User talk:Whitearrow

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Revision as of 17:56, 6 November 2007 by Andrew (talk | contribs) (Dragon Math)

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Need me?

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I saw that you've started this over on livejournal, and in your getting started that you might want a CSS/HTML editor and/or an artist. I've not edited Wiki sites before but I'm pretty fluent in buth CSS and HTML (anything I don't know, I'm willing to learn!), Photo-shop savvy and I'm looking for projects at the moment. And of course, I love Temeraire, so I'd be pretty excited to help out.

I'm off to poke around the place now and see how this thing works. It looks pretty nifty already!


Hi, Li!

Glad to have you here!

I'd love to see something for the front page that looked a little nicer than what we have now, while communicating the same basic content.

If you'd like to play around with it, just start a page called front_test or something, and experiment to your heart's content!

A wiki you might want to look at is the Battlestar Galactica one, here:

Let me know if you have any questions!



I can try to make one article a week expanded. Just tell me an article to expand, and i'll happily research it a bunch and add to it. feel free to contact me at

Hi -- I don't really have a priority list or anything as far as expansion goes, so just pick an article that seems of interest to you! I appreciate the help!

- whitearrow

dragon categories

Hi there. I started out on the wiki with a plan of adding in more detail on the Chinese dragons from Throne of Jade. I started with sorting by nationality, so that you could browse by nationality rather than just by first letter. However, the category for Chinese Dragon Breeds was deleted without comment. So, what's up? It seemed to me that browsing by nationality adds to the information and functionality. --Jhkim 23:06, 28 January 2007 (PST)

Hi -- more detail on the Chinese dragons is definitely welcome! With respect to the categories, I'd like to keep the categories to a manageable number while we concentrate on getting articles written -- I've seen wikis with things categorized down to an inch of their life, and frankly, it becomes more confusing than helpful. The current category structure is something I drew out on paper, with the goal in mind of being useful but simple, and not so overspecific that we end up with tons of categories and subcategories that only have 3-5 articles each.

Secondarily, although we may eventually want to categorize the dragon breeds by some kind of geographical grouping, I'm not sure nationality is necessarily the best route to go. It has more than one meaning -- is it the nation the dragon is loyal to, or where that particular breed was first discovered or bred? If it's the second (which I think would be more useful) then "nationality" can be kind of misleading (it's been a bit problematic in some cases with "National Loyalty" in the dragon profile) and I think we need another name and way to make it clear.

So I think it's something that needs a bit more thought before we plow ahead, and it's not something we need to decide right away. Plus, once we decide to go ahead, someone needs to take the responsibility for putting all the dragons into their proper subcategories -- which is about 60 pages that will need updating. At the moment, I'd rather that kind of time be spent on writing new articles -- we have red links that need help all over the place. :)

I'm sorry I didn't explain more thoroughly, that was my bad, and I apologize! - whitearrow 09:39, 29 January 2007 (PST)

OK, I'll bring up the topic of categories on the general Talk page. I think that with breeds it is fairly clear that "Chinese dragon breeds" refers to breeds which came about in China rather than national loyalty. In general approach to wikis is to add in information and then refine it later, rather than holding off adding until a master plan is complete. However, if it's controversial then I'll certainly discuss it first. --Jhkim 15:54, 29 January 2007 (PST)

I totally agree with the approach of adding *information* -- but categorizing isn't really adding information, it's organizing it, and I think we'd be better serving the wiki to approach that in a methodical way. Saying that "Chinese dragon breeds" refers to breeds which originated in China makes sense -- but it might not for all other breeds (where do the ferals go, for example?) and if we're going to categorize, we have to do it for all the breeds, not just for one subgroup, or it doesn't make much sense to do it. - whitearrow 17:37, 29 January 2007 (PST)

Dragon Art

hi I'v been drawing dragons for a while and wondered if it would be helpful if I added pictures to each of the breeds? I have a Regal Copper finished shall I add it to the wikki? Garnet

Hi, yes, we'd love more fan art. Please upload as .jpgs. If you need to see how to add art to a page once its uploaded, take a look at the Temeraire page. I can tweak in the article if need be. - whitearrow 11:49, 29 January 2007 (PST)

Page to Remove

Hi, Just in case you don't spot it in some other way. There's a second page about Jeremy Rankin, called just Rankin that someone's posted that should probably be deleted. I don't have the ability to do it as far as I know. Do you? Or indeed do I and I need to learn how? :D --Andrew 08:05, 5 February 2007 (PST)

Hi, thanks -- deletion is restricted for the moment, just out of caution. That page definitely needed deletion, though, and I took care of it. Thank you for pointing it out. - whitearrow 08:32, 5 February 2007 (PST)

Restricting deletion is very sensible. I'm just glad that it's done. :D --Andrew 13:22, 5 February 2007 (PST)

A Fan

Hey just a normal fan here, if you want in my spare time i can make a few summeries of the books, i love reading and i can remember events pretty good, if you want me to just say the word and i will start working when im off.

