Oh No Robot!

A zany geek soap opera full of bizarre characters, a sentient slime mold or two, and more jokes than you can shake a 10Base-T networking card at.

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Oh No Robot!

Postby TCampbell on Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:41 pm

Jeff has joined forces with Ryan and me to make GPF searchable! If you want to help out, this is the best link to go to...

http://www.ohnorobot.com/helpout.pl?comic=252
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Postby sharpestmarble on Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:54 pm

It's my new time waster.

I'm not bothering to put in who said each line of dialog. Should I? Is there any use to it?
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Postby jtdarlington on Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:14 am

There'll be a new News post on Monday (provided I remember to write it) that will really officially announce the Oh No Robot connection. However, there's been plenty of folks who have already discovered it. Having the nice clickable link in the archive is a lot more convenient than the old GPF search engine project, where I had to manually portion out chucks of the archive and e-mail files back and forth.

For those who are interested, I've updated the Archive meta page with the first official link to it. I essentially repleaced the old search engine link/text with a link to ONR and a brief explanation of what to do. More prominent links will come when I finally figure out where on my cluttered site to put them.

What's really interesting about the current text is that I've also included a small status message that updates each night with how much of the archive has been transcribed. For example, as of 11:55PM Eastern last night, 110 out of an estimated 2445 comics were transcribed. That's roughly 4% of the archive. Not a huge dent, but not bad for an unpublicized addition. I gave T and the ONR guys all the data files from the old search project, and if those can be included, that could actually put us closer to something like 30-40% in one swoop.

M70X wrote:I'm not bothering to put in who said each line of dialog. Should I? Is there any use to it?


That's a good question, and one probably best for the ONR guys to answer. I was originally going to ask folks to put that in, but so many haven't already. I'm not sure of the internal detalis of the engine, so I can't be sure. But putting that in might make it easier to search on individual character appearances, something the old search engine had that ONR doesn't directly support. If my hunch is right, it could indirectly support it easily.
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Postby HackOfAllTrades on Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:11 pm

You could always start, here. (For the record, I found the link on the same page with the forms to enter the transcriptions. When in doubt, look for instructions.* ;)) Of course, that doesn't answer every question, like, since GPF is written in all caps, should the transcriptions be all caps as well, or all lower case to avoid issues of case sensitivity, or what, but it does answer M70X's question and a great many others, as well.

*Don't take this personally. I just feel, at times, like I'm on a one man cursade to get people to actually read instruction manuals... or if that's too much to ask, at least flip them on occasion, when they run into problems. Needless to say, I lack the patience for tech support. ;)
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Postby stjen on Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:58 pm

Just because the original creators of this service don't think the character names are not important, doesn't mean that they are not be important for the comic in question. It's a completely different thing if an unnamed character says something like "Nick, I love you, take me, I'm yours", and you don't know whether it was Ki, Trish, Sharon, Trudy or Fooker that said it. (Yes, some are less likely than others to have said that, but the whole context changes depending on who said it to whom.)

I would vote to include the character name of whomever speaks. (And go back and fix those that omit it.)
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Postby sharpestmarble on Sat Dec 17, 2005 7:18 pm

HackOfAllTrades wrote:You could always start, here. (For the record, I found the link on the same page with the forms to enter the transcriptions. When in doubt, look for instructions.* ;)) Of course, that doesn't answer every question, like, since GPF is written in all caps, should the transcriptions be all caps as well, or all lower case to avoid issues of case sensitivity, or what, but it does answer M70X's question and a great many others, as well.

*Don't take this personally. I just feel, at times, like I'm on a one man cursade to get people to actually read instruction manuals... or if that's too much to ask, at least flip them on occasion, when they run into problems. Needless to say, I lack the patience for tech support. ;)


<panic mode>I did read it, I swear!</panic mode> I think that they might have updated it recently, because that's the first time I've seen that more in depth transcription.
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Postby jtdarlington on Sat Dec 17, 2005 7:43 pm

It is new; I got a mass e-mail from Ryan around 10AM EST this morning. At this point, don't worry about ones that have already been approved. I can eventually go back and mark them as "needs improvement" and they'll show up with a different button under the strip (but still be searchable as is). My main concern right now is to get as much of the archive into the system as possible. We're currently sitting around 8%, so we've got a long way to go. :)
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Postby mouse on Sun Dec 18, 2005 12:06 am

well, this is what you get for churning out a comic practically every day for seven years. you gotta give us a few weeks to catch up :D
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Postby jtdarlington on Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:33 am

I'll be making a News post about this Monday, but I'll go ahead and post here the transcription rules I'll set forth there. I'll also be pointing folks to come here for addition transcription questions in the hopes that this thread can be a kind of central repository for information.

