Article titles[]

Content moved from Talk:Main Page

    • One thing I think we do need to change as soon as possible, however, is the fact that users can't make page moves. There are too many inefficiently, inconsistently, or awkwardly pages out there, and it's difficult to combat that when only admins can do moves. For example, Henry Gale (original) needs to be moved to Henry Gale, Tom (Other) to Tom, and so on.
    • And while I'm on the subject, I'd like to suggest that we implement a new policy for naming articles that focuses less on completeness and more on simplicity, efficiency, and conciseness. As has been noted, we are a relatively small and humble enterprise, compared to something like Wikipedia; we will never have a fraction of their total number of articles, so we don't need to worry nearly as much about characters, places, objects, etc. having similar names. This in turn gives us the freedom to use short names when there's no ambiguity, which has the enormous value of letting us avoid excessive redirect-linking without forcing our editors to bury thousands and thousands of piped links. For example, look at the article Hugo "Hurley" Reyes; is there any practical reason not to simply have the article be named Hurley, and to only bother mentioning his full name within the article itself? Doing so would in one fell swoop turn hundreds of links from two-step into one-step ones, and would allow us to avoid the messy task of writing "[[Hugo "Hurley" Reyes|Hurley]]" countless times. That principle, I think, makes a lot of sense implemented on a website of this size. The only characters who really need their full names listed in the title are the ones who either share their name with another (similarly noteworthy) character, or are regularly called by either or both of their names. Thus, for example, Danielle Rousseau and John Locke might make sense as titles (though I could see a good argument for shortening the latter to just Locke), but Benjamin Linus should just be Ben, and Alexandra Linus should just be Alex (especially since her last name has never been officially confirmed and she's pretty much never called "Alexandra"). What do you think? -Silence 03:20, 17 July 2007 (PDT)
      • Just to fill you in, naming of articles has been a constant and controversial discussion topic amongst Lostpedia, I'll see if I can find talk pages with examples. --Blueeagleislander 03:58, 17 July 2007 (PDT)
      • Good examples are the talk pages of the examples you gave plus Talk:Driveshaft and Talk:Mindfuck. --Blueeagleislander 04:04, 17 July 2007 (PDT)
  • Regarding the two issues;
    1. Moving - agreed, but this restriction was implemented due to some persistent recurring vandals who often moved articles. This type of vandalism was not easily rolled back by sysops in our software, so we chose to restrict moving. With your experience as a WP admin, perhaps you may have a better solution.
    2. Simple names- We have been simplifying some article names, esp. list articles with "Lost" in the title, for example Music used to be "List of Music in Lost". I believe actor names are spelled as per the Lost credit or imdb, and unnamed incidental (minor) guest characters are listed as per their crediting by abcmedianet.com. As for character names, you might have a valid point. You might also consider opening the discussion in our LP Suggestions subforum. I think the current system (devised before my time at LP) reflects a compromise between 1) character names using their known full names, and 2) their common name. We're not as direct-link strict as WP, so LP seems to do fine with simply linking the redirection of the common name while editing text, e.g. Hurley.
      • I agree with most of your consistency suggestions, but not all (not: locke, eko, ben, alex). More thoughts on this later, as maybe I'm just addled atm. It's certainly worth a discussion.
-- Contrib¯ _Santa_ ¯  Talk  14:43, 17 July 2007 (PDT)
  • I don't understand what you're referring to as my "consistency suggestions", so I don't know which of my suggestions you agree and disagree with. I don't see why you would disagree with my suggestion that we leave John Locke where he is (or possibly move him to Locke), move Eko Tunde to Eko or Mr. Eko, move Benjamin Linus to Ben or Ben Linus, and move Alexandra Linus (an unsubstantiated, obscure, biased, and original-research name) to Alex. What do you object to about those? Or are you objecting to the list of excessively long names I provided above to argue against? I listed those only to demonstrate how absurd it is to try to make article titles 100% technically accurate rather than simple and user-friendly. Length is the enemy in all high-profile article titles on a site like this.
  • As for page-moves: my recommendation would be to simply give the tool back to users in general and address vandalism as it comes up. Alternatively, give it only to established registered users, as a "middle step" between anonymous users and admins. But either way, the best way to combat page-move vandalism is to give ordinary users the ability to revert that vandalism by letting them move pages too: valuable contributors vastly outnumber vandals, so the net effect will be beneficial.
  • Unfortunately as you may or may not be aware vandals are much smarter (especially persistent vandals) and there is one simple way to ruin everything you just said. You should be aware of techniques vandals (due to your wikipedia status) use and there is a simple way around the "users can move pages back idea" although I would rather not say it here, email me if you prefer to know. We prefer to be on the safe side rather then sorry, and we operate on the basis that users vote for a consensus rather then moving pages whenever they want to. It encourages community spirit and prevents the all out battles over users moving pages and moving pages back. All our users agree with the system and it works for us. As I've said if you would like to rename an article add the rename tag to it.-Mr.Leaf 17:34, 17 July 2007 (PDT)
While all articles may not follow this format here is generally how the names work. The names must have been said by that specific character or in a flashback. Ie we cannot assume names are shortforms for longer names. An example is (if I am correct) Charlie, we have never heard him called Charles, although we can assume it is his real name, we cannot be 100% sure. An article is named based on a characters most commonly used name. If this name is not the characters real name such as Sawyer or Hurley the nickname (Sawyer or Hurley) is included in brackets in the article title, while other characters may have nicknames we do no include these nicknames in the title as they are not the most commonly used name. If a characters most commonly used name is a short form for their real name we do not consider that a nickname, it is in a sense their given name and it is the article title. Once again their full name is in the first line of the article so not hard to find. For all characters we do not include middle names in the article name. As far as I am aware this is the policy at wikipedia too and it is more out of ease and just to make the names simpler for users. These middle names are always in the first sentence of the article so it isn't hard to find them. As you can see, while we do have a system (and there are a few exceptions) it does look random when users first look at them but all the names are thought out and had anyone disagreed with them we would have had a vote by now (and have on a few of them). Once again if you disagree with any of the names feel free to put it up for rename and we'll see what the community thinks. -Mr.Leaf 15:36, 17 July 2007 (PDT)
  • I understood most of that about naming policy already (though it is not consistently implemented; if "Hurley" is considered a nickname, then "Libby" should be one as well for these purposes). And I never above recommended that we make changes like naming Charlie "Charles" (though that sort of original research would be 100% consistent with our naming of articles like Alexandra Linus, who has many times been called Alexandra Rousseau but has never once been called Alexandra Linus); I simply noted that if our policy is to use the absolute full names of every character, then we should rename certain articles (e.g., Kate Austen to Katherine Austen) to their full names; and if it isn't, then we should rename certain articles (e.g., Benjamin Linus should be Ben Linus or, ideally in my view, just Ben) to their common names. Either way, we aren't currently being remotely consistent.
  • It seems to me that what makes the most sense is to use characters' most common names, not their most common full names, for the article title: the sole purpose of titles is to provide the most concise possible article name that accords with the most common and easily comprehensible name for that article's subject matter. Even the most diehard Lost fans for the most part don't know the last names of main characters like Claire, Charlie, or Hurley; it is therefore perfectly fair and reasonable simply to use their shorter, simpler, and more common name: their first name (or their nickname, in Hurley and Sawyer's case). The very first line of the article, as well as the name above their lead image, will make it immediately obvious what their full name is, so it's redundant and time-wasting to repeat it in the article's title as well, when all that does is make more work both for our readers and for our editors.
  • Conversely, characters like Danielle Rousseau are referred to by their first and last name with roghly equal frequency, characters like John Locke are frequently referred to by their full name, and characters like Richard Alpert have a first name shared by other characters of similar importance; in all three of these cases, there are very real practical reasons to use the full name (though not the ridiculously full one, as in Hugo "Hurley" Reyes or Johnathan "John" Locke, of course) in the article title.
  • Implementing a policy of "most common one-word name except in unusual circumstances" for main characters (i.e., the ones who will be searched for and linked to the most often!) will circumvent years of pointlessly wasted hard work and time (on editors' parts to keep up the ever-growing maze of redirects and piped links, and on readers' parts to figure their way through redirects and try to guess at what link a main character's page will be hosted at}, as well as years of controversy and squabbling over precisely which name is the most perfectly accurate. Our concern as an encyclopedia should not be to make article titles comprehensive; on the contrary, it should be to make them short and sweet. It should not be to make articles 100% anal-retentively accurate; on the contrary, it should be to name the article in accordance with the most common name for the character, and a title which pretty much any fan of Lost who's familiar with the character should be able to immediately guess without any familiarity with this encyclopedia and its policies!!! We shouldn't expect people to know that Hurley's last name is Reyes (or even that his first name is Hugo, for that matter!) in order for them to be able to type in his correct Lostpedia page on a url bar. There's simply no practical reason to make things so needlessly complicated and elaborate, both for ourselves and for our readers. We're a relatively small, humble, focused, and low-usership website, compared to places like Wikipedia; we're fully justified in using short and sweet article titles like Sawyer in lieu of convoluted labyrinths of page names like James "Sawyer" Ford. It's bad enough the page name is so needlessly long, but throwing in quote marks (which show up as garbled, incomprehensible code in any url) is the kiss of death.
  • I don't know what you are talking but try adding Sawyer to the end of a Lostpedia url (http://www.lostpedia.com/wiki/) and see what you get. Redirects work using urls too. There is no confusion. Regular visitors do not also know what a redirect is and a redirect is automatic, visitors do not even notice the tiny link left when they use redirects. That is the idea -Mr.Leaf 17:34, 17 July 2007 (PDT)
  • Readers notice tiny links more often than you'd think. The fact that regular users don't know what a redirect is is a gigantic reason to not use redirects whenever possible: we only risk confusing users about what the actual titles of articles are, and about what a "redirect" is, when we not only use these fancy Wikipedia technical terms for less common search items, but also force them on users for even the most common search terms, like "Jack" or "Hurley" or "Ben". For the sake of simplicity, wikis work best when redirect use is minimized as much as possible, not maximized. -Silence 01:55, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • My initial recommendation is the same as my current ones: sidestep all the time-consuming haggling over which name is the most technically correct, and just go with the most commonly-used and shortest names for each main character. To wit:
  • How many of even the most diehard Lost fans honestly know that Rose's last name is "Nadler", Eko's last name is "Tunde", Hurley's last name is "Reyes", or Jin's full name is "Jin-Soo Kwon"? We shouldn't name our most widely-linked and important articles after obscure, trivial technicalities like full names; we should take the pragmatic approach of giving them the names that any Lost fan would be able to find them by, and just provide the full names within the articles themselves, at the very top. We aren't Wikipedia; we don't need to copy their naming policies exactly. -Silence 16:25, 17 July 2007 (PDT)
  • This may seem highly unlikely to you but unfortunately almost every die hard fan knows Rose's, Jin's or Eko's last name. Go to the trivia in chat when its active (not much in summer) and watch as users battle it out answering questions on which camera man filmed which episode or which guest star was set to appear in this episode but never did or which voice actor dubs the voice of the marshall in the French version of Lost. Unfortunately we know all of that and that is the hard stuff, those names (last names) are quite commonly known among die hard lost fans. I know some who would consider the guy who doesn't know Rose's last name to not be a die hard fan, just a casual viewer. Now as for the not so die hard fans, we have redirects, we have portals, there are at least 10 ways for users to find the character they want. Trust me there is not a possible word a browser might type in that isn't redirected to the correct article. Type in Dr. jack for example. The Lost internet community is huge, and we mean huge. We've had good days where we've hit nearly 2,000,000 page views across the wiki, forum, and blog. And there are sites out there that are more popular then we are and a lot of our traffic comes directly from our fellow Lost fan sites where the users know the characters. Our intention is to remain encyclopedic, while normal Lost fan sites may name their article just Jack or Charlie that is what separates us from those sites, our attention to detail and knowing this stuff. And if users were having trouble finding our pages or didn't like the article names we would know by now, you surely know most of those names because you are a Lost fan, so what is wrong with the way they are? There is no time wasted in the naming of articles, it would be a waste to spend all the time needed to sort out and rename them all as you are suggesting. Also what would the point be in renaming the most important characters to the simplest names when the supporting characters get the more complex names? -Mr.Leaf 17:34, 17 July 2007 (PDT)
