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Latest comment: 13 years ago by Here's Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Me Into in topic Are you For or Against the WikiTrivia project?

Are you For or Against the WikiTrivia project?


Official proposal made


An official proposal has now been made for WikiTrivia. Those who are interested in joining the project should go to Proposals for new projects#WikiTrivia and sign the list.

Sign by starting a new line and pasting the following code:

# ~~~


01:03, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

How it should work




New contributions

  • A likely model would be more of an almanac. Topics need not be as comprehensive as (for instance) Wikipedia, as long as they are interesting to the editors. In time, WikiTrivia would establish its own editorial policies, including reasonable priorities (e.g. "entertainment value"), and distinctive visual style guidelines — one imagines the writing guidelines would remain relatively loose. / edg 03:17, 26 August 2007 (UTC)Reply
Could you expand on what you mean by an almanac, in terms of what that means for the way the project would work? 05:30, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
I guess by that I mean often-tabular data, some around a theme of "here's something interesting", some if it potentially useful. Here a list of entertainment references to subject, there a list of programmable Remote Control codes. Not strictly lists, but loosely organized, or organized in a way that would not exclude certain types of information or types of writing (cf. Wikipedia).
I'm not favoring the WikiCulture idea as it's a little too limited in scope and not too attractive for readers or editors. WikiTrivia, however, could be kind of the online Book of Lists. / edg 11:52, 26 August 2007 (UTC)Reply
I think you just opened up a whole new can of worms. This was to be a place where Wikipedia's trivia sections could be moved to -- not an all-out "book of lists" with things like remote control codes. What you have in mind is significantly different from what the current proposal describes. Maybe you should write an addition to the current proposal and append it, as a new section, to the current content page. 14:24, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
I take it back. WikiTrivia would probably be a place for all the standalone lists that get removed from Wikipedia as well, not just Trivia sections removed from larger articles. That actually is in the proposal. 05:07, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
If the goal is to create a system that would routinely link Wikipedia articles to their "trivia sections" on WikiTrivia (or their "cultural references" sections on "WikiCulture", and on that title let me just say "ugh"), this project is very unnecessary.
Creating a supplemental Wikimedia branch to simply segregate "trivia sections" from the mainspace is a needlessly complicated way to handle trivia sections. I doubt Wikipedia wants these in any form, but if they are somehow desireable, it should be handled within Wikipedia. / edg 05:12, 27 August 2007 (UTC)Reply
Well, as you said, this would also be for standalone list articles. But the segregation of undesired trivia sections would also be an important function. That's what sparked this proposal in the first place. And yes, granted, if a trivia section is somehow desired in a Wikipedia article it doesn't need to be moved to this project; this is only for material that is deemed unworthy of Wikipedia. 16:53, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
It may also help draw away trivia from wikipedia in the first place, if it can be seen to be a better home for it. There's no doubt that lots of people like to read trivia of many sorts, and no doubt that there's demand for it online. Let's make a really attractive place for it. SamBC (Talk) 17:41, 4 October 2007 (UTC)Reply

Relationship to Wikipedia

  • There should be a Wikipedia template to inform readers that a WikiTrivia article exists for a topic, and there should be a special template version for articles that have had a section moved to WikiTrivia. 05:20, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe for the "article exists", not certain. The "having had moved" notice would be Talk page material at best — maintenance templates on Wikipedia shouldn't be permanent. / edg 11:55, 26 August 2007 (UTC)Reply
  • Just a thought that's worth getting out there in summary... whatever the criteria for a topic being in WikiTrivia (and that criteria would probably just be the existence of verifiable "trivia", however that's defined), the existence (or lack of) an article of the same name, or on the same topic, on wikipedia should be largely irrelevant. SamBC (Talk) 17:39, 4 October 2007 (UTC)Reply

Existing sites for this


Trivia can be moved to Wikia. There are 1000s of different wikis, so you can probably find a relevant one to put any piece of trivia. If you can't, then you can place the trivia in the temporary space at wikia:annex and the community there will find a new home for it on Wikia, or look after it until someone creates a relevant wiki. Angela 06:18, 26 August 2007 (UTC)Reply

