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The Ba Sing Se Times, Issue 30: 3 September

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User rights report

48px-1025281.png From the editor: RC flood is not cool
The 888th Avatar

For many of us, particularly administrators, fanon administrators and experienced rollback users, the recent changes log is the very heart of the wiki. The information we gain from it is much more difficult to obtain by other means (such as Wiki Activity), and is of immense value. We are dependent on it as a system of quality control, as an anti-vandalism tool and as a way to stay up to date with what's happening around in the community.

You can imagine the problems that would arise when this all-important feed becomes much less easy to peruse... or even almost impossible to scroll through. Problem-plagued edits may suddenly slip through the net. Discussions could be missed. Mistakes may take longer to be noticed and rectified. And when the phenomenon that old-timers like to call "RC flood" comes washing down, this is exactly what happens. It's not cool.

Because not all of us are jargon-chewing, grumpy grey-beards, "RC flood", or "recent changes flood", refers to the situation when a user, or a group of users, make repetitive edits to a large number of pages (generally more than a few dozen) within a short period of time without a bot flag. (It should be distinguished from the situation where a user makes a large number of non-repetitive edits, such as masses of extensive grammar fixes.) The solution is just too simple: request for a bot to make those edits.

Unfortunately — and I'm not going to name names here — it's been happening far too often on Avatar Wiki lately. It doesn't matter how important or how helpful the change is. It's just not necessary to flood one of the wiki's most important pages when we have two bots employing pywikipedia for fully automated runs. You can't beat them in editing speed, anyway.

So instead of annoying us all with hundreds of edits (which conveniently often also win points for badge achievements... let's not go there), ask for Thailot or The 888th Bot whenever there is a change that requires a large number of repetitive edits, like adding text, a template, or changing the name of category. Try to put a smile on that grumpy grey-beard's face.

Wait. Who are the grey-beards, anyway? Excuse me while I engage in some shifty stalking...

48px-3390396.png Wikia editor redesign
Natsu11

At last, the new editor redesign has been made mandatory for all wikis. It doesn't matter much for our wiki, as we had enabled it a lot of time ago. But, I want to ask you a question; do you like the editor redesign or not? I have seen the Rich Text Editor, or the WYSIWYG version of it, but I do not like it in any way. The previous one was way better in RTE. However, the source mode, which I had made mandatory in my preferences more than 2 months ago, is not very different than the previous one.

Some bugs in the redesign are the lack of search box, the "Random Page" and "Wiki Activity" buttons. It makes it hard to navigate from the editing window, and we have to go "back" to the page. The only way is to go to our userpage from the link in the bar as usual. I feel that the "Add features and media" are pretty useless. They aren't much of a help to users. The category management is kinda hard to follow too. The templates section is also pretty useless. The temps there are not usefull. Also, the most bugging thing related to templates is that the list of templates used on that page is linked below and can't be found easily.

Some people have expressed dislike over the fact that the new editor has the buttons near the top and about the font change. The buttons are not really a problem if you get used to them. Dislike has also been expressed regarding the additional wiki-codes in the "more" part. I actually find it better as I don't have to scroll down and click it. One thing I don't like is the preview part. Though we don't go to a new page, the preview doesn't display the full width of the actual page. A major bug is the colors (yes, theme colors!). It is normally displayed in a shade of blue and had to be modified through CSS. Not many people are masters in CSS like Sifu Wjxhuang.

And yes, just like every new change Wikia makes, this also invited major bugs. One of them was the cruel category burglar which made editing very tedious.

Finally, I would like to ask you guys to rate this redesign. I will give it a 7.5/10 as it is not awesome and not crap too. If you guys don't like the RTE, you're welcome to use the source mode. The ways for switching to the source mode forever is given here, which I wrote a long time ago. Yes, fellows. Wikia will never have a long period with no major changes!

On a different topic, I would like to share this link with you. Happy editing!

48px-3026053.png Psychic wanted!
Lady Lostris

Are you the new Aunt Wu? Are you the improved version of Sybill Trelawney? Can you best Phoebe Halliwell when it comes to premonitions? Then hide no longer and share your powers with the Avatar Wiki community!

Working hours: Very flexible. You are free to choose when you come on and when you hold your psychic sessions. You get the added bonus of working from your save home environment where you are free to practice the wizardry you specialize in without being disturbed.

Work field: The Korra and The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra pages. Some side questions may also be found on the pages of the old Team Avatar members.

Requirements: Have a catchy psychic name and answer the following questions correctly:

  • When will The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra air?
  • What happened to the old Team Avatar? (Note that you will get bonus points when you can provide a decent answer for every member individually.)
  • Who got married with whom? (Note that you will get bonus points for predicting possible descendants. If your predictions foresee Zutara, you will instantly be disqualified and put on the Avatar Wiki’s blacklist of "quack psychics".)
  • What happened to Ursa and will Zuko ever find her?
  • Who is the father of Bei Fong?