  • Well, when they type in Rose in the database, and the Rose Nadler article appears, they'll find out what her surname is, won't they? Funnily enough all those redirects actually redirect to the right person.  Plkrtn  talk  contribs  email  02:23, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • What on earth does that have to do with anything? Nobody ever said that any of those redirects went to the wrong person, so what are you talking about? We're discussing whether using redirects so excessively is necessary, not whether the redirects go where they're meant to. And no one has disputed that people will learn Rose's last name when they search for Rose; but they'll learn it just as easily if Rose itself was the article, rather than a redirect to Rose Nadler, since "Nadler" will be included multiple times at the top of the article (in the first sentence and in the caption above the image) either way. If anything, what we're missing isn't yet another repetition of the exact same information in the exact same place; rather, what we're missing is new information: what is this character commonly referred to as, rather than what is her full name? We could provide both simultaneously if we either put her common name in the article title, or put it above the image, and used the other of the two, along with the first sentence, to provide her full name. That sort of editorial attitude—not "how can I confuse and shame ignorant readers", but "how can I provide ignorant readers with the most information possible"—should be our fundamental focus. -Silence 02:36, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • Sorry? I think you'll find your editorial attitude is mixed up here. We want to send people to the correct information, not dumb it down for people. The redirect makes the most sense, and there is no reason to go changing it for someone whose just marched onto the site, signed up, changed his talk page and then decided to try and impose his will on the site. There is and has been very little confusion or trouble with the current naming format, so why change it just for the sake of it? Is this another "Do it the Wikipedia" way stance?  Plkrtn  talk  contribs  email  02:58, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • There is no "dumbing down" of information involved. People who call Hurley Hurley are not any "dumber" than people who call him Hugo; the reason to call the article Hurley rather than Hugo Reyes is simply because there are more of the former people than the latter, and we want to connect with as many people as possible as directly as possible. There should be no judgment call involved in weighing different names, as that leaves it open to further argument, contention, and back-and-forth moves; by simply relying on how common one name is vs. another, we sidestep all those thorny issues and leave ourselves more time to do the important work of improving the encyclopedia.
  • What seems to be missed in all this is that an article's title is the entryway to the encyclopedia's information; it should be the "starting point", the thing everyone already knows. That way we maximize the ease and directness with which people can get to the actual contents of the article. The purpose of a title is not to flaunt how much we know about characters; it's to let people immediately "jump off" from that title (what they already know about the character) to the article (what they don't yet know about the character). No typical fan would search for Sun-Hwa Kwon instead of just Sun, so there's no practical reason to have the article placed at the former title rather than the latter. There is no "dumbing down" whatsoever involved, because all the same information is still provided in the article; indeed, it's still at the very top, where anyone visiting will instantly see it. Using the shorter title just means that we avoid potentially confusing as many of our new readers with relatively arcane Wikipedian concepts like redirects, and avoid troubling our editors with having to ever type out [[Sun-Hwa Kwon|Sun]] instead of just [[Sun]], or [[Hurley "Hugo" Reyes|Hurley]] instead of just [[Hurley]], when they're working on the countless other articles that link to that one. It's just more convenient for editors and users alike; wanting to "seem smart" is not a good enough reason to outweigh all that. We don't need to seem smart, or worry about "dumbing down"; we are smart, and we respect the intelligence of our readers enough not to look down on them for not knowing beforehand that Ben's last name is "Linus", or Hurley's last name is "Reyes". We should be here to tell our readers that, not to expect them to already know everything beforehand; if they do, they don't need us.
  • "there is no reason to go changing it for someone whose just marched onto the site, signed up, changed his talk page and then decided to try and impose his will on the site." - I'm sorry? Who are you referring to? I'm not here to enforce my will on this site; I'm here to discuss and brainstorm and exchange ideas in order to deal with the inefficiencies and inconsistencies lingering on this otherwise-superb site. I'm here to help, not to "impose my will"; I apologize if I gave that impression with the forcefulness of my arguments, but if I am persistent, it is only because I want to make sure we have this hammered out before we get another wave of new users in s4, and to make sure I understand the rationale behind current policy decisions. Xenophobia is not very productive for a growing website like this. If you disagree with me, I recommend attacking my arguments, not me; if my recommendations are accepted or rejected, it should be on the merits of the recommendations, not the authority (or lack thereof) of the speaker.
