Updating IFWiki

There’s been some discussion going on at ifwiki about the game pages. Right now I think things are moving in the direction of changing the way game pages are set up to allow more freeform text.

I’ve messaged him.


There are 11,433 games on IFDB and 3,583 games on IFWiki. Even though the wiki has the technical potential to do everything that IDFB does (as I understand IFDB), I don’t think IFWiki should even try to catch up, or add games for the sake of adding games. (If that were the aim then a script could be written to export from IDFB and import straight into IFWiki.)

I think the aim should be to have game pages on IFWiki only if they are genuinely interesting to read as articles, and the “data” side of things should be covered by IFDB and CASA links. At the same time, deleting uninteresting game pages is not on the cards. The answer as @bg says seems to be to work on a new framework for game pages. That should encourage the creation of interesting pages rather than pages for pages’ sake, and the improvement of existing pages. This is linked with the question of upgrading the software.


Revisiting this question:

If we were to go the route of de-emphasizing game pages on IFWiki, one question becomes, what do you do when a game is mentioned on IFWiki?

What would you want to do about mentioning games that don’t have pages yet? Are you still thinking there should be minimalist pages for those, or would there be an external link to IFDB each time the game is mentioned, or…?

If we do have minimalist game pages, I agree it’d be convenient to automatically pull that information from IFDB, or from the latest IFDB database info that is available from IFArchive.

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My take is we should upgrade to the latest, then create an object that pulls game basics from IFDB and is not editable on IFWiki. That object can be added to any page someone wants to make for a game, so it’s optional. IFWiki should be about added value and not about the “data”.


Yes I think that makes sense. I don’t expect all 11,000-odd IFDB games will be mentioned in wiki articles so it shouldn’t be a huge task.

If the IFDB website could provide that then I am sure it could be included within wiki pages as you suggest.

That sounds right. IFWiki does have a lot of interlinked “Works”, “People” and “Authoring systems” pages, based on categories, and it must be hard to resist the temptation to make it exhaustive!

I’m not sure what basics you’d want, but we currently have a little Open Graph card embedded in <meta> tags, usable anywhere that supports OG tags (including Facebook, Twitter, and this forum).

If you paste https://ifdb.org/viewgame?id=aearuuxv83plclpl into a forum post, it will expand out like this:

I bet it would be possible to include a card like this in a MediaWiki.

The obvious things missing there are the author(s) and release date. (And maybe ratings.) OG only allows authors on certain “types” of content, currently just articles and books. So we’d have to use article:author or book:author to include an author there, neither of which feel quite right.

That looks like it has potential. I’m not an expert but I think returning stuff in JSON format is common for APIs (like in this MediaWiki API query). Would you be able to implement something like that for IFDB?

Right now, there’s a standard infobox for games on ifwiki, for example: Counterfeit Monkey - IFWiki

(Some of that info I don’t think IFDB actually keeps track of.)

There’s more info here about what info IFWiki users most wanted to see on a game page, when I ran a survey about IFWiki in 2016:

Items that got the most votes (more than 50% of voters) were:

IFDB link
Title, Author, Release Date, Platform/Authoring System
Review Links
Award Icons

So, besides title, author, and release date, you may also want to include authoring system and/or platform. And of course it should link to IFDB.

I’m not sure if it’s possible or makes sense to try to auto-import review links.

I wonder if it’s possible to automatically get the award info and somehow display the award icons using that?


For what it’s worth, IFDB has an API already! Check out https://ifdb.org/api/index, in particular the https://ifdb.org/api/viewgame API. https://ifdb.org/viewgame?ifiction&id=aearuuxv83plclpl returns an XML description of the game.

There’s a lot missing there, though. Awards don’t show up, no dev system, no reviews (neither “external” editorial reviews nor “internal” reviews written on IFDB). But I see no reason why that material couldn’t be added.

It would be nice to have a JSON version this API; that’s a filed bug. https://github.com/iftechfoundation/ifdb-suggestion-tracker/issues/3


That looks great. That XML could definitely be used on a wiki page :+1:

It would take some planning to figure out how best to approach review links. For example, if someone adds a link on ifwiki to a certain review, and then someone adds a link on IFDB to that same review, the ifwiki page may end up linking to the same review twice. But it’s interesting to know that it’s at least possible.

I think the first person should have been advised by IFWiki to post the review link on IFDB instead, so the second review link wouldn’t have been added :slight_smile:

I’m not sure whether we’d want IFWiki to show a list of links to IFDB reviews. Maybe just the number of reviews, at most?

If people wanted to go this route, there would need to be a change to the ifwiki style guide, I guess, saying not to add links to individual external reviews on game pages anymore. I don’t know if we’d also want some sort of reminder on the page itself (or at least, pages that use the “auto-import-stuff-from-IFDB” object).

Links to individual IFDB member reviews? Yeah, that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. It would be more convenient for an ifwiki user to just click one link that would take you to all the IFDB reviews, and then you could easily scroll around to see the others. (I believe a link to an individual IFDB review would take you to a page with just that review by itself.)

Of course, if the person is clicking through to IFDB anyway, they could also scroll around and see the external reviews as well. Maybe even with a summary included. So I don’t know what to do about the external review links.

It would be possible to add an optional data-entry form (like the IFDB one but focussing on and encouraging free text). The form could be the means of guiding the user on what to include. There could be a link on the form to the style guide, or the form might effectively replace it.

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I have pieced together everything I could find on the wiki about copyright on the IFWiki:Copyright discussions page. It looks from the 2005 debates and the 2007 copyright page that the “public domain” argument won, and that all content on the wiki is public domain, at least from 21 February 2007, with two exceptions being the FAQ page (CC-SA 2.0 licence) and Andrew Plotkin’s postcard (CC-SA 3.0 licence). Until I’ve read the 2005 debates I’ll just observe that the easiest option is not to change anything…

It might make sense for any discussion to be on the wiki itself, at IFWiki talk:Copyright discussions.

@robinjohnson and I have started some wiki-related discussions on IFWiki talk:Community portal - IFWiki – if you log into the wiki you select Actions–Watch to receive email notifications when content is added to the page.


Just so people know, concensus in the admin discussion is leaning heavily towards “transfer IFWiki to IFTF”. We’re figuring out that process now.


Looks like I have a lot to catch up on. Forgive me for my laxness, but I kinda burnt out on IFWiki ages ago, and I’ve never been a forum regular. And my current internet situation is truly abymsal. I can say that I am glad that people are moving forward with IFWiki without waiting for my input, 'cause let’s be honest, who knows how long you’d be waiting?, and I look forward to seeing what changes have already been implemented. Thank yous to everyone.


David - I think I can speak for everyone and say that your contribution has been enormous over the years and if you never edit another page, you’ll still have done more than anyone else. It is greatly appreciated.


I’ve mostly forgotten what was said in this topic, but I think this is effectively its conclusion: