling up.

So, what to do to make Axctive Talk Pages more visible/accessible again? Any thoughts on the issue, or if you think it even is an issue? Here's a few things. One, now that we have "My Home" as the first place a logged-in user goes on each wiki when they enter or click the URL, there's a Community Corner section. Scott fixed it so, in the righthand side, below "My Contributions" and "Hot Spots," there's a "Recent Discussions" list. This includes the ten most recently active edited "Active Talk Pages" with a link beneath it to the full category/list. I like it and think it helps, but it's only accessible from that one "My Home Page." Another thought I'd had is potentially changing Recent Changes (if it could even be done). It seems to me that another factor is that, on busy days, new questions are buried in a flood of edits, especially when episode guides are made and so on. So it might be useful if, similar to the way one can hide or show minor edits or one's own edits, it might be nice to just have it show all edits to talk pages (if possible, including user talk pages and Current events). I don't know if that's at all doable though or would be the best solution. One side benefit of people noticing and answering questions is that it can at times bring attention to the article itself, so other uses actually read it and make other changes: typos, additions, pictures, whatever. These may not relate to the talkpage discussion but generally improve the article quality, especially on small or obscure pages, so that's a good thing. So, any and all input on this is appreciated!

Also, just a reminder on the second cause of active talk pages piling up: please take out the box when a question is solved! I know we sometimes want to leave it up, say, at least a day or two, so the user in question can see it, but often that leads to it remaining up for months, and it definitely should be removed the moment a page is deleted, merged, or renamed, since by then the problem is solved. In general, this is something that can or should be done by anyone. Often the user who started the question may want to keep an eye on it, especially if they posted the last comment (often an "Oh, thanks! That explains it" kind of answer) or the user who provided the answer may if there's no further activity. This is the actual guideline we've had for years but not always strictly enforced: "The talk box may also be removed if a question hasn't been answered after a week." That does include stalled questions, though they can be re-opened later. Also, some boxes have been attached to things that aren't questions (info parking, a random comment or statement, an opinion or even a misplaced forum-style query). In cases like these, while sometimes the user wants the box up for a few days so people can see it (and they usually say so in their note or edit summary), if it's not there, don't feel that you need to add one. These are things that all of us tend to lapse in, but it does help to make sure that major issues or active discussions get the attention they deserve.

Finally, a lot of the stalled questions tend to be of a single type, "who played this Muppet." Answers sometimes come, but the box isn't removed. Other times, there's a dispute, since they usually involve minor or one-shot characters and it's usually a matter of voice identification by ear (sometimes based on just a couple lines), and random speculation or misidentification on YouTube and forums don't help. So my own suggestion would be to basically create a Name That Performer page as the place to put these queries, similar to Name That Puppet. Some may never be solved (many are really unanswerable without inside knowledge or a reliable specific source), but the same applied to character names, and often results are surprising. That would allow these issues to be discussed without their clogging up the talk pages or lingering too long, especially when they basically become issues of one opinion versus another and no clear consensus (cases where it's a matter of checking screen credits or other sources are different). It could also be a place to park not just Muppet stuff but, say, the various occasions where someone pops up in a Sesame insert or as a guest but nobody knows who they are (some have been solved quickly, some died but then reopened months later, and some, like the infamous pilot Gordon, seem likely to remain mysteries). Anyone else think such a page would be helpful? -- Andrew Leal (talk) 00:43, September 30, 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I think the Recent Discussions box on My Home will help a lot. I know that it's already helped me keep a closer eye on the new talk pages!
It is possible to filter Recent changes to just show talk pages -- click on the dropdown menu and select the Talk namespace, and then click Go -- but that's another extra step, and it's probably easier to just check the Recent Discussions box. Actually changing the structure of Recent changes would require engineering....
And yes, we should be taking the boxes off when the question is answered. I'm very guilty of that. I always think that I should leave it up so that other people see it, but obviously then it never comes down... I'll be better about that; thanks for the reminder. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 20:46, September 30, 2009 (UTC)
What about cases where a user cites a source related to the question but then isn't sure of how good it is? --Minor muppetz
Well, we should take the box off when we feel like the question has been answered as well as it can be, and the discussion is over. If you offer a possible source, but you're not sure whether that answers the question or not, then you should probably leave the box up and see what other people think. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 05:57, October 7, 2009 (UTC)