Do you think you know the answers? Have the cracks in the bones foretold the future? Has your crystal ball revealed all? Have you touched the screen and got a premonition? Then don’t hesitate any longer and mail your answers to avatarwiki@gmail.com The winner will be revealed shortly. (Note that you will get bonus points if you can identify yourself as the winner.)

Marker.png

Sorry. It was just too cool to resist...
Make the War Room a daily habit.
You never know what might come up.

from the fanon portal
48px-1635895.png From the deputy editor
Rassilon of Old

Well, well, well... Welcome to the first ever fanon editorial! I know, how exciting! Now, all thanks to The 888th Avatar, the fanon portal has its own space in The Ba Sing Se Times for fanon reviews, advertisements, fan fiction, fan art, and more, and it just seems fitting that this should happen on the Times' 30th issue! Happy anniversary, Ba Sing Se Times!

I will of course be sending in my articles to The Ba Sing Se Times fanon editorial, but we need yours too! Anything fanon related you'd like to have published in The Ba Sing Se Times can be sent to me, or link a sandbox to my talk page. Remember, anyone and everyone is more that welcome to contribute, after all, the BSST is for the community, by the community.

Anyway, onto the fanon portal. This week I began work on Fanon News and Updates Central, your localized location for all Avatar fan-fiction updates on the wiki. However, due to my exams beginning this Wednesday, I've had to put the work on hold. Millennia2 has kindly offered to help me out with that, so I'd like to throw a thank you out to him.

If you're wondering why your news and updates page(s) were moved, it is for this reason: so we can create Updates Central. Once I have completed work on Updates Central, my bot will send everyone a message with an explanation as to how to use Updates Central to their advantage.

Now, on to more issues concerning the fanon portal, we are having a bit of a categorization crisis... Unfortunately, most (newer) users are unsure as to how they should categorize their fanon articles, and even more experienced users are making mistakes, whether they are plain wrong, or conflict with a particular category's purpose. As of last issue, a survey was taken about how helpful a fanon portal categorization guide would be, and overwhelmingly, 96.3% of you (26 out of 27) said it would be helpful of some degree, with 42% of that group saying it would be extremely helpful, and that they usually leave the categorization to an admin.

Due to this overwhelming response, I have begun work on a categorization guide for the fanon portal, and hopefully it's contents will be under public discussion within a month, but no guarantees.

On a happier note, we have a new fanon user group, the Fanon Review Squad!

"Is your fanon unread, unnoticed, or just in need of some advice? Do you wonder for hours and hours every day, wanting to know if your fanon is actually good? Have you needed a bit of motivation, some reception on how your stories are going?
Ask these questions no longer!
The Fanon Review Squad is a new user group of successful fanon writers who will review your fanon upon request. Just go down to the bottom of the page and drop a link to your story under one of the group member's schedules. On the day that you request, we'll make a little blog post about your fanon, give it some scores, and tell some advice.
"

Good luck to both BlackMonkey and Millennia2 with the user group, and anyone who would like to join the user group may simply request.

And also tested in the last fortnight, has been the new Fanon Advertising system. Eight users have been advertising their fanon, and have had a fanon advertised on their fanon pages. If you've seen this test around the fanon portal, please answer some quick questions in the poll below.

That's it from me, I'll be continuing my Undiscovered Fanon series next issue, and I'm sorry for not doing that in a while, exams, study, the usual stuff. But continue writing, continue thinking, continue being absolutely mad with pen and paper (or keyboard) and writing away. I myself have let my mind off the leash in my writing of White Lotus, my upcoming fanon, which is still being fully fleshed out. I've also been writing the final two chapters of Avatar: The Legend of Teru, which as of yet still have no release date, but I'm hoping by the end of the year!

So, I'll see you all around, and remember, contribute to the Times, and its new fanon editorial!

General Iroh
The Ba Sing Se Times needs YOU.
Have a great Avatar or Avatar Wiki joke?
An interesting opinion about the wiki?
A fanfic that desperately needs readers?
A review of a fanfic you'd like to publish?
Just write a column,
and send it in to the editor.

48px-3565124.png Fanon review: Avatar: Energy Saga
BlackMonkey

This blog was conducted by the Fanon Review Squad.

Hello, this is BlackMonkey, signing in to review Avatar: Energy Saga by AvatarRokusGhost.