  • "Is this another "Do it the Wikipedia" way stance?" - You clearly aren't very familiar with Wikipedia, and are even less familiar with the arguments I've put forth on this very page. On the contrary, my arguments have been precisely that you're overly relying on Wikipedia naming policy, rather than adapting a policy that makes more sense for a site of this size, scope, and purpose. My argument is that we don't need to name Sawyer's article James "Sawyer" Ford just because Wikipedia does it; we are a small site, and unlike Wikipedia, we don't have other articles or disambiguation pages at Sawyer, so we can take the easy route and just use the most common name for the character. We're making things much more difficult and complicated than they need to be by copycatting Wikipedia's naming policy so exactly, rather than picking the best parts of that policy for this site and leaving behind the rest. -Silence 03:16, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • You are very clearly using a different definition of "diehard" fan: you're talking about the ultra-diehard fans, the 1-10th of 1 percent who bother to study trivia games and memorize every single little detail about the show. This perhaps reflects part of the problem: being out-of-touch with what ordinary Lost fans are familiar with. I'm talking about your everyday, ordinary diehard fans: people who've been watching the show religiously from the start and love it. Merely from watching the show attentively and consistently, essentially no one would know any of those characters' last names. And considering that our main audience is people who have watched the show a fair amount or watched it a lot, not people who already know every little detail, it makes little sense to name our most mainstream articles in a way that typical fans couldn't guess at the title beforehand.
  • Here's what seems to be your big error: you consider the small minority of ultra-die-hard fans first-class citizens, figuratively speaking, on Lostpedia; whereas you consider what the overwhelming majority of normal Lost fans know and are looking for here to be much less important. You're so used to interacting with Lost geniuses that you've forgotten that over 95% of the people who come to this site looking for information don't know any of that stuff. This comment is illustrative: "I know some who would consider the guy who doesn't know Rose's last name to not be a die hard fan, just a casual viewer. Now as for the not so die hard fans, we have redirects, we have portals, there are at least 10 ways for users to find the character they want." You act like it's the job of Lostpedia to indulge the extravagant elitism of 5% of the fanbase by choosing the less-commonly known title for important articles, when in reality it should be the job of Lostpedia to provide information to common fans—if anything, fans who know less are more important to us than fans who know more, because they're the ones for whom we need to make the site as accessible and useful as possible, both to inform them on the many more topics they don't understand, and to help gradually transform them into more diehard Lostophiles. It does no good to anyone whatsoever to favor the 5% over the 95% by having the 95%'s page redirect to the 5%'s rather than vice versa; it particularly makes no sense to have theorized, unofficial, obscure, obfuscatory names like Alexandra Linus or Eko Tunde be chosen over universally-known and vastly more simple names like Alex and Mr. Eko. Favoring the name Hugo "Hurley" Reyes over simply Hurley makes as little sense as favoring Department of Heuristics And Research on Material Applications Initiative over DHARMA Initiative: it's both much less common-known and much more complicated, and the mere fact that we can use redirects doesn't excuse such pointless overcomplexity in important articles.
  • "Our intention is to remain encyclopedic, while normal Lost fan sites may name their article just Jack or Charlie that is what separates us from those sites, our attention to detail and knowing this stuff." - So you admit that the only actual reason you favor the longer titles over the shorter, simpler ones is to be elitist and make Lost look more "official" and fancy? (In essence, it's a much more simplified form of the principle of using technobabble to try to awe and cow the less-informed; what's next, are we going to start quoting academic Latin and French expressions ad nauseam in our articles? Why go halfway with this "separating ourselves from the pack for its own sake" stuff? And here I thought our goal was to separate ourselves from the pack with our sheer quality and excellence, not with how anal our article titles are.) I have no problem with adhering to technicalities when they're significant, but this seems to be an example of overcomplicating titles for the sake of overcomplication, rather than for the sake of our readers; if "normal Lost fan sites" just use "Jack" and "Charlie" and the like, that's because normal Lost fans do the same! And normal Lost fans are the heart and soul of a site like this; moreover, they are the ones who stand to benefit the most from this site, and who need it the most. So I don't see why they seem like such a secondary considerattion to you; you seem to either be disdainful of ordinary Lost viewers, or to be indulging in the disdain of others.
  • Redirects should, if anything, go from the more complex names to the simpler ones, because there's no benefit to having a longer title; it puts needless server strain to have the title everyone will actually be Searching for and Linking to be the one that redirects to some more obscure and complex title. The reverse is simply a lot easier: we confuse fewer people with "redirect" issues (which can have strange effects on what seems to be linked to in the url bar), we avoid complications like double redirects, and we negate the need for time-consuming piped links. It's just a lot simpler and more direct all around. Yes, people can get to the article through the redirect, but why should they when a simpler method is available? We could rename the article John Locke to Johnathan "John" Locke, and have the former redirect to the latter, and most people would get there just fine; but just because we can do something doesn't mean that we should. In my view, it's this simple: there just isn't any benefit to favoring a longer, less common and less widely-known article title over a shorter, more common and more widely-known article title. That in itself is reason to favor, for example, Ben over Benjamin Linus, Hurley over Hugo "Hurley" Reyes, or Mr. Eko over Eko Tunde.
  • Also, Dr. Jack might be a good redirect (though the actual redirect you mentioned, Dr. jack, is not; fortunately if you input it in the search bar the caps-lock will be corrected), but Dr. Shephard, an infinitely more likely article for people to actually search for, goes nowhere. And it's one of hundreds. Overrelying on redirects in lieu of good-old-fashioned accessibility and simplicity of article titles is a mistake. Redirects should be a last resort, not something even more common than the real article's title! If people are linking to a redirect more often than the real title, then it makes no logical sense not to either remedy that with pipelinks or just move the article to the title of the redirect; otherwise we're just arbitrarily putting strain on our servers for its own sake.
