I've been thinking again...

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I've been thinking again...

Postby Arantor on Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:11 pm

(Apologies if you've seen this post elsewhere. I'm asking this question of all of the comics covered at WordOwl)

Hey all,
I've been doing some thinking again. Always a bad sign, but hey.

Anyone who's read my little blog concerning the WordOwl search engine may know I built a character reference for use with comics, to help me make sure I get the characters right.

The question I'd like to pose to people is this. Alongside WordOwl, I've been thinking of adding a wiki, which features all of the comics available through WordOwl.

Specifically it would feature the comics themselves, storylines, characters, that kind of thing. With the characters, the normal wiki stuff would allow editing a character history, perhaps a nice picture of the character and so on, whilst I can build an extension bridge between the wiki and the database, so on the character pages, it'd automatically fill in stuff like "First appearance", "Most recent appearance", as well as bridging back to WordOwl to see all appearances of that character.

I'd be using a specially customised setup of MediaWiki (which also powers Wikipedia if you've never heard of it before).

What do people think of this?

(It would also cover Sporkman too, if it goes ahead)
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Re: I've been thinking again...

Postby John T on Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:32 pm

I'd love it. I've tried building a Wiki before but never had time for it. Even if somehow linked up with WordOwl's stats, even better.

Not that anyone but me would ever add to it right now. I still have, like, no readers. Though that should change next week...
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Re: I've been thinking again...

Postby Arantor on Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:48 pm

The plan would be for the bridge to carry as much from WordOwl's database into the wiki where possible, so the wiki page for each character could concentrate on being background and other stuff.

For example, I'd see a character page have an info box on the right to cover the vital figures, but the main part might have several sub-headings: "Origins of [character]", "Early life", "Adventures" etc.

You could also do things like cross-over handling in that.

I'm also thinking about how it could also handle the artists as well, since this is actually recorded along with the strip data, although not used for anything other than making pretty graphs right now. So for example, you could have "Artist: John S. Troutman" as a page somewhere, and it could list all the strips WordOwl is aware of that you'd done.

As I said, this is just something I've been thinking about, rather than starting to implement seriously. But if support is strong enough, I can start running development in between doing some of the transcriptions. Most of it is pretty straightforward, since it'd be mostly changes on WordOwl's side to export data into a format I can easily pick up in MediaWiki, rather than the other way round. (In actual fact, it'd be changing one script I already have, which already does some of this for the site anyway)
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Re: I've been thinking again...

Postby John T on Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:34 pm

Well, like I said, it'd be cool. But I wouldn't want you to get overburdened since Word Owl is so badass right now and adding onto your workload could slowly kill the search engine's timeliness.
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Re: I've been thinking again...

Postby Arantor on Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:26 am

Very true... that said, knocking up code doesn't tend to take too long, I could probably knock out a draft of the bridge foundations for character data in about an hour, but even before I go down that road, I still want to think about all the different parts of it.

The best part about it being a wiki though is that I can do the setup and contributors can add the rest of the data. But like I said I'd really want to sit down and figure the mechanics out.
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