Anyhoo, here's the rules:
  • Capitalization: Although the text in the comics are in all caps, please use mixed case when transcribing the dialog. This of course introduces an interesting corollary: please be careful with capitalization. Proper names (people, places, etc.) should be capitalized, as should certain company and product names (Microsoft, Java). If you're really in doubt about how something should be capitalized, a quick Google search should probably answer it.
  • Follow the directions on the Oh No Robot transcription help page for adding scene descriptions, sound effects, and other non-dialog text. While transcribing just the dialog is more help than none, there's a lot of visual information that gets missed without this extra data. Make sure to include who says what, and be concise but thorough with your scene descriptions. Corollary: Don't speculate too much when writing this extra text. Keep in mind that some aspects of the strip are intentionally left open to interpretation, so while you should be thorough while describing scenes, don't add more to it than what's there.
  • Please check your spelling. While I can edit transcriptions before they go "live," I've had to spend a lot of extra time fixing typos and spelling mistakes. Make sure to proofread your transcription before you submit it. Corollary: Note that throughout the archive there are a number of intentional "typos," so when in doubt, you can always ask.
  • Speaking of asking, to keep from repeating a lot of answers, post questions to the Oh No Robot! thread (i.e., this one) on the forum. That way, someone who has a similar question to yours may get an answer quickly. (It will also keep me from cluttering up the News with constant updates to the rules.)

If you have any questions, make sure to bring them up. I may even update the rules on the news post before Monday if they need clarification.
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Postby stjen on Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:16 am

maybe you should make this thread Sticky, then?
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Postby jtdarlington on Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:57 am

Done, at least temporarily.
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Postby kiga on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:39 pm

Something I've been doing:
When there's a thought balloon, I type

Nick thinks: ...

When the outline is dashed, indicating a whisper, I type

Nick whispers: ...

I didn't see anything specific about what the standard is here, so that's what I've been doing.

There's also the issue of what to do when some mysterious voice is speaking, and we later find out who it is (maybe in the same strip, maybe later). Like these examples:
http://www.gpf-comics.com/d/20050820.html
http://www.gpf-comics.com/d/20000620.html

In this case, the readers are fooled when they first meet her:
http://www.gpf-comics.com/d/20050527.html

I've been inconsistent with this. I typically write "Voice:" in the first cases and put in brackets the cases where the person is not who she appears to be. Ideas?

Related to the last case are situations where the characters in the GPF strip play other parts, for instance in the Prometheus One story:
http://www.gpf-comics.com/d/20050829.html
I've been doing things like
Kyoko [Ki]: ...
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Postby HackOfAllTrades on Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:44 pm

jtdarlington wrote:Proper names (people, places, etc.) should be capitalized, as should certain company and product names (Microsoft, Java). If you're really in doubt about how something should be capitalized, a quick Google search should probably answer it.

Unless, of course, the item in question is fictional. That said, you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think company names (like Ubersoft and Regional Telecom, etc.--GPF, as an acronym*, is too obvious ;)) would fall under the heading of proper nouns, and as such, should probably be capitalized. Likewise, I'm assuming that official names for certain products would be capitalized as well (Nifty Doorways**, Velociraptor, and Mutex***, for example).

* Unless, of course, the exact wording requires the use of the full name: GPF Software.

** see Ubersoft link

*** Or should that be
"The Mutex"? (In other words, if spoken that way, would "The" be considered part of the official name?)

(*rereads post*
Sorry! The ideas seemed simple in my head, but that was convoluted, even by
my standards. :oops:)
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Postby jtdarlington on Sat Jan 07, 2006 6:55 am

Yeah, fictional proper nouns are still proper nouns, so they should be capitalized to pretty standard conventions.

As for the MUTEX, technically it is an acronym (see the May 7, 2003 strip), so "MUTEX" should be all capitalized. The article "the" I think is unimportant, so it should probably only be capitalized at the beginning of a sentence or similar instances.