  • Also, there's one crucial thing you have forgotten: Talk and Theory pages. Talk and Theory pages generally don't have redirects to them, except in rare cases where the Talk page itself was moved from an old title. This means that if a user tries to input a character's Talk or Theory page into his url, or tries to link directly to it, or otherwise tries to find it without first going to the article page, they need to have memorized the title of the article in question, and they need to be able to type it out quickly and 100% accurately; this is obviously a pointlessly painstaking chore for articles like James "Sawyer" Ford and Hugo "Hurley" Reyes. I seriously can't see any point in forcing users to have to perfectly type out "Talk:James "Sawyer" Ford" rather than simply "Talk:Sawyer", or "Hugo "Hurley" Reyes/Theories" (which I actually had to type out several times the other day before I got it right) rather than simply "Hurley/Theories". We seem to agree that there's no significant benefit to choosing the longer name over the shorter one, since we give the longer name in the article itself either way; your only argument seems to be that we should use the longer names to help make ourselves less like those silly commoner fansites, which ignores the many completely unnecessary technical problems that will plague us for as long as this site exists if we favor the longer, less common title over the shorter, more common one. Why needlessly overcomplicate things when it just causes issues for our users and doesn't actually help anyone? Again, looking fancy isn't our goal; helping and informing people is. -Silence 01:55, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • In other thinking points, regarding clarification of my previous starter comments: "John" is not the typical nickname that is used by most characters, but the last name "Locke" is much more common, yet the title John "Locke" Locke doesn't sit well, and for the same reason (redundancy), neither does Eko "Mr. Eko" Tunde. The nickname in the article name John "Sawyer" Ford serves a different purpose IMO. Technically inconsistent strategies? Yes. In general I am wondering in the case of main character names, because they are so special to a wiki that is restricted to a television show, whether utterly rigorous consistency with regard to naming the handful of main characters is a virtue, in light of the difficulties that arise when attempting to force consistency. For example, justifications could be made for use of all common nicknames, e.g. Jonathan "John" "Locke" Locke, or for the consistent use of aliases, e.g. if we have James "Sawyer" Ford then we must have Benjamin "Henry Gale" Linus, or even Benjamin "Henry Gale" "Ben" Linus. And besides, isn't "Jack" usually a nickname for "John"? Even though we've never seen it, some users might argue for a John "Jack" Shephard. And I'm not sure about including quoted nicknames for "obvious" nicknames such as Walter "Walt" Lloyd or Alexandra "Alex" (and whether to use her adopted or true last name in her case!), and should we add nicknames into the article where only a single name (either first or last or alias) and not the full name is known, e.g. Elizabeth "Libby"-- do we simply use Libby and use a redirect for the alternate name instead? IMHO consistency at LP for main character articles opens a can of worms that doesn't yield a proportional benefit... so I don't think it's worth it for a closed set (i.e. limited number) of articles. To me, the analogy I would draw is that in languages, the most common verbs tend to have exceptions/irregularities in their conjugations-- they are special cases but are relatively few in number. Because the set of these special articles is limited, the inconsistencies would not wildly multiply into a mess as they would at WP. Therefore I would lean toward idiosyncratic naming of the main character articles on a case-by-case 'common sense' consensus basis. For simpler issues (such as article naming in general) however, I would tend toward consistency. -- Contrib¯ _Santa_ ¯  Talk  01:32, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • Drawing an analogy between our naming system and a typical language's verb system is a big mistake, because grammatical irregularities are pointless, arbitrary, unpredictable, and meaningless; surely we don't want those virtues to be hallmarks of Lostpedia? When we have exceptions, we should only have them if there's good reason for it. We shouldn't arbitrarily name some articles by one standard and others by another.
  • However, other than that, I agree entirely with most of your points. These sorts of problems are exactly why I suggested that we simply give articles their most common names and don't worry about the endless debates we could have about the "technically correct" name: we can cover that much more effectively in the article itself than in the article title, since the article text, unlike the title, allows for nuance and explanation. The purpose of a title should be to be as simple and, to maximize accessibility; the purpose of a title is decidedly not to be 100% technically perfect in every anal-retentive detail. We're selling articles here, not article titles; the article title is just part of the sales pitch to get the article itself down the throats of prospective readers. :)
  • Using long titles is a bad idea because it makes it a lot more difficult for us to directly link to the correct title from this site and from other sites. Sure, people could link to the redirect, but they could also link to ridiculous redirects to mock our site: if we encourage people to link to redirects like Hurley rather than actual titles like Hugo "Hurley" Reyes, what's to stop them from also linking to redirects that make Lostpedia look ridiculous? We have many redirects that are typos, jokes, bizarre misnamings, etc.; and since casual users, as noted above, won't even know what "Redirects" are, it will be easy to play games with them and confuse them in that way, and to turn Lostpedia into a laughingstock. Since many of Mr. Leaf's arguments for the longer titles seem to be about image and appearance rather than about actual utility, this should be a significant reason not to over-rely on redirects for major characters.
  • Let them mock. We do things our way because it makes sense to us. Don't try and appeal to the "collective site ego".  Plkrtn  talk  contribs  email  02:21, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • It is also a bad idea because it puts needless strain on our servers to have people visit twice as many pages by forcing them to go through a redirect; and it is a bad idea because it puts needless strain on our editors by forcing them to deal with hundreds more pipe links and inconsistencies, and by forcing them to argue about which aricle title is the "most perfect" one, rather than simply uncontroversially using the most common one. And it is a bad idea because it makes it infinitely more difficult to directly link to talk pages and theory pages, and to visit those pages without first going through the article page. Just see how much faster you can type Talk:Hurley or Hurley/Theories as opposed to Talk:Hugo "Hurley" Reyes or Hugo "Hurley" Reyes/Theories. In lieu of any huge benefit to using one title over another, these nagging problems should be sufficient reason to go with the simpler titles, just for the sake of convenience and ease of use. -Silence 02:09, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • That is not true and you know that. Redirects do not load vast amounts of HTML/images/CSS before they redirect.  Plkrtn  talk  contribs  email  02:21, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • Absolutely everything I said above is true. I didn't say that redirects cause a vast amount more strain, or significantly slower load times, or anything of the sort; I apologize if I implied that. All I said is that it adds unnecessary extra strain; it's completely unnecessary to require the extra "leapfrog" so very often, for a site as topically focused as this one. But that issue was a very minor one in my overall argument; why did you ignore all my other explanations for why shorter, simpler and more common is better than longer and more complex and obscure? -Silence 02:31, 18 July 2007 (PDT)

