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Forums: War Room Adapting the wiki's continuity policy
Note: This thread has been unedited for 228 days. It is considered archived – the discussion is over. Do not edit this thread unless it really needs a response.
This discussion is closed. The result of this discussion was:
The tier list will be rewritten.
Please do not edit this discussion.

Since I returned to editing on the wiki, I have been going though previous War Room discussions to see what I missed and any changes that have been proposed. One of these was the forum to introduce a written continuity policy for the wiki. Reading through the discussion and the policy page that was created, I feel like there are some omissions to the page that should be included, and since these go beyond just minor edits to the page, I figured a new forum was best.

To make things easier to work with, I have created a page in my userspace showing the changes to the existing policy that I am proposing, with each change highlighted in red and the reasoning for each given by hovering over each line. That said, to give a TL;DR of the main points:

  1. Contradictions across the same tier should be decided by community consensus
  2. Community discussions/consensus should be the first tier
  3. Direct statements from the creators on contradictions should be the second tier

These changes are obviously not fixed, so I welcome any suggested rewording or additions, and of course any thoughts in general on my proposal. HAMMEROFTHOR 19:09, March 11, 2018 (UTC)

I'm definitely on board with the rewrites you proposed; it just makes the text flow smoother.
I do have some issues with the proposed new tier 1. I understand what you mean by it, but I find it hard to put that in words without giving the impression that the community basically decides what is and isn't canon. I feel like we can just do without that addition and let it fall under the general rule of "common sense" and your addition of community consensus when there is a conflict within the same tier. Lady Lostris vstf (talkHotN) 19:12, March 18, 2018 (UTC)
There were two reasons I included that as Tier 1:
  1. (Main reason) There was a forum directly after about whether Love Potion 8 should be considered main continuity. Reading through, nothing in the comic was suggested as contradicting existing sources (in any tier) but it was still considered not main continuity. Unless I was misreading what people meant, this isn't covered by the sentence above about community consensus (which only covers contradictions in the same tier, and in that case there wasn't even a contradiction). So this seems to fall exactly under your scenario of community discussion coming above everything else.
  2. (Minor reason) Even excluding this case, I wasn't sure if the sentence was strong enough. But if you think it is, I am happy to consider that reason covered.
Based on this, if that tier is removed, the sentence will at least need rewording to cover situations like this. HAMMEROFTHOR 20:52, March 18, 2018 (UTC)
I too, agree with the proposed changes for the same reasons as LL. Also, I feel that I'm literally just echoing her now because I also found that tier 1 pretty much says that the community decides what's canon and what's not. I feel that it would be easier to make the current tier 1 tier 6, and just move every tier up one number. Then, what is currently tier one could fall under the rule of common sense, where we add that if material such as Love Potion 8 doesn't contradict any of the higher tiers, it can be listed as canon until proven otherwise. Tono555 Korra-chao2 21:27, March 27, 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps we could include HoT's Tier 1 suggestion as either (1) a caveat in the preamble or (2) part of a new section on that page discussing how to assess sources instead of making it a tier? Apart from that, like LL and Tono, I also am in full agreement. Waterbending emblem Water Spout 12:37, March 30, 2018 (UTC)

I'm fine with either suggestion (1 or 2) to make it absolutely clear what's being meant with "community consensus". As long as it's not a separate tier per my forementioned reasoning. Lady Lostris vstf (talkHotN) 13:24, March 30, 2018 (UTC)

As I said, I'm happy to remove that tier completely if the point is addressed in some way (and feel free to add to that userpage as you like with new suggestions or additions). But I would like to ask, since I wasn't involved in the discussion, why was LP8 not taken as main continuity? It seems from my reading of the discussion that a policy was crafted, and then the first time it would be applied immediately ignored because the community decided to. If that is what is going to happen, why have the policy at all? If that tier is removed, I think that forum result needs to be changed. HAMMEROFTHOR 13:38, April 1, 2018 (UTC)
The reason I can surmise (though I was personally advocating for it being part of the main continuity) is that there's no basis for it to be part of the continuity. The other two books in the RTR series were adaptations of episodes and this is pretty much OC- we never ever heard anything about it or saw anything regarding it later. We were privy to all of the interactions with the nomads during Cave of Two Lovers and therefore it also doesn't really seem to fit in.
On a separate note, regarding the other tier you added- I fully support it. It's basically what we had to do with Azulon's age and rule. – Srijay KTechFilmer 13:53, April 1, 2018 (UTC)
That's my point. It didn't contradict anything existing in higher tiers, but the community decided it was not main-continuity. That to me seems a poor application of the policy. If a work is canon and fits into one of the tiers, the onus should be on justifying why it shouldn't be main-continuity (i.e. showing it contradicts a higher tier). If no proof can be found, it should be accepted.
I've made an adjustment to the userpage removing the first tier as everyone seems to agree on this. My suggestion therefore would be to adopt the revised version as policy and switch the decision on LP8 to consider it main-continuity. HAMMEROFTHOR 14:24, April 1, 2018 (UTC)
I'm all for that; categorizing LP8 as canon and everything else. One quick thing on the new Tier 1: can regarding be changed to resolving? – Srijay KTechFilmer 14:52, April 1, 2018 (UTC)