Rich Text Editor-friendly tables

Hi guys -- Some of the long-time folks may be aware that Wikia has a new Rich Text Editor (also known as the Wysiwyg editor). This editor presents the text of the page in the edit box the way that it looks on the actual article page, hiding the code and making it a lot easier for new people to make edits. Long-time contributors may not have seen it -- it's been the default for new editors for a few months, but folks who have been editing for a while are still using the old MediaWiki editor.

If you haven't seen the new Rich Text Editor, you can go to your Preferences to check it out; it's under the "Editing" tab. Personally, I prefer using the old editor because that's what I'm used to -- but the new editor has been really successful in helping new people to get started contributing to wikis.

So there's one problem, which I think we ought to figure out. The Rich Text Editor handles our tables very well -- you can edit them with no problem. But when you make an edit, it saves the edit in a slightly different table format. Check out this edit I just made on the Monsterpiece Theater page. I added a sentence to the "Monster in the Box" item far down the page, saved it -- and the RTE saved it using the new format.

The new format is exactly the same, and it didn't change the table at all -- it's just a different way of showing the spacing in the code. (I've heard it described as "longhand" instead of "shorthand".) Either way of doing it is fine, but the RTE can only do it one way.

The problem is -- when a new editor comes along using the RTE and makes an edit on a page with a table, then the diff looks like that edit that I just made. It's impossible to tell what the change was by looking at the difference, because all the spacing difference hides the actual change the person was making. It could be a fantastic edit, or it could be a mistake -- there's no easy way to tell.

So that means we're going to have a problem every time someone new comes along and tries to edit one of our tables. There are always new people joining the wiki, and we want to be open to having those people help out, so there are a few options for what we can do:

  1. Tell new people that they're not allowed to edit pages with tables. (Obviously unfriendly and unhelpful.)
  2. Tell new people that they have to switch to using the MediaWiki editor if they want to edit pages with tables. (Also kind of unfriendly, and sets up an unfortunate dynamic with all of our new editors.)
  3. Go through ourselves and edit all the major pages with tables using the RTE, so that all the formatting can be switched by contributors that we trust. We'll also create new tables using that form of spacing, so it won't be a problem from now on. That way, new editors can edit every page, and we won't have to worry about it anymore.

Obviously, option #3 is a pain in the neck, because it involves going through and making a minor edit on a whole bunch of pages -- especially all the Sesame episode pages. But I think in the long term, that's the only way that we can keep from constantly reverting potentially good edits, and driving away potentially helpful new contributors. I'm happy to lead the way on doing the cleanup, if folks are okay with it. What do you guys think? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 19:00, September 27, 2009 (UTC)

Option 3 would work if it weren't for one side effect. The RTE editor turns the code into something completely unmanageable by anyone not using RTE. The RTE editor is a great tool we've been able to offer new wiki editors, but I will personally never use it. I suspect that most of our regular editors won't either. So it's not really fair to ask them to deal with something like this:

RTEsample01

For some reason, RTE doesn't know how to add spaces after a pipe |, or retain the pagebreaks that we manually put there in the code. That's all it really needs to do for both RTE editors and wikicode editors.

RTEsample02

Scott (talk) 19:52, September 27, 2009 (UTC)

