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Old 2009-09-11, 10:34   Link #1
Slice of Life
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Upcoming anime database (wiki)

So to repeat and elaborate on the title: I'm proposing to introduce a list of upcoming or rumored anime productions in form of a wiki (or any structure that supports the collaborative effort of volunteers).

The wiki would be targeted at the anime fan (otaku) community outside of Japan, especially those who can't read Japanese.

Our community is terribly disorganized in that respect. We lack something like an English-language moonphase. What we do have is a lot of effort done in parallel, that means it's often wasted. There are the big databases (anidb, ANN, animenfo, ...) that add anime erratically when a new season draws near. There is the fansub wiki. NeoSam produces his own list, and so does chartfag, based on NeoSam and all the above. And you can find lists on several blogs. I produce my own private list when I find the time (not every season) checking all the above again. And I'm probably not the only one.

The fansub wiki should especially be mentioned because it proves that the idea works. It mirrors Moonphase quite well and updates fast whenever new entries appear. It's close enough to what I'm thinking of so I'm taking it as a starting point to explain my idea in detail.
  • The main drawback of the fansub wiki is that it is limited in scope. I'm thinking of a listing for TV series, and OVAs new and ongoing, and movies, and what else there is (web only). And also anime with a starting date a year into the future, or still vague, and even mere rumors if you want to (as long as they are flagged as such). Basically, when moonphase has it, we should have it too (as long as it's not provable wrong, of course). If we can do even better, great.
  • The airing/release date must be there of course. Since this list should deliver general information about what's upcoming to people who do not have Japanese TV, we would not really need the TV station(s) though or even the exact airing time.
  • We can't visit Japanese cinemas either so for movies, the date of the DVD release would be a welcome addition.
  • The links to the official pages should be there. If they don't exist yet, then a link to other sources.
  • The studio should be mentioned. Further information (director, zomg Hirano Aya, and the like) belongs in the threads, though.
  • What we should not do is adding information about fansubs because then we'll run into the same problems we already ahve with the torrent list. I especially don't want to see entires like "Funimation" as if they are the solution to the world's problems.
  • What might be useful is adding a little synopsis of roughly the length of chartfag's texts. This might be a trigger for edit wars though.
  • Most importantly, the list should contain links to the relevant threads on animesuki. That is, the anime thread itself or otherwise (or: and also) that of the prequel, the manga or even a post in the upcoming anime thread.
  • And while we're at it, one could also think of linking to the entries at anidb, ANN, and so on.

So what would be the benefits to have such a wiki. For the community as a whole and for animesuki in particular.
  • First of all, and that point should be understood by now, something like that doesn't seem to exist. If working properly, it would at least facilitate the work of NeoSam and Chartfag, whoever else constructs such lists in his or her cellar (like myself) or is at least interested in a one stop resource for whatever is in the making in anime-land.
  • Linking to the relevant threads would reduce the danger of doubles and allow every member to find additional information in English quickly and early.
  • It would also make the task of updating the alphabetical list of anime discussion threads much easier. Maybe this could even be automatized somehow.
  • The traditional "Your expectations" and "Anime review" thread openers would be short, all-encompassing and self-updating by simply linking to the season's wiki page/section.

The wiki should be editable by forum members only. If that's not enough to fight off trolls and bots, restrict it further based on rep points, number of posts or join date. Or any combination thereof. Invitation by the powers that be should always be possible of course.

So, that's my proposal. Criticism?
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Old 2009-09-11, 12:32   Link #2
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I say to add links to all topics an anime is relevant to. Yes, it's a fuss but it will really help people understand what to expect. So, if you have Naruto for example, you get a link to the Naruto subthread.

Also, a description is needed. Story synopsis and basic categories. And if allowed a general opinion of how did the title go (sales, fanbase, hype)
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Old 2009-09-18, 17:52   Link #3
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tumbleweed.jpg

Seeing this overwhelming reaction after a whole week I've come to the conclusion that most people consider this an extremely stupid idea. If so, you're welcome to tell we why this is stupid instead of maintaining a polite silence that won't make me any wiser.
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Old 2009-09-18, 18:31   Link #4
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Actually, it seems like a very interesting idea to me, however the server admins (namely GDHPro, or someone who would be willing to host it) would have to be the first to step in and give it the OK in terms of wiki storage and maintenance before anything more complicated and in detail can be discussed.