My 2 cents[]

  • To me, its fairly simple. Hurley and Sawyer are exceptions to the rule. Any other regularly used nicknames for the characters are derived from their names, whereas Hurley and Sawyer's nicknames are not. So, we are being consistent in regards to having peoples full names for their articles, but highlighting major discrepancies such as that.
  • All short forms of the characters names have redirects to the long form, My preference is to have article titles for characters to present all of their name for accuracy, and redirects on the short form, so when people type [[Hurley]] it will still get there.
  • I agree that Hurley and Sawyer are special cases. And because they're special cases, that's reason to give them the simpler names rather than the ridiculously complex ones they currently have. Hurley is never referred to by his last name with his nickname; likewise for Sawyer. Thus, it makes perfect sense to use their most common names for their articles, regardless of what we do for other pages: simply name Hurley's article Hurley and note at the top of the article that his real name is Hugo Reyes; and likewise, simply name Sawyer's article Sawyer and note at the top of the article that his real name is James Ford. That's the most convenient and user-friendly approach to take, and it's one that stlil provides all the same information to users who visit the articles in question; it just makes visiting those articles a little bit easier and less potentially confusing. We don't even need to rename any other articles to be able to give those two articles more reasonable names, since, as you and everyone else has noted, they are very special cases and we should deal with them on a case-by-case basis.
  • I would consider Libby, incidentally, to be a special case in the exact same way that Hurley is: her name is also derived from her real name, but significantly changed and with an uncommon nickname. And, sure enough, for Libby we simply use Libby, not Elizabeth "Libby" or anything of the sort; doing the same for Hurley and Sawyer is not only more convenient for our editors and users, but also more commonsensical and consistent. -Silence 02:31, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • Allowing people to move the articles themselves is un-needed. For example, this short name long name discussion would cause an edit war, and we don't want that.  Plkrtn  talk  contribs  email  02:29, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • An edit war? Patent nonsense. We wouldn't make any moves until we agreed either to use longer, more confusing names or shorter, more common ones; once we agree entirely on one or the other, we then can work together to make the moves to whichever of the two we settle on. For example, I've already helped propose moves from Benjamin Linus to Ben Linus, even though my system would simply name him Ben, because I want to help you enforce your own system more consistently if that's the one we're going to use. Likewise for moving Eko Tunde (a fan-speculation made-up name) to Mr. Eko, even though my simplified version would probably just use Eko. You have a pretty dim view of this site's editors if you think that they would edit war over something like this. Giving everyone moves would just allow us to get work done a lot more quickly and efficienctly (for example, many clearly horrifically-badly named pages have been left at the wrong name for weeks or months due to admin inattention, such as Eko Tunde and Alexandra Linus and Tom (Other); and that's not the fault of the admins, it just shows why we need more movers so we don't put all the hard work on such a small pool of users).
  • If anything, one of the main benefits of my proposal for this site is that it would 100% of the time avoid any potential edit wars or arguments or disagreements: we can fight till we're blue in the face about which title is more "correct" or "technically accurate" or anything of the sort, but there can be no argument about which name is more common. By trying to make article titles as complete as possible, we only open up thousands of future cans of worms by leaving the door open for debate after debate after debate over which title is the "real" one; in contrast, a policy of simply using the most common name allows us to forget about those silly debates and instead spend our time doing the valuable work of improving this encyclopedia. The reason I'm pushing for this change is because it would make this, in effect, the debate to end all endless back-and-forth debates: if we could just settle on relying on simplicity and common usage for our article titles, it'd be out of our hands whether Alex's real full name is Alexandra Linus or Alexandra Rousseau, something we've already wasted countless time on and could potentially waste years more of time on at this rate; in my proposed system, we wouldn't have to have any endless edit-wars or arguments, we'd simply note that everyone calls her "Alex", and name her article accordingly: Alex. I think that's the commonsensical and practical approach. -Silence 02:46, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • We have full faith in our editors, they are what make up the wiki however the policies and systems we use here we have learn from past experience with regular users, vandals, visitors, editors, sysops, etc. You can talk to any sysop but you are not going to be able to convince them to change their opinions on the moving articles idea, it is something we all agree with and likely it would cause more moves to be made then we currently have to. Added to the fact that even if we were to do this. When a user moves an article that user cannot delete previous articles (including redirects) meaning all the moves you are suggesting be done if we come to an agreement on this single name idea would have to be done by a Sysop anyway as there redirects in every case. It makes it easier and is simpler for us to keep track of. I am sorry but this is an argument you are not going to be able to win no matter how hard you try. -Mr.Leaf 12:32, 18 July 2007 (PDT)