I've been noticing that when newer people edit pages, that "nbsp" appears where a space should be. I'm not sure if they're adding it, or if it just shows up. I mentioned it to Danny, but I'm mentioning it here in case anybody else has seen that, and wondered what it was. Since these are all minor things that keep showing up because of the new editor, can any of this be fixed by a bot going through and changing them back to what they're supposed to be? -- Ken (talk) 01:20, September 28, 2009 (UTC)
Huh. I wondered why somebody had randomly changed all the markup on a bunch of tables. I'm with Scott in that I will never use the RTE, and I don't like trying to parse what it does to the page. But since I don't have a better solution, and I was totally stymied trying to figure out if a recent contributor was making decent edits or not, I understand the need to find a solution. -- Wendy (talk) 01:32, September 28, 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, I hadn't really thought of it as unmanageable, just different. I know that there's going to be an upgrade to the Rich Text Editor in the next month, based on improvements that the original developer made. I'll talk to George (who's running this project), and ask if there's any chance that the problems we're having with tables could be helped with that upgrade.
Meanwhile, we ought to be aware that when we see recent contributors apparently changing table structures, they don't mean to do it -- so we should assume that they're trying to be helpful. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 03:02, September 28, 2009 (UTC)
Looking at those two pictures again... The only difference between those two is that it's missing a space around the pipe, and it's missing a line break between each item. That makes it slightly harder to read, but I'm not sure it qualifies as unmanageable... -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 03:04, September 28, 2009 (UTC)
There is actually one other option, which is to add a NOWYSIWYG magic word to all of our pages with tables. That'll automatically turn off the RTE even for new contributors. Problem is, we can't add that to a template like the Sesame episode box; we'd have to add it by hand to every page with a table in it. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 03:21, September 28, 2009 (UTC)
It's unmanageable for me. In the first example, everything is jumbled together with no room for the eye to make sense of where things begin and end. In the second example, it's very clear that each section is separate from another. It's why we set the pages up that way. Another thing I just noticed is that RTE strips out DIV tags which destroys links like this which we use in great amount on the wiki.
If pipe spacing, line breaks, and DIV tags were left alone, I think we'd be in good shape. —Scott (talk) 03:25, September 28, 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I'll show this conversation to George, and see if he knows if the upgrade will help at all. What do you think about adding the NOWYSIWYG tags? I just don't like setting new contributors up for failure by letting them edit the tables, and then sort of treating them like vandals and reverting them when they've tried to make good-faith edits. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 03:47, September 28, 2009 (UTC)
I'm okay with using NOWYSIWYG tags. Does that mean we have to add them to thousands of pages? —Scott (talk) 04:00, September 28, 2009 (UTC)
Pretty much, yeah. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 04:06, September 28, 2009 (UTC)

Okay, I talked to George -- He's going to see what he can do about fixing the spacing problems... I'll let you know when I find out more. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 21:03, September 28, 2009 (UTC)

New search results

Hey guys, somethin' new on the wiki. Wikia's working on a new version of the internal wiki search engine -- it's based on an engine called Lucene, instead of the standard MediaWiki search. It's not completely finished yet, but it's good enough to test out on a couple lucky wikis. We just turned it on here, so you can check it out.

The stuff that's better: Better relevance for the search results, so there's more interesting stuff at the top. It displays just the text without the wiki code, so the excerpts are more useful and less scary. It also allows you to search using three-letter words and numbers, which the old search didn't.

There are still a few more tweaks coming; this isn't the final version. But it works great. Try it out! -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 23:36, September 22, 2009 (UTC)

Three letter words! Amazing! Hallelujah! At last, all misspellings of "the" can be fixed! Plus, you know, be easier when looking for Bob or Tom and rum and so on. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:14, September 23, 2009 (UTC)
Cool! I just fixed a couple of "teh"s. -- Ken (talk) 02:34, September 23, 2009 (UTC)
Just did a search for gay and gay muppeteer but The Rainbow Connection: Richard Hunt: Gay Muppeteer didn't come up. —Scott (talk) 03:13, September 23, 2009 (UTC)
Nor me. At first I thought the spacing and colons may be throwing it off. But looking further with other words (including non three-letter ones), it could be because it and hasn't been indexed yet, since nothing shows up for other key words in that article (like the author, Jessica Max Stein) nor do results for some other pages that were newly or recently created, while others (like D23 Expo) do. It's confusing. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:47, September 23, 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I'm glad you caught this. I'll talk to Kyle about it today; he's the guy who's still working on these search results. That's super helpful. I hope you guys don't mind us being the guinea pigs on this unfinished product... -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 16:36, September 23, 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I found out what's happening with that -- the Lucene search isn't indexing new changes, so that page isn't in the search results yet. An engineer is working on this. Meanwhile, Kyle is going to disable the Lucene search for now, so we'll go back to the MediaWiki results until that bug is fixed. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 21:06, September 25, 2009 (UTC)