Unfortunately, since I don't know how the search engine works behind the scenes, I don't know if the search is case sensitive or insensitive. If insensitive, capitalization wouldn't matter; if sensitive, it could cause all sorts of problems with searching (you'd miss every instance of "Mutex" if you searched for "MUTEX").
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Postby Tychomonger on Sat Jan 14, 2006 1:22 am

Should be easy enough to test. Make one transcription with the word 'abracadabra' and another with 'ABRACADABRA', then search for ABRACADABRA. Then just delete those test subjects with your super admin powers.
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Postby LeiraHoward on Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:39 pm

Question:
How do you want us to handle scenes with alternate characters, such as Alternate-Trish or Future-Trudy?

Or scenes where we don't learn the character's identity until a later time?

In some scenes, putting the names in could be serious spoilers... but then NOT putting them in could result in harder searches....

Is there a general guideline for this?
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Postby MaxJenius on Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:46 pm

Okay, I already have a beef with the Oh No Robot...

There doesn't seem to be a way to sort searches.

For example, I'd like to see what strips Trudy appears in, namely the ones before her reappearance.

Oh well, I imagine that function will eventually be added...
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Postby sonicvince on Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:25 am

I'm transcribing this strip right now and it raises some questions. Here's what I typed:

[[The Duncanses kitchen. Dwayne tries to feed Sydney with spaghetti. He has one on his head as well as tomato sauce on his pull-over. Sydney eats the spaghetti with her hands and has tomato sauce all over her mouth. Anyway, Dwayne looks pretty amused by the situation. Nicole is in the background, wearing a vest and obviously leaving the house.]]

Nicole: Dwayne, can you handle Sydney for a while? I have to go meet with a...er, client.
Dwayne: Sure, Nicole.

Dwayne, enthusiast: So, is this the big case Urbanski wants you to handle alone?
Nicole: Unfortunately. Don't wait up.

[[Nicole is at Nick's apartment's door, outside. Nick is inside.]]
Nick: Um, hello, Nicole. Is there something I can do for you?
Nicole: Sorry to impose, Nick, but where is Fred?

Nick: He's in the kitchen.
Fred: Good. You're here. Pull up a chair. I've already started.

Nick, puzzled: Already started? What's going on here?
Fred: Nick, I'm about to have a long disclosure with my lawyer. I would appreciate some privacy.

Nick, even more puzzled: Your...LAWYER?
Fred: Now, fetch up some drinks and be off with you. A cola for her and reheat some pizza grease for me.
Nicole, hiding her eyes with her hands: <<sigh>>


Specifically, I'd like your opinion on these points:

- is it right to add a short description of a charcter's expression next to his name (as in "Nick, puzzled: Already started?" etc.). If yes how would you describe Nicole's expression in the 2nd panel?

- would you transcribe the LAWYER from the last panel this way? That is, just in capitals, or would you add something for the emphasis?

- aren't the scenes descriptions a little too...well, descriptive? :)

- is a blank line enough to indicate we jump to he next panel?
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Postby jtdarlington on Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:52 am

LeiraHoward wrote:Question: How do you want us to handle scenes with alternate characters, such as Alternate-Trish or Future-Trudy?


Since there's no current agreed upon convention either here on the forum or in the strip itself, there's currently no convention for the transcriptions. That will probably come back and bit us in the rear later, but we'll deal with it.

LeiraHoward wrote:Or scenes where we don't learn the character's identity until a later time?


Some transcribers have been using terms like "Unknown Voice" or "Unknown," while in some cases when it's mostly obvious who it is (say, Trudy talking to Chuck over a radio), they'll go ahead and put Trudy in as the speaker, or say the voice is unknown but say it's most likely Trudy in the description. In a few cases when multiple characters are talking but there's no exact reference who is saying what (like the first panel of this comic), they'll take a guess, which I usually will correct before I approve it.

sonicvince wrote:is it right to add a short description of a charcter's expression next to his name (as in "Nick, puzzled: Already started?" etc.).


Some people have been putting it next to the character's name, while others have been including it in the description above, below, or in-line with the dialog. Without knowledge of exactly how the search engine indexes things, I can't tell you a "best" way for sure. I would think putting it in a separate description would be better, but that's only based on how I would probably design the database.

sonicvince wrote:If yes how would you describe Nicole's expression in the 2nd panel?