Last edited by Proto; 2009-09-18 at 21:03.
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Old 2009-09-18, 20:54   Link #5
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I also think it's a good idea, but I don't have anything to add to it really. Like Proto said it seems to be up to the "people in charge". I don't have much to offer also (besides hosting if needed).
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Old 2009-09-18, 21:42   Link #6
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I think by limiting its edit-ability to just forum members, you run the risk of limiting its usefulness. The crux of edits and updates are inevitably going to be made by a small group of committed users, just as is the case at ANN (from what I gather). If those people start dropping off, and there isn't a steady supply of new ultra-committed editors to replace them, the thing might stagnate and become completely obsolete and irrelevant and too much of a pain to bring up to speed again. If there's one thing you can rely on, it's the laziness of people. If it's just little things, I don't think you should actively put up barriers to prevent people from tweaking the lists.

My suggestion would be to give non-members permission to make minor edits. If they're committed enough to make major changes to the wiki, then they're committed enough to register... but you probably have to assume that most people aren't. With that said, I'm not familiar enough with wiki editing to know how this is done (or even if it's possible). If you're worried about graffiti, I'm sure the wiki software should give you more than enough power to ban troublemakers and undo their graffiti without too much effort. A "report" button would probably be a good idea as well. Wiki graffiti-ists tend to be anything but subtle.
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Old 2009-09-19, 01:35   Link #7
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Sorry, I meant to reply earlier.

I think this is a good idea, although I'm not 100% sure how you would like to implement it. For example, do you want a sheet like the Fansub Wiki, or should visitors click to series specific pages for further information? Stuffing to much info into one sheet probably is not a good idea.

How about something like the Season Preview posts seen on Random Curiosity? The advantage of doing such "posts" ourselves would be that we don't need to rely on one person to create such overviews, plus we can add the AnimeSuki connection you mentioned. The descriptions would need to contain less bias of course.

Btw, It would be no problem hosting this. I can have MediaWiki (or any other Wiki software) installed in no-time. Customizing that software however, may be a bit more tricky as far as the forum tie-ins are concerned (logins etc).

Should this new wiki be on it's own domain (which I'd be willing to fund) or something like wiki.animesuki.com?
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Old 2009-09-19, 01:59   Link #8
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I don't have any constructive criticism and would just like to say that it's a great idea. I would be glad to help, and yes, it should only be editable by forum members. There should be a group to make sure that random/incorrect stuff doesn't get added though.

Right now, there isn't really a single website that will give me all I know about a series. It usually takes a combination of 2 or 3 sites, and a place that has everything would be great. The torrent page on AS is one of my favorites, since it has links to lots of anime database sites. Having everything available in a wiki would be great.

Last edited by KholdStare; 2009-09-19 at 02:18.
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Old 2009-09-19, 03:04   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHDpro View Post
Btw, It would be no problem hosting this. I can have MediaWiki (or any other Wiki software) installed in no-time. Customizing that software however, may be a bit more tricky as far as the forum tie-ins are concerned (logins etc).
Keep it clean. Often such customization have led to basic functions such as Watchlists, Recent Changes malfunction (functions essential for maintaining the wiki). I see no reason for this Forum - to - Wiki link to begin with.

You have been warned =P
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Old 2009-09-19, 07:31   Link #10
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Originally Posted by Cats View Post
Keep it clean. Often such customization have led to basic functions such as Watchlists, Recent Changes malfunction (functions essential for maintaining the wiki). I see no reason for this Forum - to - Wiki link to begin with.

You have been warned =P
While I haven't looked at the code yet, I don't think it should be that hard to:
- Disable any form of anonymous login or normal (direct-on-wiki) registration
- Make a special page that allows wiki "registration" using your forum login
- Hijack login system to check forum db for password, not wiki db
- Run a script so that various things remain in sync (ie: if user is banned on forum; ban him on wiki)

AnimeSuki v3, which I was working on but lately I haven't made to much progress on, uses forum registration for it's login system. In addition, I had planned a wiki system of sorts where users will be able to make changes to series & group information pages directly.
Spoiler for AnimeSuki v3 preview:
Slice of Life's plans don't really fit into the wiki system I had planned for the site, because that wiki system will be tightly integrated with the torrent listings, plus it won't be using any existing code so building it will take a lot of time.