They fixed the bug that kept Lucene from indexing new pages, so we've turned it back on again. What do you guys think? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 19:18, September 30, 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't seem very intuitive. I go back to the "gay" example because I was looking for that when my copy of the Richard Hunt zine arrived. Search for "gay" brings up the article for the zine now, but it's below the fold and under a bunch of other articles that doesn't even have "gay" in the title. Results with "gay" in the title should be the most relevant for that search, but Lucene isn't smart enough to pick up on that whereas the old search did. —Scott (talk) 22:52, September 30, 2009 (UTC)
This system is actually (supposed to be) smarter, because it takes into account other factors besides whether the word appears in the title or not. Kyle knows the details and I don't, really, but I know that some of the factors are the number of links going to that page. For example, if you search for the word "blue", then Fat Blue and Bear in the Big Blue House come up above the disambiguation page for Blue.
So if you look for "gay", then Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons come up above Richard Hunt, Gay Muppeteer -- but if you look for "gay muppet", then the Hunt zine comes up above those. It's a more complex system, which overall I think is supposed to give better results than the old system. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 00:51, October 1, 2009 (UTC)
Here's a weird one. If you search for home, "Goin' Home" doesn't show up until the fourth page of search results. —Scott (talk) 01:01, October 1, 2009 (UTC)

Here's another odd thing. If you search for Friday the 13th in the advanced search, not only does it not turn up the page in the search results, but it only finds two links, The Daily Show and D23 Expo. Not even any of the pages where Friday the 13th is referenced (such as Joyce Gordon) are listed. -- Nate (talk) 19:33, October 12, 2009 (UTC)

I've been showing these to Kyle as we've been going along -- these are great, exactly what we were hoping to find with this early release. It looks like "friday the 13" works fine, but "13th" doesn't. Kyle is checking it out, and will get it cleared up. Thanks! -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 20:22, October 12, 2009 (UTC)
Radio City Music Hall yields nothing when you do a search, doesn't even pull up the page for The Rockettes. -- Nate (talk) 04:06, October 13, 2009 (UTC)
Grah, what a mess. Lucene search apparently went down tonight -- I just switched it off for now. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 04:51, October 13, 2009 (UTC)

It exists!

Ladies and gentlemen, thanks to the sharp eye of Michael, I give you Baker #1! Enjoy! -- Ken (talk) 02:15, September 19, 2009 (UTC)

No way! That's awesome. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 02:22, September 19, 2009 (UTC)
Do we dare hope for a Jazzy Spies #1? -- Ken (talk) 02:46, September 19, 2009 (UTC)
I doubt there was a Jazz #1. the first season show content doesn't list Jazz #1 (the only 1 segment listed there was Henson #1). I'm not sure how likely it would have been for those files to leave out inserts broadcast in the first season, but it does list quite a few segments (including some Jazz skits) without listing episode numbers. --Minor muppetz 14:10, September 19, 2009 (UTC)

Editing problems

I'm having trouble logging in. It's as if every other time I try to edit a page or go onto another page, I log out instantly. Has anyone else had this problem? -- MuppetDude 16:02, September 17, 2009 (UTC)

I haven't seen any reports of similar problems today. Can you try emptying your cache, deleting cookies, restarting your browser and logging in again? Does it happen in other browsers? What browser version and operating system do you use? —Scott (talk) 17:04, September 17, 2009 (UTC)
I couldn't edit earlier today. A pop up window would come up and ask if I wanted to save a file or fine a program online to open the file. Same thing would happen when I would click on the "new pictures" link. -- Nate (talk) 18:17, September 17, 2009 (UTC)
I've only been on for a bit and had no issues, but it sounds like it could have been a general Wikia thing and, whatever the cause, it appears to be gone now. A good tip, which I don't always remember myself: when you notice something strange, especially when it involves odd pop-ups or error messages, take a screengrab. It helps to document the problem and assists the tech people in tracking down what could have caused it. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:53, September 17, 2009 (UTC)
I've had a problem for several weeks now. I left a note on Danny's talk page about it, but no one seems to have noticed (though I didn't express the problem quite fully). Whenever I log in, it doesn't register on the page of the wiki on which I logged in that I have logged in (even when I have). But if I go to another page of the wiki then it shows that I am logged in. But if I go back to that page I had up when I logged in it still shows me as not logged in (even though I obviously am). Emma 13:49, September 24, 2009 (UTC)

Sesame Street episode links

I've been doing something lately with Sesame Street episode links in articles, and it makes sense to me, but it's a slight change to the writing style, so I wanted to bring it up and see what people think.

I'm not talking about most of our links, just a particular kind -- links in a sentence where it's sort of a stray episode number that doesn't have other context. For example, in the Aladdin article, there was this sentence:

"David Alan Grier guest starred as Aladdin in Episode 4025 of Sesame Street."

Personally, I'm not so up on Sesame episode numbers that I know when that is -- I know enough to say that it's fairly recent, but off the top of my head, I would have said that it could be any time in the last ten years. Turns out it's 2002. So the information "Episode 4025" doesn't help me put it in context -- I know from that sentence that he was in an episode kind of recently, but I don't know anything else.

So when I've seen sentences like that, I've been changing them to:

"David Alan Grier guest starred as Aladdin in a 2002 episode of Sesame Street."

With "a 2002 episode" being a link to Episode 4025.

This still provides the link and the information, while also giving the average reader some extra context that they wouldn't get from just seeing the episode number.

What do folks think about this? Is it something that we'd want to adopt more widely in those kinds of situations? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 15:42, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

I think it would depend on context. In other words, if the link is there mainly as a source or an eka to explain when Bert and Ernie went to the park or something, I don't think the year really matters (and of course, if it's not a street scene, that's always subject to change later on). However, I agree that it works for non-insert celebrity guests, and also for major events (episodes which served as the official intro for a character, the "Everyone meets Snuffy" episode, etc.) -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:21, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I meant. This isn't for eka's, or anything where the specific number is the relevant info. I'm just talking about instances where it's part of a sentence. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 21:46, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
I think even if it is part of a sentence, but it's not an area where the date is really important or useful, i.e. references: "When Big Bird and Snuffy go on an adventure in Sesame Street episode 3135, Snuffy wears an Indiana Jones style fedora on their adventure and an Indy look-alike is repeatedly chased down Sesame Street by a large boulder." It's from 1993, but I don't see the year as being especially useful, and our format on all the reference pages is to include an episode name or number, not a year.
Similarly, Mr. Snuffleupagus has a "Near Misses" section, where people almost saw Snuffy or where he tries to make himself seen, but changing the episode numbers to a year in those instances wouldn't really add anything, to my mind, since there was often more than one per year and we know they all happened prior to the reveal. This is in contrast to an earlier sentence in the same article, "the major human characters never believed his existence until episode 2096 in 1985." It includes both episode number and date, since it's a significant milestone. So that would make sense to me, for milestones, character intros, or celebrities (which tend to be topical) but not every sentence that has "In Episode 0276, Bert eats an oatmeal cake" and so on. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 23:11, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
I think it's relevant for the reference sentence as well. If we say that something happened in episode 2714, then we might as well just say that it happened in a Sesame Street episode. When was episode 2714? What else was happening on the show then? Was that back when I was watching it, or after?
We're writing for a readership that can't say, oh, right, episode 1423, that was the period when I was watching as a kid. Having a year helps to ground you in the history of the show -- the episode number doesn't tell you much at all. Personally, if you give me any given episode number, I pretty much lose track of where it is in the series after about 800, and I've been immersing myself in this wiki for years. I can only imagine that for people reading the site, an episode number might as well just be a random four digits. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 03:32, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, especially since the seasons went from 130 shows a year, to 65, to 50, to 26, so the numbers are now going by a lot slower, but most people don't know that. I know when I see an early episode number, I have to stop and try to multiply by 130 in my head, and I usually just click to see what year it was. So the way Danny is doing it would help, since I can just hover over and see the number, and the year is already on the page. It's kind of like how we do Muppet Show episode links. I like that you can see the number, and you can hover over to check who the guest star was. -- Ken (talk) 04:27, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
That's what seems odd to me, though, on references. Take Indiana Jones. We do use just the episode number, not the year, on Muppet Show episodes. Guest star s the main idea there, sure, but it would look kind of terrible for lists on the Snuffy page to have years or, in the middle of a reference list with either episode titles or numbers, to see years, as if we don't really know which episode it's from (which in the case of some clips or excerpted stuff, really is the case). I just don't see the point in changing every episode link, just the important ones. If it was back when the reader was watching ot not, well, they can click to find out, just as they'd click to find out on an eka. That's how it seems to me. If we're talking when a celebrity guest starred (especially one who may not be so famous now) or Mr. Hooper dying or Around the Corner's debut episode, then dates seem relevant, since those *are* part of the history of the show, in a way that "A Mona Lisa painting appears in blank episode" really isn't. It just seems like excess work I guess to make it a rule to use the year every single time, regardless of context or how important it is, when often, even when it's not in the eka format, the episode number is just there to confirm that this happened in an episode and isn't an unsourced fan memory. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 05:12, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