The consensus[]

The consensus seems to be that we don't need to change it, its OK as it is. Which, I agree it is fine. It is perfectly acceptable as it is.  Plkrtn  talk  contribs  email  03:49, 18 July 2007 (PDT)

Yup, and for sake of argument, let's say less leapfrogging or whatever you wanna call it is slightly more efficient. We have pretty good efficiency right now as it is here, as well as no complaints by readers, so its all good! --Nickb123 (Talk) 04:05, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
So your argument is: "It's already good, so we shouldn't make it better"? By that logic, we might as well give up on all Lostpedia articles. Just because something's adequate doesn't mean we shouldn't try to make it even more consistent, accessible and user-friendly. Moreover, 99% of the problems this site currently has have never been complained about by users, simply because any users who are involved enough with the site to bother filing a complaint would be more likely to just fix the mistake themselves, or move on if they couldn't. So the fact that something hasn't been complained about hardly means that it's unproblematic.
However, if there is indeed consensus for keeping the current naming system (though I don't think some of my points have been adequately addressed above), then I'll do my best to help make sure we implement the system in a consistent and commonsensical way. For that reason, I've added move tags to some articles that needed to be moved just to bring them in line with the old system, not with my proposal: Alexandra Linus, Benjamin Linus, Eko Tunde, and Tom (Other), among others. (It looks like Alex has already been moved, neat.) If there is consensus against my proposal, then those moves will still need to be made. I also still think there's a strong case to be made for shortening the Hurley and Sawyer articles, even if we leave the others be. Unlike the other characters, those two would never have their nicknames used with their last names (in Sawyer's case, because "Sawyer" is actually an alias, not a nickname), so there's a good argument to be made for letting them have their one-word article names. -Silence 04:25, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • In general, IMO this issue is much like the recent main character portal debate--- In other words, here is an issue that does not substantively affect our primary mission, which is content on Lost, while the debate consumes large resources of what is (in the hiatus) a fairly limited staff. Semantics, points of technicality, many such niceties isn't the highest on my priority atm. In contrast, cleaning sloppy character, cast, and episode articles is higher, as is housekeeping polish that makes a difference in content, e.g. crossrefs, image caption wikification/crossrefs, filling in missing articles (or creating new list articles), filling in biographical stubs on guest actors, filling in incomplete list articles and disambiguation pages. The wiki got very sloppy during the hectic editing frenzy during the S3 episode broadcasts, and now we have done a good job cleaning and trimming since it has quieted down. As for Silence's opinions, perhaps one misunderstanding is that WP often, but not always the model for LP's approach, either by practicality (issues limited by bureaucracy manpower and community-size) or by choice (e.g. original research, theory tabs, role of administrators, the above issue, server load, etc.). I admire your energy and thought, although on the other hand you've come in like a whirlwind suggesting changes to more things with more talk page copy than any new user in recent memory; in the end I would hope and aim for that wonderful energy to remain undiluted no matter the result of any talk page discussions here at LP. -- Contrib¯ _Santa_ ¯  Talk  04:19, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
  • Thanks for the kind words, and I understand and share your desire to return to substantive editing. I have just one question: what is the current policy or preference regarding piped links? That is, in a typical article, which is preferable or ideal: [[Hugo "Hurley" Reyes|Hurley]] or [[Hurley]]? I'd like to know which to go with while editing various articles, as these seemingly trivial inconsistencies can make routine editing a hassle. -Silence 04:30, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
I was just being cute adding a resolve, I wasn't advocating complacency. I'll reply to the essay in a minute when I've put my contacts in --Nickb123 (Talk) 04:34, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
To me, it doesn't matter if you put either [[Hugo "Hurley" Reyes|Hurley]] or [[Hurley]]. Either one will get you to the same content, and that is what matters the most. By the way, I agree that Ben Linus should be the articles name, as we've no evidence for him being named Benjamin do we? I know several people who have been christened Ben and not Benjamin. If his full name is Benjamin we keep it.  Plkrtn  talk  contribs  email  05:04, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
If it doesn't matter whether we link to a redirect or the article itself since it goes to the same place, it is my recommendation that we encourage not using piped links except in special circumstances (e.g., when the article's text wouldn't link to a redirect page at all). The reason for this is that either we care about avoiding redirects, or we don't care; if we don't care, then we should tell all our editors not to waste their time with piping, because countless hours will surely be spent on it otherwise when the editors could instead be working on meaningful content improvements. Of course, we shouldn't tell editors to waste their time deleting all pipings either; it's not a big deal. But having an official position on this means more consistency, and less time wasted switching back and forth between the two types of links. So, does anyone disagree that piped links aren't necessary on Lostpedia to avoid redirects? -Silence 05:32, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
To Plkrtn - Firstly, when Henry Gale becomes Ben, he introduces himself to Jack in the Hydra "My name is Benjamin Linus, and I was born on this Island." Secondly, the first Ben flashback, Ben's mother dies saying "Roger, call him Benjamin." --Nickb123 (Talk) 05:11, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
Indeed. There's just as much evidence for Ben being named Benjamin as there is for Kate being named Katherine. The reason they need to be renamed is because we use the common name, not the full name, for the first names of characters in titles; either move Benjamin Linus to Ben Linus or move John Locke to Johnathan Locke, etc. -Silence 05:32, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
So what is abundantly clear, is we need to decide what is best. Having a full forename, surname article seems to be the way we're heading, but we need to decide whether the final article should be in the characters full formal name "Johnathan Locke" or informal name John Locke and make it a policy that the names are all treated in that same way. Obviously, exceptions apply for example when we don't have a surname, or any reference to their full name (so Alex isn't Alexandra or Alex Linus, and Tom isn't Thomas)  Plkrtn  talk  contribs  email  06:59, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
I think it's pretty clear that we're going with whichever forename is most common; if a character is known as Ben all the time, we aren't going to name his article Benjamin. And of course aren't going to give a character a nickname if he or she's usually known by his or her full name; we will never have a Kate "Freckles" Austen article. I have no idea why Ben's article got named "Benjamin"; I guess it just fell by the wayside somehow and people forgot that other articles aren't given their longest name possible, but rather their most common full name. Thus, we will also never have an article named Charlie Hieronymus Pace. -Silence 07:12, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
Is there an "official" / canonical source that could be used for the character's article name ? That would be my personal preference. -- Dagg talk contribs4 8 07:10, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
Why on earth would that matter, if he's called Ben 99% of the time in the actual show? Rule #1: There's no source more official than the show itself. If John Locke was credited as "Johnathan Locke" in the credits or on the ABC website, his article would still be titled John Locke. -Silence 07:12, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
Right I'm saying it. Whilst you are raising a few valid points, the way you are doing it is abrasive, confrontational and not welcome. However, I would edge towards using the persons COMMON name. ie Kate Austen, John Locke... EXCEPT for Hugo Reyes and James Ford, where I would use the nicknames in quotes, as is.  Plkrtn  talk  contribs  email  07:45, 18 July 2007 (PDT)
The producers of the show do a pretty good job of crediting the characters with their most commonly used name (it would be silly for them not to :)) For example, here are the credits from one of the press releases:

Lost stars Naveen Andrews as Sayid, Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond, Emilie de Ravin as Claire, Michael Emerson as Ben, Matthew Fox as Jack, Jorge Garcia as Hurley, Josh Holloway as Sawyer, Daniel Dae Kim as Jin, Yunjin Kim as Sun, Evangeline Lilly as Kate, Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet, Dominic Monaghan as Charlie and Terry O'Quinn as Locke.

Guest starring are Tania Raymonde as Alex, Blake Bashoff as Karl, Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert, Mira Furlan as Rousseau, Brian Goodman as Pryce, Marsha Thomason as Naomi, Neil Hopkins as Liam, Joshua Hancock as Roderick, John Henry Canavan as Simon Pace, Jeremy Shada as young Charlie, Zack Shada as young Liam, L. Scott Caldwell as Rose, Sam Anderson as Bernard, Andrea Gabriel as Nadia, Lana Parrilla as Greta and Tracy Middendorf as Bonnie.

-- Dagg talk contribs4 8 08:06, 18 July 2007 (PDT)

Need an admin's input[]

About a week ago I made a proposal on Lostpedia:Ideas. Three users added there opinions, but I would appreciate it if an admin would comment on Lostpedia:Ideas#Episode Reception, because it's almost been a week and I'd like to see what an admin thinks about the idea. Thanks --Mr. Crabby (Talk) 15:18, 4 August 2007 (PDT)

Input, please.[]

So far, no one's commented on my idea. Please do, as I think it would be very innovative and needed. -- Sam McPherson  T  C  E  12:39, 3 March 2008 (PST)

  • Okay, if this is about the time marker thing, I honestly think that the reason why no one's commented on it is that no one understood the idea. I know I didn't. You should really rephrase the whole question, and even give examples showing what you mean. --     c      blacxthornE      t     12:35, 26 March 2008 (PDT)

Lostpedia Offline[]

As much as I'd hate to admit it, this show is going to end soon, and Kevin can't pay for the site forever. I was thinking about some major behind the scenes work to make Lostpedia available offline once the show has ended, perhaps stored on DVD discs or available for download (via Torrent or otherwise). It's alot of information, and I'd hate to see all of our (well mostly your) work go to waste. I know it seems a bit early to be talking about such things, but if we were to do this, it take some advanced notice. -- Iron Man  Send a message  View contributions  14:42, 11 March 2008 (PDT)