I think most users would rather have something with more of a relation and similar design/model to Wikipedia, as well as the ability to create and edit articles on-the-fly. This would basically be a Wikipedia for Trivia. You can't possibly think Wikia is a suitable replacement. 06:26, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Wikia would be adequate for the "WikiCulture" thing. Might do the job for WikiTrivia as well. I wouldn't rule it out, especially since most Wikia projects accept Interwiki links to w:. / edg 12:25, 26 August 2007 (UTC)Reply
I would rule it out. Wikia uses a different model than Wikipedia. There are lots of projects whose material could've simply been placed on another public wiki instead, but there's a reason we create new projects under Wikimedia. People like and are used to the way Wikipedia works, its philosophies, etc. 14:16, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
There is also the problem that links to Wikia sites from Wikipedia are typically discouraged and removed, making the information harder to find for those who want to find it, or contribute to it. Also deciding to which of the thousands of existing wikis to contribute a certain trivial factoid is a daunting task for a Wikipedian who just wants to contribute the verifiable fact that "Foo Frobnitz was featured in episode 247 of Harry Baggins of Star Voyages" somewhere where interested Wikipedians can find it (and disinterested Wikipedians can ignore it). Then there is the empirical evidence that the existing Wikia sites are not solving the problem, which is the never-ending Wikipedia battle between the "trivia-haters" and the "trivia-lovers" that is distracting from the ultimate Wikipedia goal of creating a great encyclopedia, and the ultimate Wikimedia goal of creating a great variety of user-contributed information sources. DHowell 21:38, 6 September 2007 (UTC)Reply

Discussion of approach


WikiTrivia would probably be linked similar to Wiktionary or Wikiquotes: "WikiTrivia has further interesting information on the subject of X". This would not exclude trivia sections where appropriate (like Wiktionary and Wikiquotes don't mean Wikipedia lacks definition, etymology and quotations as applicable) but means only a few, and the most notable and supported, are needed.

In terms of how it'd work on WikiTrivia, I've started a page to discuss, at http://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiTriva/policy_and_structure . FT2 17:04, 2 September 2007 (UTC)Reply

Similar proposals


It seems that a similar project has been previously proposed:

  • Wikitainment Guides - "Closely tied with Wikipedia, 'Wikitainment Guides' will contain all the pop cult info about characters, episodes, series, comic book issues, movies, singers, bands, labels, trivia and videogames that is often labeled as 'un-encyclopedic' by deletionist Wikipedia editors."

Also, the following proposed projects may be related to this, and a single project which incorporated the scope of all of these proposals might be able to garner a lot of support:

  • WikiSignifica - "Scope: An almanac similar to the Book of Lists and People's Almanac created by Irving Wallace, his son David Wallechinsky, and daughter Amy Wallace. It would include interesting facts, obscure historical incidents, interesting links and other esoteric and unknown knowledge." The talk page says that it would "provide trivia and esoteric informatin,unkown facts, little known events, lists and the bizarre."
  • Wikilists (2nd version) - "The proposal is an attempt to reduce the amount of 'listcruft' on Wikipedia while keeping valid lists that contain information that is interesting, but is not believed to be encyclopedic enough for Wikipedia."

Is there some way to combine the efforts of these and demonstrate a wide support for such a project? DHowell 23:04, 6 September 2007 (UTC)Reply