Hi -- we're not really looking for summaries as such, but for contributions to specific articles. A good place to check is in the Getting Started article, which is linked from the front page. There's also lots of useful information in the Help section, if you decide you'd like to contribute. Thanks! -whitearrow 14:33, 6 February 2007 (PST)

Articles on historical matters (new!)

Hi there! I noticed your call for 'history buffs', and although I'm no expert, I love the books (and history in general) well enough to want to be involved. However, about some of the stubs regarding historical figures, events, and objects... is it reasonable to include historical facts such as Nelson's birth of date, even though it's not mentioned in the three books? In other words, when can history be assumed as canon? (Sorry if the question is silly.)

Also, would the TemeraireWiki like cover scans from the UK editions of the books, to complement the American versions?

viviena 02:15, 9 February 2007 (PST)

I know I'd love to see the UK covers on here too. I can't speak for everyone though. Regarding Nelson, there is a brief mention of him in Temeraire (Or His Majesty's Dragon) as he survives the Battle of Trafalgar. I think Lawrance also mentions meeting him at the Battle of The Nile. So I expect including his DoB is reasonable. More generally though, the matter is tricky. What about Pitt's death in Black Powder War? How close does that match the historical dates? Can we assume everything is business as usual unless told otherwise? --Andrew 03:57, 9 February 2007 (PST)

Hi, Viviena -- Easy question first -- yes, we'd love to have the UK covers. Great idea!

As to the historical events -- we can't be 100% sure what's safe to assume and what's not, but assuming that history is the same until contradicted is pretty much the approach that strangerface and I took when we were getting things started here back in the fall. I think stuff like Napoleon's birthday is probably safe to assume -- if it's contradicted later, well, we change it!

Overall, what I was really hoping for was for someone well-versed in history to take a look at pages like those under Category:Battles and take a pass at making them as historically authentic as possible, while including the changes in the text -- like the involvement of dragons! If you read the description, of, say, the Battle_of_Trafalgar, it really is quite similar to the historical one, except for, you know, dragons! I did the best I could on my initial draft of pages like this, but I am no expert on naval warfare, and I'm sure someone who is could add a lot of insight and authenticity to the page.

If you have a look here, there's a fairly long list of historical figures who have no page at all yet -- any help on them would be most appreciated, even brief biographical stubs. - whitearrow 09:56, 9 February 2007 (PST)

Another artist! (new?)

Hi there. :) I'm a roaming artist who just lately stumbled into the Temeraire fandom, and I have to say I'm enthralled. If you'll have me, I'd love to join in on the project of illustrating the dragon breed pages (and individual dragons, too, as needed).

I can probably also cook up maps as needed, though it's been a while since I did any serious cartography... I'm also happy to do polishing/spot-editing of articles as I see errors, and can probably be induced to help out with filling in the pages on historical personages. ;) Give me a holler if there's something in specific you want to see my energies directed toward. Tesseractseraph 18:14, 13 February 2007 (PST)

We'd absolutely love it -- begin anywhere you like; anyone can upload! Re maps, I'd love a map showing the sea journey from England to China, and the overland journey from China -> Turkey -> Prussia. Really, we'd appreciate any way you'd like to contribute! Thank you! -whitearrow 18:35, 13 February 2007 (PST)


You definitely have a job ahead of you.

I was thinking about making contributions to the Wiki,but I am not much of a historian. As far as the Characters go( I see a couple of the admirals need a biography)how accurate do they need to be? I assume fictional characters don't necessarily need to have historical accuracy. So, do I get to indulge my "creative side" on something like that? Please let me know if I can be of help in any way.

Mark P. Arsenault (

- Hi Mark -- we'd like the entries to be "accurate" as far as the books go, not necessarily real life. See the discussions on the main talk page re historical figures. As far as indulging the creative side, we hope people will do that with way they choose to write, but not with the "facts" themselves. If contributors begin making things up wholesale, the wiki won't be of much use to those trying to find information from the books, which is what we hope to do.

-whitearrow 21:58, 12 March 2007 (PDT)


If its ok i would like to ask you a few questions. Here they are: 1.who is your favorite fiction writer? 2.what is your favorite fiction book? 3.have you read a book that was hard to put down? 4.what are five book that you think are the best sellers and best to read in order please? 5.what do you know about Naomi Novik?--Allen Adkins


if you responde you will be helping me a lot for my project on fantasy/fiction and i would realy Appreciate it. the reason i chose fantasy/fiction is i read Naomi's books and fell in love. thank you for your time and effort in reading this and i do hope you respond. one more thing is the fourth book out Empire OF ivory?


Hi there -- I'm sorry, I don't think I could really give simple answers to any of your questions (I don't have *one* single favorite writer), and time constraints prevent me from giving detailed ones. I'm not particularly interesting anyway :) To answer your other question, Empire of Ivory will be out in October. Good luck on your project.

