DDOGamer had the bright idea of seeking out a DDO Wiki editor (they call themselves “SysOps”) and asking him or her a series of questions about the wiki and about being a wiki-type person. After some searching an editor was identified, Kevin, a.k.a. LrdSlvrhnd, who was then harassed and harangued until he gracefully agreed to serve as an interview subject.
And so a largish batch of questions was prepared and fired off. In true crowd-source fashion, LrdSlvrhnd turned them into a group page on the wiki itself and tagged all of the other primary SysOps, asking them all to answer. And they did. Lots of answer. Lots! In today’s post we’ll cover those answers involved in the history and continuing presence of the DDO Wiki. Next week we’ll talk about life as a SysOp.
DDOGamer: Who founded the wiki?
Xevo: I founded the wiki along with Elliott. Our original vision was to create a network of gaming wikis called Enterwiki. This was all happening around the time that Wikia was starting up though. In the end, we abandoned the idea because it became apparent that it was going to be too difficult to compete with Wikia. I now regret not giving Enterwiki more of a chance. DDOwiki was the only wiki that survived from the Enterwiki experiment.
Yoko: It was by Elliottcable who at the time was 18-years-old-ish web geek lived in Alaska. Google his name, its amusing and he is awesome. Man, I wish I was born in his generation and in a good family like his.
DDOGamer: Was there one person who sort of drove things and provided a vision? Or did a bunch of people form up right away to provide crowd-sourced editorial control?
Xevo: While there were certain individuals who drove the wiki forward in the early days, I would say that it was more of a crowd-sourced phenomenon. I am still amazed by how DDOwiki has evolved over the years.
DDOGamer: Who hosts the wiki? Doesn’t that cost money?
ShoeMaker: Xevo hosts the wiki, and yes it costs money.
Yoko: Xevo (his RL name is Ken?) hosts it, who for what I understand was Elliot’s mate and “purchased” ownership of the wiki from him. It does cost money
DDOGamer: There are ads on the site. How does that work? Where does that money go?
ShoeMaker: The ads are what pay for the domain name registration and other hosting costs. (*cough* we pay ours DDO. :p)
DDOGamer: Is the site backed up and “safe”?
Xevo: Absolutely. The wiki is fully backed up daily
ShoeMaker: It is! We actually had to restore the site from a backup last year due to an attack.
Yoko: I think so. I trust him.
DDOGamer: Is there a general style guideline for wiki submissions?
LrdSlvrhnd: There isn’t really a general guideline for submissions, but it’s not unusual for things to later be cleaned up by someone to bring it more in line with their own preferences (for instance, I like quest pages to have bullet points, and the info presented that way, rather than as a direct walkthrough, and am prone to rewriting like that, or to move the location of certain items. Rare spawn locations grouped together at the end rather than interspersed throughout; useful buffs at the top; etc.).
ShoeMaker: There isn’t a “formal” guideline per-say (at least not that I’m aware of, and I would hope I would know). We really don’t have issues with it very often.
Yoko: Uh, we are still working on it. DDO wiki:Editing guideline is the one but as I stated above I care less about rules and such.
Tauro: Yes and no. If there’s an established page using a template – you’ll see fields that you’ll have to input hidden in the input text (for example: “|minlevel = 12” or an item’s minimum level is 12)
DDOGamer: It seems like the look and feel of the wiki underwent a big change a couple of years ago. Did it or am I just imagining things? If yes, why?
ShoeMaker: It did, and it’s about to go through another! There was a big disagreement and the wiki actually went down for a few months until Xevo decided to take over the hosting and bring it back up. However, in this process we lost our enwiki and a few other things we had set up… Took a few months for the wiki to recover from that, but I feel it is stronger now than it ever was. I saw a record number of new contributors when Update 17 was released, so many infact I had a hard time keeping up with the patrolling of pages and had to set my own projects a side and focus on making sure that all of the new editors edits had some validity and were reasonably accurate.
Tauro: Yes, our default skin shifted to something that was a little more stable/compatible. As softwares update, standards change. This again is also being discussed and addressed.
Yoko: Wiki has changed its “look and feel” many times IMO, and its totally healthy thing. When exactly is “a couple of years ago”?
- In 2006 (Mod1 – 3) – Tihocan’s look and feel was dominant on the site along with CSS skin created by EC, of which today we still utilize.
- In 2007- 2008ish (Mod4 – 8) Me and Borror0 added bunch of stuff. Quest pages shaped their form. Mod 6 crafting was all community effort to figure out recipes and such so this wiki exploded in that time as well.
- Then uh, around Unlimited/Mod 9, the wiki had another explosion, much bigger this time. UltraMonk and Sef326 joined and did colorful templates and table stuff. Thats what we see today in individual Item pages.
- Or, are you talking about overhaul on Home page look ? The idea of it came from Ultramonk then I completed the task.
As mentioned previously, DDO Wiki is the single most important DDO document or web artifact. I cannot be effusive enough in praising the efforts of those who prepare and maintain the wiki. Thank you all, so much!
Check out part two of this series here!