I'm going to have to look through those to see how similar they are to this idea, and what stage they're at. A quick look at Wikitainment Guides, though, shows that its current manifestation is a bit too far from their original proposal to be considered "closely tied" with Wikipedia. They're more a database of fan sites, similar to IMDb, with page moderators, and the moderators who get promoted to multi-page moderators are the administrators (see Main page:Things to Do). In other words, it doesn't seem like anything that Wikimedia Foundation would actually pick up at this point (I could be wrong, but it seems too far from a Jimbo-type philosophy). I think what we're looking to accomplish is more like an arm of Wikipedia, albeit with tweaked guidelines and mission statements that allow and specifically focus on lists.
This is an open project though, so if I'm wrong about any of "our" intentions here, please let me know. I don't want to pretend to be in any position of authority here.
Again though, I need to look through the site more comprehensively as well as run through the other sites in your list.
Also, another item to add is Wikitrivia.com. I figured I'd put that into my browser and see what came up, and lo-and-behold, it's a wiki, built on MediaWiki software, with our basic intention (as far as I can tell), albeit in its very early stages. I've already contacted the administrator of that site to see if he/she would be interested in merging our two agendas. Wikimedia Foundation support would be good for him, and the domain name and existing hosting would be good for us. I'll let everyone know what becomes of this. Edit - This might be more difficult considering I just noticed the main page was last modified in June of 2005. Here's hoping someone is still checking email there.
More news as events warrant :) 00:17, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
  • WikiSignifica's history ends in March 2006, and their listed website is now non-existent.
  • WikiLists (2nd version) history ends in October 2006, and it looks like all they ever made was that proposal page.
  • WikiTainment seems to have a little momentum, but here's a quote from their main page: "The idea behind the Wikitainment Guides is creating a series of entertainment guides taking the pop culture articles, trivia and and non academic references out of Wikipedia and expand the information in an organized and encyclopedic way." That's basically what Wikipedia is trying to do anyway, and it seems far from a focus on lists.
02:51, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
The main difference I see between Wikitrivia and Wikilists is that Trivia advertises itself as being for Trivia sections, and Lists is for lists of stuff. Wikitrivia's goal as I see it is to house random trivial facts, like "Members of This Team Born in June", eliminated from Wikipedia for being trivia. Wikilists would hold lists of information that is arguably Non-Trivial, like "List of Unpatched Browser Eploits in Internet Explorer", eliminated from Wikipedia for being a list of information (even if non-trivial). The one sentence solution to combining the two is "Non-Trivial information is acceptable for Wikitrivia." MrCab

Wikia as (temporary) home


Copied from user talk:Equazcion.

Would you like to use wikiasite:trivia as a (temporary?) home for this project? Angela 22:31, 6 September 2007 (UTC)Reply

I appreciate the thought, however a working model of WikiTrivia would need to be built on MediaWiki software if we ever hope to get it picked up as a Wikimedia Foundation project.
Thank you though, again the offer is appreciated. 22:41, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
That is MediaWiki. It looks different because of the new skin. Try viewing it with monobook. If you want to know more about Wikia, see CentralWikia: or Wikipedia's article on it. I've set you as admin there if you want to use it. If not, let me know and I can disable the wiki. Angela 02:04, 7 September 2007 (UTC)Reply
Sorry, I should've investigated further than just going by looks.
Out of curiosity though, I'm wondering why you've expressed such an interest in hosting this project at Wikia. I hate to sound suspicious, but what exactly is your relationship to them?
I'm also still hesitant because I don't know how easy a migration will be from a public wiki, if/when the time comes for us to move to Wikimedia's servers. Using our own hosting we would have unfettered raw access to files and databases, whereas I doubt that's the case at Wikia, even for an admin. 02:14, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought it was obvious from the link that I'm one of the founders of Wikia. If Wikimedia did ever accept such a project (and you ought to read about the mission of the Foundation when thinking about whether it could) then Wikia could transfer all content directly to them, though not the user passwords. Angela 03:54, 7 September 2007 (UTC)Reply
I'm copying this conversation to the project's discussion page so we can get more input on this. Please feel free to participate in that discussion. I appreciate your willingness to help us out. 04:52, 7 September 2007 (UTC)



I'm opening the floor on this one, as I don't know much about Wikia. I'll look into it further, but I invite comments on this as a possibility. I'd also like to hear further comments from Angela on this project's chances of acceptance by the Foundation.

04:52, 7 September 2007 (UTC)



This is for Angela: You said you couldn't transfer the passwords. But we wouldn't need the actual passwords, just the password hashes. Would it be possible to just transfer those? Couldn't they be transferred without compromising any security? It would only allow existing users to log in at the Foundation servers, while not revealing anything usable about your servers.