This story takes place after the end of the television series. It's about Aang fulfilling his duties as Avatar and rebuilding the world which has been devastated by a hundred years of war. In order to help make the world he lives in now more like the one he grew up in, he starts learning Energybending, one of the capabilities which the Avatar Spirit has; however very few incarnations of the Avatar have ever used it. Without the instruction of his past lives, he's essentially on his own. However, as he discovers what Energybending is capable of, he learns that all of his actions have consequences.
I knew this was a fairly popular story, so I read Book 1, and - wow - it was good. I really felt like the same Team Avatar as the show was in the story. AvatarRokusGhost replicates all the characters emotions and dialect almost perfectly. My grudge on "After the War" fanons is slowly but surely fading because of this. If you haven't read this, you don't know fanon universe. Great job.

Scores:

  • Story - 9.0: The only parts that I didn't really like is when Aang and Sokka meet Trinley and the final fight in Azula's Release. Both happen too fast. Besides that though, everything was amazing.
  • Action - 9.1: Again, some things happen too fast, but for the most part I was very excited about what wold happen next.
  • Writing - 9.5: Excellently written. ARG captures everything so well, and replicates components from the original series like no other author.
  • Creativity - 8.9: Hey, if Avatar: Energy Saga was the only continuation of Team Avatar's adventures, or the only Energybending fanon, this would probably be a 9.9. But the thing is, there are just so many "After the War" fanons, that it's hard to give on an extremely high creativity score. Good anyway.
  • Believability - 9.7: Some fanons have poor representations of old characters that really annoy me, but Team Avatar in this really seems like Team Avatar. All of the character's personalities are frighteningly realistic. The representation of Jeong Jeong was a favorite.

Average Score: 9.2
Note: All scores are out of ten

Advice for AvatarRokusGhost: Me giving advice to you? This is tough. It was a really good fanon. Again, the only thing that I really though was, well, bad, was the first meeting with Trinley. It just was all too convenient, too quick. When you add a new character to a group, it's got to be a little difficult. When Team Avatar first meets Toph, she doesn't want to join. When Zuko first meets Team Avatar, they don't want him to join. Besides that, just keep writing.

What kind of users should read Avatar: Energy Saga? Anyone who wants to read a fanon better than theirs.

48px-2247564.png Fanon Review: Mysteries of My Past
Millennia2

So, my first contribution to the Ba Sing Se Times and I get to do a review on one of my favorite fanon authors! Is anyone else as excited as me?! No? ...ok. Onto the review then of Mysteries of My Past by The Bos.

Mysteries, Bos' second fanon story, stars Shenji, a young Earth Kingdom soldier striken with amnesia. As he and his best friend, Kuro, go about their duties as soldiers of their dying nation, they discover the presence of a large Fire Nation base being built in the Northeast. After his commanders refuse to take action about the fort, Shenji and Kuro desert the army to take action into their own hands. The continuing story deals with the their quest and Shenji reclaiming piece by piece of his own identity and past.

If you are a Guardian fan, you will LOVE Mysteries. It's chock full of suspense and plenty of cliffhangers and theory starters that will have you begging to know more. If you followed his first story and haven't read this, I implore you to take a look at Mysteries. It's a story I would be willing to follow until the end.

Script: The script, especially for a newer story, is captivating and believable. If this is how it starts, I can't wait to see what it becomes. 9.7/10, my highest grade for script.

Story: I've always loved stories about finding yourself. Bos takes this unique plotline and masterfully weaves it into the Avatar storyline we all love. 9.6/10

Keeps You Reading: For this, it should be "can't stop reading". I'm eagerly awaiting the next chapter. 9.4/10

Special mentions

  • None this week

Recipients may use the {{User special mention}} userbox on their user pages. Suggest users for this to the editor!

Random poll

What do you think of the new fanon advertising method?
 
21
 
7
 
8
 
3
 

The poll was created at 12:19 on September 5, 2011, and so far 39 people voted.
48px-1025281.png Technical updates
The 888th Avatar

This report outlines any notable technical changes made by Wikia and by Avatar Wiki admins in the last two weeks.

  • Extra classes have been added to the site CSS by yours truly per requests from Hasdi on this thread and from Rassilon of Old. One is designed to place pointer maps on all location articles with a minimal number of images uploaded, and the other is to simplify the process of rounding corners for templates. The latter is currently in use for fanon advertising.
  • The redesigned editing interface is now default on all Wikia wikis, including Avatar Wiki. This change is of little consequence to us, however, as we have been using the new editor for some time now. But that's not to say that all bugs have been fixed, which should surprise no-one.
  • Remember the time last week when those of us using Firefox and Chrome suddenly couldn't open links in the bottom toolbar in a new tab any more? "Last week, we pushed a fix to make sure the floating toolbar at the bottom of the screen did not overlap the status bar on Chrome and Firefox. Unfortunately, this patch opened up some other issues, so we rolled it back and will try another way soon to fix this issue with the toolbar." How amusing.



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