I fail to see why the LP8 discussion needs to be reopened? The same arguments are just going to be repeated. Lady Lostris vstf (talkHotN) 22:50, April 1, 2018 (UTC)

So can you explain then what the reasoning is, based on the continuity policy, for why LP8 should not be considered main-continuity? From reading through the discussion, it seems to rest entirely on "because people think it shouldn't be", which is exactly the point I was making about community consensus deciding in spite of no contradictions existing, and which everyone is opposed to. As I said, the onus should be to justify why it isn't main-continuity based on it contradicting higher tiers, and if no such proof exists accept it as such. HAMMEROFTHOR 23:03, April 1, 2018 (UTC)
I get why you want to reopen the discussion based on a change of policy, but what I fail to see is how that will change any of the arguments previously given on that forum. I think the main argument is more "while it doesn't seems to contradict any other source, it also doesn't seem to fit into any other source." It seems disconnected: Toph acts quite out of character based on this love potion that's never been mentioned or alluded to in any other source. To me, that seems more like a willingness to err of the side of caution and not include a for the rest unsupported comic than a "because people think it shouldn't be"-decision. Lady Lostris vstf (talkHotN) 23:18, April 1, 2018 (UTC)
I think fundamentally here there is a difference in approach: which do we presume first, main-con or not main-con. HoT is advocating for a presumption of main-continuity unless proven otherwise whereas LL is advocating presumption of not main-continuity unless proven otherwise. I read the first forum, this forum, and the actual policy itself as leaning towards the first approach- only when there is a contradiction do we state something is not part of the main continuity. – Srijay KTechFilmer 23:31, April 1, 2018 (UTC)
In this case, that's grossly oversimplifying the matter. While a "canon unless proven otherwise" is generally the straightforward way to go, this single case makes that difficult. As said before, while it is not fundamentally contradicting with other sources, it also doesn't fit well with the other sources. I repeat: it seems to disconnect. So since LP8 seems to be a completely stand-alone "source", since it's not contradicting but also not complimenting the other sources, I advocate to err on the side of caution and not include it in the main continuity. This will always be something for which there will be arguments on both sides, I just don't see the point in having it (especially not since we just had it). Lady Lostris vstf (talkHotN) 23:43, April 1, 2018 (UTC)

Per LL, I think the reasons used to remove LP8 from main continuity will just be rehashed if it was reinstated and then placed under community discussion. I don't think the revision of the canon policy necessitates revisitation of community consensus in that situation, just as it shouldn't necessitate revisitation of why "New Recruits" and "Gym Time" aren't considered as part of main continuity either.

It is just important to highlight source hierarchy and add on that a source's place can be challenged if it doesn't fit with the rest of the sources from its tier, regardless of whether sources from a higher tier contradict it. With the case of "New Recruits" for example, I don't recall any specific things in that comic contradicting anything from the same tier or a higher tier. While we don't have precedence for the existence of shadowbending or cookiebending, they are perfectly justifiable if we decided to justify them for the sake of counting the comic as part of main continuity. Waterbending emblem Water Spout 11:21, April 2, 2018 (UTC)

The points you are both bringing up are exactly the reason I included that as my Tier 1 in my initial proposal. The policy is intended to give an objective hierarchy of canon material based on the level of input of the creators/creative team, and thus indicate which sources supersede others. But, if that hierarchy is going to be pushed aside based on subjective views on whether something feels correct or feels like it fits, then that should be included in some way, and definitely more so than it is now.
That said, in the interests of getting a consensus on this discussion, what if the last sentence above the tier list was rewritten as follows (additions in bold):
When there is a contradiction between facts taken from sources from the same tier or disagreement on the validity of certain sources, community consensus will be used to decide which facts or materials should be accepted as part of the continuity.
This way, the tier list is based solely on the source of the material, we aren't stating that the community just decides everything, but there is also justification in the policy for not taking something as main-continuity if there is a good reason to question the validity of the source.
Thoughts, suggestions, alterations? HAMMEROFTHOR 16:14, April 2, 2018 (UTC)
Sure, why not, if only to get this thing over with. I would like to add as a general statement that it is not necessary—and sometimes it is even nefast for progress—to have everything in writing. There is something as "overregulation". Common sense and basic communication/discussion gets us a long way without the need for an official policy to justify everything. Lady Lostris vstf (talkHotN) 16:27, April 2, 2018 (UTC)
I agree, but I would also say that any policy should be clear about what it is intended to cover, and in this case I do not believe that was the case. Fear of over-regulating something shouldn't mean that we go too far in the other direction and end up with something that isn't fit for purpose. I don't think the additions to the policy that I proposed would be considered over-regulation, but clarify the extent to which community consensus can override objective sources. That I think is a very important addition for any future discussion. HAMMEROFTHOR 17:20, April 2, 2018 (UTC)
I deliberately said "as a general statement", as I didn't necessarily mean that overregulation was the case for this discussion, although it did somewhat move in that direction in my opinion (didn't arrive there, mind you). I agree that policies need to be clear, but I don't agree with the notion that everything needs to be covered. There is a big difference between "fear of overregulation" and just stating the fact that writing down generalities can often suffice and be more effective than covering all possibilities. Anyway, I digress, as those are just general notions for everyone to take with them to the next discussion, and have nothing to anymore with the closing of this discussion. Lady Lostris vstf (talkHotN) 17:39, April 2, 2018 (UTC)