05:04, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

It's technically possible, but I don't think it's the right thing to do. People who have made accounts on one site do not expect that site to hand over their private details to another company. Angela 21:50, 9 September 2007 (UTC)Reply

Possible temporary home - at least as a "proof-of-concept"


I may be able to offer space and database on a machine with a non-guaranteed not-very-fast but otherwise unrestricted 24/7 connection to the internet. This would be absolutely useless in the longer term, but I am considering acquiring a better host for such random use in the near future. This might be useful for setting it up and working out a "proof-of-concept", though? If this might be useful, then I'll look into installing mediawiki. SamBC (Talk) 17:44, 4 October 2007 (UTC)Reply

Would that be a box set up from your home? I hadn't thought of doing that... It might be a short-term option, as you say, just to get the ball rolling. Could I ask, what operating system does it have, and what kind of connection?
24/7 ADSL with low-speed upstream (I think it be up to 0.5Mbps now), but the unusual (for the UK) part is that the upstream usage is completely uncapped, and the downstream usage has a very generous AUP. Plus my ISP will DNS-host and mail route up to three domains for free, and I only have 2 at the moment. The O/S is Debian testing, and I've previously run moderately-active subversion repositories from it, and currently run apache for bits and bobs, and a few mailing lists of varying traffic levels. I'd have to get postgres up and running and stick mediawiki on it, but at the moment neither memory nor processor are generally taxed, and the hard drive has plenty of space. If it helps, I used to be part of the systems team at a (now-defunct) national mirror service for UK universities... so I know what I'm doing pretty well. Apart from mediawiki, that is, I've never installed, configured, or run it. SamBC (Talk) 22:31, 4 October 2007 (UTC)Reply
You location might make things especially slow for me since I'm in the US. I have similar upstream speed via cable from my home, but your Linux/Apache knowhow might be a worthy tradeoff. I'd probably need to use Windows with XAMPP if I set up a box myself, which would be much slower and less reliable. You also have the added DNS benefits, which my home service doesn't give me here. And I'm sure MediaWiki isn't that difficult to install, especially for someone with your background.
So in the end I think this is a good idea. We could even work off of a subdomain of one of your existing domains for the time-being, if you didn't mind doing that, and get something registered later on (maybe wikitrivia.something). PS, just out of curiosity, why Postrgres and not MySQL?
Well, my general-purpose domain is geekworld.co.uk, so if people are okay with wikitrivia.geekworld.co.uk, I'll get started on setting things up.SamBC (Talk) 23:14, 4 October 2007 (UTC)Reply
On the postgres issue, I've worked with both postgreSQL and mySQL, and I find I prefer a DBMS that actually implements the standard, and has useful things like procedural language support and referential integrity checking by default. Oh, and comprehensive documentation, I lik that too. MySQL has come on leaps and bounds since we chose PostgreSQL at my old job (about 6 or 7 years ago now), but it's still nowhere near, and Postgres isn't as hard to set up as people think. The fact that the admin can also tweak things like number of in-memory caches and on-disk caches, and sizes thereof, and tune the heuristics of the query optimiser, is also lovely. I think the summarises the main reasons... SamBC (Talk) 23:14, 4 October 2007 (UTC)Reply
Right now I think we're on a "beggars can't be choosers" basis, so that subdomain should be fine. We can always move to a registered domain in the future. I'm not knowledgeable enough with the inner-workings of databases to offer any technical input on the Postgres vs. MySQL issue. It sounds like you know what you're talking about, but my only concern is the hopeful/eventual switch to Wikimedia's servers -- we might be better off starting this right off the bat with MySQL since that's what they use, at least for Wikipedia (see here).
I'll have a read of the mediawiki docs to see what difference it makes. The biggest issue then is likely to be the DB dump, and there are utilities to convert postgres's standards-complient dumps to ones that work properly in mySQL - assuming they're up to date from a few years ago. I know that mySQL can be configured to get rid of some of the more annoying defaults, and I think InnoDB is the default out of the box now, so referential integrity checking can happen. I'll look into it. SamBC (Talk) 09:11, 5 October 2007 (UTC)Reply
Ok, sounds good. Let me (us) know how it goes -- and thanks! 13:35, 5 October 2007 (UTC)



I started this proposal. Now that I've found this site perhaps my proposal is inappropriate. Maybe use it to link people here?

See project proposal

Thanks Ozmaweezer

Above link seems dead - try this one: Proposals for new projects#WikiTrivia. FT2 (Talk | email) 15:47, 10 December 2007 (UTC)Reply

Possible temporary home


I have good quality shared hosting which, unless it becomes loaded with images and gets half a million hits a month, could provide a temporary home for WikiTrivia. Reply on my own userpage and I'll see what I can do. --Johan