One thing I hadn't figured out for AnimeSuki v3 yet is where to put the License Database feature. However, a (separate) AnimeSuki wiki could be a suitable place for the license database as well, with anyone being able to add new additions, make corrections and expand on info (precise DVD release dates etc). While the license database doesn't intergrate well with the new-series-info idea of Slice of Life, we can simply give it a seperate "portal" page. However, when things overlap (unaired but already licensed series) you can't avoid naming the licensee (ie. Funimation) and linking to places where you can buy or view it legally (ie: Crunchyroll).

And while I'm typing this... that's another idea again of course, to keep a overview of series available for free streaming in the wiki. Or simply make it a category listing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KholdStare View Post
Right now, there isn't really a single website that will give me all I know about a series. It usually takes a combination of 2 or 3 sites, and a place that has everything would be great. The torrent page on AS is one of my favorites, since it has links to lots of anime database sites. Having everything available in a wiki would be great.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean. Do you mean the wiki should duplicate information already (reasonably reliably) found on other sites, such as the extensive cast & crew info found in the ANN Encyclopedia? Because I don't think we should go that far. Essentially put - what info do you need to visit 2-3 sites for and would you like to see combined in the wiki?
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Old 2009-09-19, 09:00   Link #11
Slice of Life
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Originally Posted by Sorrow-K View Post
I think by limiting its edit-ability to just forum members, you run the risk of limiting its usefulness. The crux of edits and updates are inevitably going to be made by a small group of committed users, just as is the case at ANN (from what I gather). If those people start dropping off, and there isn't a steady supply of new ultra-committed editors to replace them, the thing might stagnate and become completely obsolete and irrelevant and too much of a pain to bring up to speed again. If there's one thing you can rely on, it's the laziness of people. If it's just little things, I don't think you should actively put up barriers to prevent people from tweaking the lists.

My suggestion would be to give non-members permission to make minor edits. If they're committed enough to make major changes to the wiki, then they're committed enough to register... but you probably have to assume that most people aren't. With that said, I'm not familiar enough with wiki editing to know how this is done (or even if it's possible). If you're worried about graffiti, I'm sure the wiki software should give you more than enough power to ban troublemakers and undo their graffiti without too much effort. A "report" button would probably be a good idea as well. Wiki graffiti-ists tend to be anything but subtle.
I don't know if there is any wiki software that discriminates between minor and major edits the way you have in mind. Also keep in mind that the fansubwiki has a login system and it works. And that login system was introduced only a while ago after destructive edits took overhand IIRC.

There is nothing more demotivating than having to invest work just to maintain/restore the status quo. At least IMHO. And banning anon is futile in the age of dynamic IPs.

Now, to formulate the counter arguments by myself: I don't know if fansubwiki is really popular enough to run "on its own". For all i know it might work like subbing groups dropping their names + one man doing 90 percent of everything else. Also, inviting fansub groups to edit in particular also means - let's face it - inviting a lot of trolls and e-drama, be it from group members themselves or their fan- and hateboys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GHDpro View Post
I think this is a good idea, although I'm not 100% sure how you would like to implement it. For example, do you want a sheet like the Fansub Wiki, or should visitors click to series specific pages for further information? Stuffing to much info into one sheet probably is not a good idea.
The minimal (and preferred) solution is something like fansubwiki with the modifications I listed. Mainly to make the existence of an anime known, the starting date, and links to further information. All that fits well on a single page. Older entries can be moved to archive pages, one per year or one per season. Now, this "further inormation" can of course include wiki pages with an in depth description. What i don't know is if there are enough volunteers to maintain this and how to prevent edit wars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GHDpro View Post
How about something like the Season Preview posts seen on Random Curiosity? The advantage of doing such "posts" ourselves would be that we don't need to rely on one person to create such overviews, plus we can add the AnimeSuki connection you mentioned. The descriptions would need to contain less bias of course.
I read those season previews with glee because they are terribly opinionated. Of course it is nice to see a neutral description. But why not putting it directly into the wikipedia? I also see the danger that the discussion page will be filled with contributions that should better go into the forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GHDpro View Post
Btw, It would be no problem hosting this. I can have MediaWiki (or any other Wiki software) installed in no-time. Customizing that software however, may be a bit more tricky as far as the forum tie-ins are concerned (logins etc).