-whitearrow 12:33, 9 May 2007 (PDT)

Wiki Vandals

Is there anything the rest of us can do to keep the wiki vandals at bay? It looks like they've attacked the Andrew Morgan page again as well as the Help:Tables and Help:Variables pages. And the new user User:Jiutian's page looks like car rental add once you translate it with Babelfish. Starts out like this: The Shanghai automobile rents | the commerce to rent a car - the Shanghai white Kang automobile to rent 021-51020177

And the user list is full of 6 character accounts that look like junk . . .  :( So, anything we can do to help? --Mooir 18:01, 6 June 2007 (PDT)

sigh:: sadly, no -- just keep letting me know so I can rollback (actually, ya'll can do that part, too, I think?) -- but poke me anyway, so I can ban the users. We've installed a couple of plugins that I hope will help, but it's no magic bullet -- and there's no easy way to delete users, unbelievably. We're banning the IP's too now, so that should help somewhat. Letting me know is the best thing. Thanks :( -whitearrow 19:08, 6 June 2007 (PDT)

I think only sysops can do rollbacks. I don't see the ability like I do on my wiki's sysop account. But I'll see if I can find out anything about user deletions. Thanks, I'll keep my eyes open. --Mooir 17:56, 8 June 2007 (PDT)

Bah! I can see why you wouldn't allow user deletion lightly but you should still put in the ability!! It annoys me as a software engineer. Maybe this software will help Bad Behavior --Mooir 18:32, 8 June 2007 (PDT)

Problem is, I don't have server access, but I'll see if I can get this looked at. Thanks for keeping an eye on it. I just don't get it -- I mean, spammers are one thing, but what kind of thrill does someone get just from deleting a page that can easily be fixed? I don't get it. And yeah, I wish there was user deletion! Apparently it's by design, but still -- what a pain if you're trying to admin a wiki and don't have DB access. Thanks again. -whitearrow 20:12, 8 June 2007 (PDT)

Errg! The vandals are getting aggressive. Now they are using us for spam links! I updated the Vandal_report but I can't keep up with them. --Mooir 10:38, 10 June 2007 (PDT)

Under this onslaught it looks like it might be better to temporarily lock the wiki down so only sysops can make changes. These lines added to LocalSettings.php should do it.

$wgGroupPermissions['*' ]['createaccount'] = false; $wgGroupPermissions['*' ]['edit'] = false; $wgGroupPermissions['*' ]['createpage'] = false; $wgGroupPermissions['*' ]['createtalk'] = false; $wgGroupPermissions['user' ]['createaccount'] = false; $wgGroupPermissions['user' ]['edit'] = false; $wgGroupPermissions['user' ]['createpage'] = false; $wgGroupPermissions['user' ]['createtalk'] = false;

--Mooir 13:36, 10 June 2007 (PDT)

From now on, usernames will have to be put into the "approved" group by a sysop before they can use an account to edit. That will prevent both new and old spam accounts from being used, and hopefully, will put a stop to this once and for all. What a nightmare -- Naomi and I spent the better part of today dealing with this.

-whitearrow 19:19, 10 June 2007 (PDT)

Thank you both for your work! It is very much appreciated. As horrible as it was to watch, it must have been even worse to deal with. Medals are in order. :) --Mooir 19:37, 11 June 2007 (PDT)

General thought on categorization (inspired by dragon categories discussion)


I agree with the sentiment that categories can be more trouble than they're worth and wind up being useless. There's actually a nice set of articles at the Boxes and Arrows website that discusses the problems and challenges.

Two good articles are Improving Usability with a Website Index as well as Sitemaps and Site Indexes: What They Are and Why You Should Have Them

Once the content is added, then adding the more specific category information should be much easier. Of course having some guidelines in place will make it easier for everyone.

Response: Thanks, I'll have a look! - whitearrow 11:40, 18 September 2007 (PDT)

Dragon Math

After reading Book 4, I'm distracted by Dragon Math, especially by what might happen to Euclid. Is this something that might be of interest to others?

It's interesting but as it seemed to be based on the premise that while Dragons were happy with the idea of Great Circles, they didn't realise that two lines going North from different points were not parallel, if found it a bit odd. --Andrew 09:56, 6 November 2007 (PST)

Team Forum?

Just an idea. Is there a forum or anything where people can discuss what they want/are trying to do or what they they need etc? This would be especially useful for researchers and artists though might also provide guidance as to where the wiki is going. It could be useful as an area to propose/critique content before submitting it to the wiki.

Generally, we use Talk pages for discussion -- most people regularly check the "recent changes" page, so they can easily see when a discussion is going on. The Help Wanted Talk page might be a good place. BTW, don't forget to sign your comments - 4 tilde (~) symbols will yield your name and the date and time of your message. -whitearrow 08:57, 2 November 2007 (PDT)

OOPs. I assumed the details would be automatically added and I never checked. A lot to learn I guess. Lord Elvewyn 06:35, 5 November 2007 (PST)

External Links

Is there a page at all for external links (related), or if not, would it be possible for there to be one? If there could be somewhere for me to post up a link to my Forum for Temeraire, then that would be most appreciated.


There's not, because it isn't really the purpose of the wiki, but I don't have an objection if one is started if there's someone interested in keeping it updated. If such a page is started, it should go under the "TemeraireWiki" hierarchy and not in the main content area. - whitearrow 21:35, 2 November 2007 (PDT)