sidebar

Could we put the active talk pages back into the sidebar, it makes it much easier to accsess. -- Joe (talk) 19:38, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

You can edit your own personal sidebar -- check out User:Scarecroe/Monaco-sidebar for an example. We decided that "Active talk pages" is really only useful for a handful of contributors, and isn't very useful for 99% of the people reading the site -- so you can still access it through the "Community" link in the toolbox, or you can edit your own sidebar to have all the links that you want. Let me know if you need help with it! -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 22:52, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

The case of the disappearing pictures

What happened to all of the pictures? Where they're supposed to be I only see blue boxes with question marks in them. (I have a Mac, so Windows users might see a clear box with a red x in it.) - Jasonbres 15:19, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

It happened to me. Restart your computer. I have a mac, I restarted it and no question marks! Webkinz Mania says stuff 15:46, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Wikia's having some database trouble right now... They're working on fixing it. It's a pain. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 18:59, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Muppet Wiki's evil twin?

What is the meaning of this? I'm confused ... --MuppetVJ 20:08, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Good question! I'm asking the Ops folks... It's probably a test version, but I don't know what it's testing, or why we're getting watchlist e-mails about it... -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 21:29, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
That's weird. It's like a time capsule of how the wiki looked about a year ago. It even still has our avatars! -- Ken (talk) 01:07, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Very weird. I am a bit freaked out... I am also confused. Webkinz Mania says stuff 12:42, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

19,000 articles!

It looks like we just crossed 19,000 articles! Congratulations to everybody! Maybe we'll hit 20,000 in time for our 4th birthday! -- Ken (talk) 03:58, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Yay! That's a big milestone. And yeah -- I think we can make 20,000 by December... That would be super exciting! -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 18:04, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Then again... I just looked at the current stats, and we're making about 5 new pages a day right now. If we stay at that rate... we'll get to 20,000 in about six months. Which would still be awesome. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 23:38, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, I know that there a bunch of song pages I haven't gotten to yet, so I'll see what I can do to help! -- Ken (talk) 01:26, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
And a lot of SS characters I've yet to add! -- MuppetDude 20:14, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
You mean there are even more?! -- Ken (talk) 01:02, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
And, getting a bit corageous here, hundreds of Sesame Street Episodes. -- Joe (talk) 09:35, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
And with Season 40 underway, there'll be a bunch of articles about that. At least 100. And the 40th birthday of Sesame Street! I agree Joe. So much more Sesame Street episodes other than Season 40! Webkinz Mania says stuff 12:44, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Green to Blue

Is there a reason that the color scheme of the wiki has changed from green to blue? -- Peter (talk) 18:46, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

It shouldn't have... I still see it as green. There might be a bug. I'll check it out... -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 19:03, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
I checked it out... We released a new skin this week called Lean Monaco, which looks the same but is supposed to load faster, especially for logged-out readers. It looks like there's bug that's causing some people to see Sapphire instead of the chosen skin. We filed a ticket about it; hopefully it'll get fixed soon. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 21:53, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
This should be fixed now... Does anybody still see the wrong skin? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 16:43, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Pageload-20090716
Skin looks okay to me, but I see another weird issue since the new code rolled out. About 1 in every 3 pages that I load, the skin looks like this for about two seconds. —Scott (talk) 16:54, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that was a different problem from yesterday. Is that still happening to you right now? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 18:09, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Even after the CSS purge that Jason cleared on varnish just within the past hour. —Scott (talk) 20:43, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
It's changed back to blue for me. Is anyone else experiencing this again? -- Peter (talk) 23:27, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm seeing green here, but I've seen some skin issues on other wikis. I believe it's a cache issue that (I hope) is being fixed with a code release tomorrow morning. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 23:31, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm seeing green, but the same half-loaded skin is showing up for me in the first couple seconds of the page load again. I'll check again tomorrow after the new code rolls out. —Scott (talk) 04:16, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Official Henson Company Youtube Channel

The Jim Henson Company just recently started Youtube channel. It has some cool stuff, such as an "outtake" from The Jim Henson Hour, a Munchos commercial, and some early Henson films like Cat and Mouse and Idea Man. So there's some cool stuf to embed. --Minor muppetz 14:40, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Season 36 on iTunes

I just released Season 36 was on iTunes. It looks like it came out today. Twelve episodes, like the first volume was released and the new volume came out most likely came out because the first volume was number nine in best kids shows and is in "Kids: iTunes Picks:". Webkinz Mania says stuff... 22:53, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Sesame Streem links

A new contributor, User:Sesamestreem, came and added lots of links to his website, Sesame Streem. The site has a stream of out-of-print Sesame and Muppet albums. It's also linked to a store, where you can buy the vinyl LPs (and a CD copy along with them).

This is super borderline, but I'm not sure what to do with it. On the one hand, it seems pretty clear that the streaming is copyright violation, although we don't have much room to get on our high horse about that. The albums themselves are out-of-print, although some of the tracks are included on currently available CDs.

On the other hand -- copyright stuff aside, it's actually a really neat website, and it does provide value for our readers. I wouldn't want to host all that, but linking to it? I dunno.

On the third hand, I'm a little irritated that the dude came in and added 30+ links to his more-or-less commercial site without saying anything to us about it. So I don't know what to do. Any thoughts? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 00:49, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi everyone, my name is Jay and I'm the culprit in these new links. I'm very new to the whole wiki editing, so I apologize upfront as it appears I have already taken a large misstep. I will be happy to comply with whatever the community feels is the right thing to do in regards to the links, including removing all of them immediately.
Although my site is set up so that anyone can enjoy these old albums for free, I understand Danny's concern because it is also linked to my web store. I feel like I've made a stupid mistake and should just remove the links now anyway, but I will do whatever the MW community feels is best. Thanks for your time.Sesamestreem 01:32, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
No, please don't feel like you have to take them out right now. It's cool; this is part of having a wiki. You make a change, and if it's something that needs to be talked about, then people talk about it! Once we've all talked about it, if it turns out that we want to take the links out, it's easy to do.
I'm really glad you posted here; it's great to have you be part of the conversation. So don't worry, you haven't offended anybody! I take back what I said about being irritated; you're cool. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 01:48, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Ha ha, okay, thanks for the note of reassurance. I'm happy to not be blasted from the site the same day that I got here. Sesamestreem 02:05, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Hi, guys! (You knew I'd show up for this one, right?) I was watching these links appear earlier, and I was excited and nervous at the same time, so I'm glad Danny brought it up. The last thing I want to do is get the Workshop mad at us, since I know we all love what they do, and want to support them. I guess for me the gray area is the audio streams. But then, this is the same thing as the tons of Sesame clips on YouTube put up by fans, and Viacom seems to have had more of a problem with them than the Workshop does. So I'm really torn. I'd love to hear the material I don't have yet (and it'll be awesome to finally finish the song pages), but I don't want to advocate violating copyrighted material, either. I'm happy that Jay's site offers a burned CD of an album purchased from him (which is legal), and not just cranking out CD's of the Columbia LP's and putting them on eBay. So like I said, I'm torn, and I guess I'll leave it up to the admins.
By the way, does anybody know if Muppet Central Radio ever gets complaints? Because I think what people are worried about is not so much listening to out-of-print material, but downloading and making a bunch of copies without paying the copyright holder. -- Ken (talk) 04:45, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I have no particular reason for this, but quite arbitrarily I would prefer that we link to an internal wiki page on the website, and that page in turn would link to the external site for those who wish to go there. -- Wendy (talk) 20:42, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Oh, that's an interesting idea. Let me make sure I understand: Each Sesame album page has a See also link to the Muppet Wiki page about Sesame Streem. Then you can go from that wiki page through an external link to the Sesame Streem site, which has great navigation that can help people find what they're looking for.