Should this new wiki be on it's own domain (which I'd be willing to fund) or something like wiki.animesuki.com?
Quote:
Originally Posted by GHDpro View Post
While I haven't looked at the code yet, I don't think it should be that hard to:
- Disable any form of anonymous login or normal (direct-on-wiki) registration
- Make a special page that allows wiki "registration" using your forum login
- Hijack login system to check forum db for password, not wiki db
- Run a script so that various things remain in sync (ie: if user is banned on forum; ban him on wiki)
I thought unifying the login procedure for an otherwise independent wiki would be harder to do or at least require some ugly hax. Nice to see it's not the case. I see no need for an extra domain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GHDpro View Post
AnimeSuki v3, which I was working on but lately I haven't made to much progress on, ...
To speak for myself, I'm mainly interested in such a portal page. With upcoming anime, that is. I'm indifferent towards anything tied to torrents, because at the point when they are out, anidb in general already has all the information I want, or links to it. I do not want to see any licensing information on that page, or anything that separates anime fans in those who are allowed to sit in the front of the anime bus or not. And bluntly speaking, as somebody who sits in the back of the bus I wouldn't make an contribution to such a page. (Not that a wiki that depends on what a single user does or not wouldn't be a failure anyway.)
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Old 2009-09-19, 09:59   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHDpro View Post
- Disable any form of anonymous login or normal (direct-on-wiki) registration
- Make a special page that allows wiki "registration" using your forum login
- Hijack login system to check forum db for password, not wiki db
- Run a script so that various things remain in sync (ie: if user is banned on forum; ban him on wiki)
I'm kinda seeing more editing there then just the registration page if you do it like that; you have to hijack the entire security layer and also by refering dirrectly to the forum user tables you now break the History, Recent changes, Watchlist (essential) features which relied on whatever wikidb table to store the information. Tables which would now be little more then null given you are now using only forum tables for login purposes.

How about,
- Disable annonymous logins (I'm sure there is a localsettings.php variable for it)
- Add a extra verification to the registration page requiring you to have a equivalent account (nick and password at the time) on the forum.
- On registration the userid is stored in a seperate table
- If user with the userid exists (this would be due to namechange etc) registration is canceled

To Ban you make a script that bans the userid from both forum and wiki. This system would thus avoid tampering with anything more then registration.

In any case the following need to be intact:
  • wiki syntax (eg. [[some internal article]])
  • basic (harmless) html codes, that is: <div> <span> <br />, <table>, etc
  • article creation
  • template system
  • "History" feature, this includes undo, comparison etc
  • "Watchlist", essential for maintenance work as well as vandalism deterrent
  • "Recent changes" feature; again maintenance feature
You can break everything else as long as the above are working.
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Old 2009-09-19, 10:49   Link #13
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I'm kinda seeing more editing there then just the registration page if you do it like that; you have to hijack the entire security layer and also by refering dirrectly to the forum user tables you now break the History, Recent changes, Watchlist (essential) features which relied on whatever wikidb table to store the information. Tables which would now be little more then null given you are now using only forum tables for login purposes.
It wasn't my intention to fully integrate whatever wiki software we'd end up using (probably MediaWiki) with the forum user table, due to the problems you refer to, but also to avoid lag: I do not intend to run the wiki on the same server as the forum, nor even the same datacenter or city. So the latency would be bad.

What I was referring to was to disable the standard registration feature of the wiki software and to allow people to "register" using their forum login. The script would then import all data from the forum DB and create a wiki account with it, preferably also maintaining the same userid.

The only thing that then also needs hacking is any code that involves validating passwords (because that would need to verify it on the forum and not the wiki table in order to keep them in sync) and the profile pages need to be hacked to an extend so that information that can be input in the forum's User CP can't be changed from the wiki's profile editing page. This info (email, timezone, username, etc) can then also be synced upon each succesful login or using a cron job.

This essentially is also how AnimeSuki v3 works. Same problem, same solution. It was just easier to implement.
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Old 2009-09-19, 14:21   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHDpro View Post
I'm not entirely sure what you mean. Do you mean the wiki should duplicate information already (reasonably reliably) found on other sites, such as the extensive cast & crew info found in the ANN Encyclopedia? Because I don't think we should go that far. Essentially put - what info do you need to visit 2-3 sites for and would you like to see combined in the wiki?
Oh no, the list of cast isn't exactly what I look for. Usually, when I want to know if something is licensed, I have to search many websites. In many cases, it's just a problem of a website not updating this information. And as you can see, this is something critical. To believe that something is unlicensed, I would have to at least get a consensus of 3 sites not listing the anime as licensed.