Whoa you are ahead of yourself aren't you? Plenty of wikis have survived even when they have run out of updates to add, but I see where you're coming from. Perhaps leave it up for a year after Season 6 has finished in all countries, then compress it for download or something. --Blueeagleislander 00:31, 12 March 2008 (PDT)

Yeah I guess I am. I just got to thinking when another Wiki I was a MAJOR contributor to shut down. -- Iron Man  Send a message  View contributions  10:53, 12 March 2008 (PDT)

Calm down. We'll be here for a while yet. If Admin were to decide to no longer host the wiki, we already have several backup ideas in place, but that won't come till after the show has ended, and once it does, the amount of hits that the site recieves (which is huge during the season) will fall of dramatically. In this instance, our hosting could then be scaled down considerably from the mini server farm we currently employ, which would reduce costs dramatically. We could also employ systems such as making the content read only, which again would reduce costs. We also have previously had offers from various companies and individuals to step in should this kind of thing ever happen (which we don't at the moment). Of course, we are discounting that once the TV show has finished, ABC wouldn't want to work further on this franchise, beyond Lindelof and Cuse's hand. There are many, many ways that spin-off media could continue the show's mythos beyond 2010. Comic books for one. I've been here for over 3 years now SysOpping, and have committed myself to keeping Lostpedia open one way or another for as long as it is needed and wanted. Don't Panic!  Plkrtn  talk  contribs  email  20:48, 2 August 2008 (PDT)
Sounds great. I hope to stick around as long the site is open as well. "Mmaking the content read only", wouldn't that mke it no longer a wiki? --Blueeagleislander 21:33, 2 August 2008 (PDT)
This would be a last ditch effort if say no one edited the wiki for weeks or months. This won't happen any time soon or even once the show ends but eventually people will stop editing and the wiki evolves to a Lost information site. That way Lostpedia can stay online, as it would need less servers, less moderation, and wouldn't be vandalized. But really guys, we have two more seasons at least, there is nothing to worry about for the time being. As plkrtn said, numerous ideas have been discussed by the staff for ways to continue the site and we are always working on improving it and that will not change once the show ends. -Mr.Leaf 18:36, 15 August 2008 (PDT)
If lostpedia ever shuts down, Id be willing to contribute a subdomain for it to keep it running :) But Blue eagle Islander is right; we still have a long way to go. Long live Lostpedia! --JPB. T. C. E. 20:26, 25 August 2008 (PDT)

Medal design[]

Hi. I wasn't really sure if this counts as an "idea", it's just a simple suggestion, so I'm posting it here... I just didn't quite like the way user medals look, so I made some new ones (two sets) and would like to get some input about whether you like them better. They're in Category talk:Medal templates#New Medal Images. I realize now that this was probably the wrong place to post them, but I wasn't familiar with the "userpage/subpage" thing, sorry... Thanks. --     c      blacxthornE      t     06:17, 27 March 2008 (PDT)

Very nice, good and professional looking templates. It's certainly not up to me but if it were I'd use these in a heartbeat. If you don't get any further response on here try posting the designs A) On the actual Ideas page or B) On each ones prospective talk page. -- Iron Man  Send a message  View contributions  11:09, 27 March 2008 (PDT)

Good idea. I'll wait and try that if I don't get any further input. Thanks a lot, brother. --     c      blacxthornE      t     13:18, 27 March 2008 (PDT)

An update?[]

Maybe it's time to clean the page a bit to help people discern ideas that are not outdated? I think especially these ones should be resolved already:

  • Missing Mystery (mystery solved)
  • Trailers (per copyright and spoiler policy)
  • Removal of Headings on Spoiler Pages (already was solved before by asking people to use ambiguous headings, and now even more irrelevant due to spoiler policy)
  • How about a page listing Characters who have killed their fathers? (there seems to be quite a consensus)
  • Interviews (already fulfilled)

This way the page would be less cluttered and maybe newer ideas could get more input? --     c      blacxthornE      t     06:28, 6 June 2008 (PDT)

some like it hoth[]

I am hoping someone can help. I have rewatched season five three times now looking for things I missed and was hoping I wasn't crazy. There is a part that shows miles being pulled in the van and then he gets thrown out, now I know it is hard to tell but one of the guys with the white half mask looks like jacob can anyone confirm. Also am I the only one who thinks Juliet is or was pregnant.Beetlenerd 17:22, January 9, 2010 (UTC)

  • Not really the place for this, you'd be better off on the talk page for the episode... But that being said, no I don't think it's Jacbob (imo it doesn't look like him, plus I doubt they'd have cast for it that way) and you're also not the only person who thinks Juliet is pregnant (based on the way she held her stomach in the finale), but I think it's been debunked somewhere.  Jimbo the Tubby  talk  contributions  11:45, January 10, 2010 (UTC)

Best place for discussion of redirects?[]

Where would be a good place to start a discussion about confusing redirects? I'd put it on the "Ideas" page, except that I'm not actually proposing a specific solution as much as pointing out a problem. Is there a general discussion page somewhere that I'm missing? —Josiah Rowe 08:25, March 10, 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the quick reply. I'll give it a shot there. —Josiah Rowe 08:43, March 10, 2010 (UTC)

Man in Black page new subsection/table column[]

Please see the MiB talk page, section 43 for some arguments towards having a section on the Man in Black's recruiting. I feel that he mirrors what he accuses Jacob of doing - influencing people at their most vulnerable moments, and there's enough examples to compile a list. It could be added as a table element or column under encounters/deaths, but that's beyond my scope. Is there enough merit to the idea to warrant modifying a table? I have to confess it relies on subjectivity & interpretation. Duncan905 23:42, March 25, 2010 (UTC)

Character/Personality Sub Section on ALL Main Characters[]

Lostpedia should provide a personality summary for every main character. What is someone new to Lost came to the site? They would not be able to tell which characters are good, which are bad, which are selfish, etc. Ocie14 02:16, July 11, 2010 (UTC)