Frustrated? Exasperated? It's probably a rather complex mix of emotions she's experiencing. Obviously Dwayne doesn't know at this point that Nicole is giving Fred legal counseling; he seems to only know that it's a "big case." She probably either doesn't want to tell him she's counseling his employee, or possibily can't for priviledge reasons. Not being able to tell her husband probably adds to her frustration. Fred is also a pretty demanding client.

sonicvince wrote:would you transcribe the LAWYER from the last panel this way? That is, just in capitals, or would you add something for the emphasis?


There is no established convention for emphasis officially stated by ONR. Some folks have been capitalizing things, others adding underscores or asterisks, and some have been actually using HTML markup (<B>, <I>). Most of these don't matter to me, but I do suggest not using HTML markup. I have nothing to prove it, but I would think HTML would play with the engine's searching.

sonicvince wrote:aren't the scenes descriptions a little too...well, descriptive? :)


Descriptions are good. ;) I wouldn't be too worried about putting in "too much." Obviously, there are things that are not important (there's no need to describe the drapes or couch in the first panel; perhaps saying it was the Duncans' living room would be sufficient, but still not required), but common sense should help you pick out important elements within the panel: characters, dialog, foreground props, etc. Background elements only become important if they signal upcoming events (like Linda Wellington's phone ringing here becomes significant in the following strip and thus should be noted).

Some specific notes about this particular transcription:
  • "Duncanses" would probably be an improper plural. Since their last name is Duncan, "Duncans" would be more accurate.
  • The "Anyway" in the first description is unnecessary. Be descriptive, but don't add what doesn't need to be there.
  • "Enthusaist" should be "enthusiastic."
  • A personal formatting quirk: please put a space after an ellipsis ("...").
  • Again, I would put the voice descriptions ("puzzled", "enthusiastic") in the description above or below the dialog, or perhaps inline with the dialog (based on the instructions, in double square brakets), rather than following the character's name.
Everything else looks good.

sonicvince wrote:is a blank line enough to indicate we jump to he next panel?


Yes. Note that some people haven't been putting in these blank lines, and I've been rejecting transcriptions (well, marking them as needing improvement) when this happens. If you come upon this scenerio, please add in these line breaks. I started doing them myself, but that was taking so long for me to do I decided to push back and let you guys handle it.
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Postby jtdarlington on Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:25 am

One other note to add: GPF uses American English. While "proper" English spellings (such as "colour" or "favourite") might be "correct" in certain parts of the world, the comic is written with American English spellings ("color", "favorite"), so please transcribe them as written. Don't "correct" these "mistakes," because they aren't. I've run upon this several times now, and while I've mostly been correcting them as I go, I'll probably have to start rejecting them to save time.
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Postby sonicvince on Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:22 am

Wow, only 5 posts and I get an answer from "Teh Master Evil Cartoonist" himself :)

Anyway.

"Duncanses" would probably be an improper plural. Since their last name is Duncan, "Duncans" would be more accurate


Hum, as said in another tread English isn't my mother tongue so bear with me. I wanted to use the possessive form, as in "Duncan's kitchen", but I really thought that in the plural Duncans's must become Duncanses, but I'll have to trust you on this one.

OK for the rest!
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Postby jtdarlington on Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:50 am

Possessive plural of Duncan would probably be Duncans' (Duncan plural => Duncans possessive => Duncans'). You usually only need to get into "es"-es when the name ends with an "S" and then you still have the apostrophe (Jones plural => Joneses possessive => Joneses'). For singular possessives ending with an "S" you usually just add the apostrophe (Dennis', or at least that's what I was taught way back in the dark ages of elementary school), although I think some grammar circles will tell you you still need the extra "S" anyway (Dennis's).

English is a horrible, horrible language.
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Postby HackOfAllTrades on Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:59 pm

Yeah, there are schools of thought that demand the extra "s" for all posessives, as long as they're singular. My high school English teachers made a point of beating that into our heads, no matter how stupid "class's" looked. :-?
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Postby sonicvince on Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:25 pm

Hello,

I have one more question. I've been transcribing some colored strip, and in at least some of them (I didn't do it for the 2 or 3 first) I mentionned that these were colored strips. Is it necessary, and if yes, would it be the correct way to do it?

[[Scene description. NOTE: this is a colored strip.]]
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Postby Limax on Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:59 pm

Woohoo! I'm going to revive an old subject because I've started to jump into the transcribing fray! What have people been doing about 'voice-overs' (Narrations?) such as Ki's and Yoshi's journals?
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