Also, like Slice of Life said on his first post, if I want a list of on-going TV series, there isn't really a place for me to find that information easily. This is a good example of information that is there on the web somewhere in many sites, but not in one that is trustworthy and easy to find.
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Old 2009-09-21, 03:49   Link #15
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A little update:

I got MediaWiki up & running, and have made some adjustments to the default style to make it look a little more AnimeSuki-like, although I still need a logo. Based on the database layout, importing users from the forum DB into the wiki DB seems to fairly simple.

I've been looking at the "Hooks" system of MediaWiki. It seems to me it should be fairly easy to:

- Write a hook for the UserLoginForm event that will check if the cookie bbuserid (your AnimeSuki Forum userid) exists. If this cookie exists, but the userid is not found in the wiki database, it'll try to import the login data from the forum database and "register" an account for you. If this cookie does not exist or when there is some other error, it'll advise user to register on the forum and then visit a special page to import their user account into the wiki. If everything checks out though, it'll simply advise the user to login using their forum user details.

- Write another hook for UserComparePasswords to compare the entered password to the password stored into the forum database, not the wiki database. This at the same time will overwrite Username (if changed on the forum) as well.

The only slight issue is that the ability to change your wiki password makes no sense whatsoever. I still have to find a way to disable that.

Edit:
Instead of trying to figure it all out myself I could simply use this

Last edited by GHDpro; 2009-09-21 at 04:06.
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Old 2009-09-21, 07:33   Link #16
Slice of Life
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Here's a condensed version of how I imagine the list of upcoming anime:

Five columns:
  1. Date
    • e.g. 2010/01/03 or 2010/01 or 2010/Winter or 2010 or ????
    • optionally in brackets: scheduled date for 1st DVD
    • NOT: hour/minute
  2. Type
    • TV or OVA or Movie or TVSp(ecial) or ONA or Other (specify in footnote)
  3. Title
    • official Japanese title in romaji, official/common English title in brackets (or vice versa)
    • title links to offical site if existing
    • title links to reliable source otherwise
  4. On Asuki
    • link to subforum if existing
    • otherwise link to anime thread if existing
    • manga thread, game thread, ... for manga, game, ... based anime
    • link to prequel/main story
    • NOT: link to every marginally related part of the franchise
    • link to torrent page, license database, own wiki page
  5. Other Resources
    • entries at Anidb, ANN, Anfo, APlanet, ...
    • other informative(!) sources if English language information is scare
    • NOT: every fan rave on every blog in existence

Watcha think?
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Old 2009-09-21, 08:37   Link #17
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I'm in favor in adding a small image for each series, for easier recognition of each individual series.

Anyway, if you want to experiment, go ahead.

Please be aware though that I intend to reset the database before really going live, so make sure you save the (source) of the pages you want to keep in a text file on your own PC! Also as I don't have the vBulletin integration running yet, you'll have to manually create a wiki account for now. Remember that this account too will be nuked once the wiki goes live (and possibly earlier as I need to test the vB intergration code).

Something that hasn't been mentioned yet is what structure the wiki should have.

I propose the following:

http://wiki.animesuki.com/wiki/Main_Page -> Main page, introduces wiki purpose, etc.

http://wiki.animesuki.com/wiki/Upcoming_anime -> Upcoming anime portal page. Transcludes the next page:

http://wiki.animesuki.com/wiki/Anime_fall_2009_season (or a better name)

This way you simply transclude {{:Anime_fall_2009_season}} on the Upcoming anime page. You then create new season pages and update the transclusion link as time passes.

Btw, if you don't like the page titles I just mentioned, feel free to suggest better ones.
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Old 2009-09-21, 09:08   Link #18
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Do we have to create an extra wiki account during the test phase?
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Old 2009-09-21, 10:52   Link #19
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Do we have to create an extra wiki account during the test phase?
Yes, for now. I'll try to get the vB integration up and running asap.
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Old 2009-09-21, 18:51   Link #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
Here's a condensed version of how I imagine the list of upcoming anime:
  • entries at Anidb, ANN, Anfo, APlanet, ...
  • other informative(!) sources if English language information is scare
  • NOT: every fan rave on every blog in existence

Watcha think?
I'd like to see the studio in there, and also links to MAL. People seem to frequently ignore it, but it's a lot bigger than AniNFO (which is practically dead these days) and Anime-planet.

Also Wiki links, since practically all manga/anime/etc have them, so if it's an established franchise Wiki will have info, though people should be aware it usually contains spoilers.

I definitely agree with no blogs. I'd rather keep it to DB sites.

Edit: also, a Kairin logo would be good. Go poke some of the artists.
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