I think that would help me feel more comfortable about linking to Sesame Streem as a resource for readers. I'm happy to let people know that the resource exists, but the current links make it sound like Sesame Streem is a part of the wiki. "Listen to the Born to Add album" with an external link basically sounds like an advertisement, and if it's on every Sesame and Muppet album, then that's a lot of advertisements. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 21:24, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

I think that sounds like a very good idea! It helps to remove the stigma that Sesame Streem is operated by the Muppet Wiki, but still creates a simple way to get from an album listing to the corresponding "listen to" page. This actually would have been my preference from the start, but I wasn't sure how to set up such a page and also didn't want to come of as some self-important guy going "Hey, look at me and my music!" Thanks for the idea, Wendy. -- Jay -- Sesamestreem 21:47, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
That's right! I forgot that Sesame Streem would get a page in Muppet Fandom, then that would kind of be a buffer between the wiki and his site, like we do for other Muppet fan sites. I like that idea, too! -- Ken (talk) 04:00, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Anybody else have any thoughts about this, or can we create a page for Jay's site in Muppet Fandom, and take out the links on the actual album pages? -- Ken (talk) 02:45, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, sorry this petered out. I think that's the best way to do it. Ken, do you have the time (and patience) to do all that, or do you need some help? -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 03:46, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Hey guys, definitely let me know if I can help in any way - including removing the other the links and what I need to do to get the Fandom page up and running. Thanks! --Jay-- Sesamestreem 05:20, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I'll work with Jay on this. Thanks, everybody! -- Ken (talk) 05:39, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

I started removing links to Sesame Streem in the See Also sections of some albums last night before I realized what had been decided here. I caught the early part of the conversation where we said we'd have a page for the fansite. But why are we linking to it all over the wiki? The site is obviously illegal and I don't think we should be endorsing that behaviour. I mean, as a fan I think it's cool that it exists, but providing entire albums owned by Sesame Workshop goes way beyond using pictures or posting video clips. Isn't it enough that we have a page for the site? I don't think we need to form an affiliation with Sesam Streem. No offense meant to the webmaster. —Scott (talk) 14:46, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

new links in the sidebar

Hey all. You may have noticed that there are two new links in the sidebar with icons next to to them, Write an Article and Add Image. They're new links rolled out in the code today, but there's no way to disable them if you already know how to do those things. If you don't want to show them, here's what to do: 1) create your own .css file if you haven't already. Mine is at User:Scarecroe/monaco.css. 2) Enter the following code:

#link_box_dynamic #dynamic-links-list {
   display:none;
}

Save the article and you're done! It may take seconds for the changes to show up, or it could be several days. And let me know if you need help figuring anything else out. —Scott (talk) 15:06, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Should we be removing the "Upload an image" link in the sidebar, since it's redundant now? -- Peter (talk) 18:46, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

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