Having just replied to this post on reddit which questions the suitability of the Wiki for new readers, I thought that creating a dedicated New Readers Zone with links to all the spoiler friendly stuff would be useful. Any ideas what else we could add? Here is what I have got so far:

- a listing of all the chapter info boxes allowing newbies to avoid the main book pages where they might come across spoilers from the end of a book (displaying the info boxes is a bit of a headache as you can see - they default to the right)
- links to spoiler free fan art
- links to character pages which we have vetted for spoiler friendliness

Egwene of the Malazan Empire (talk) 17:06, September 8, 2015 (UTC)

  • Some other ideas
- Include the Maps section. I don't think a map from any book can be a spoiler. (Well, maybe the 2 Chain of Dogs maps)
- Suggestion: It should be safe for new readers to read the Intro sections of articles. If there's time, when editing an article, we could check the Intro section and move spoilers to the appropriate section. Can create the book section if needed. Potential for problems:
>Articles that contain only one or 2 sentences— Egwene's vetting suggestion comes in here. Maybe sometimes add a book section, even though the article is really short?
>Statements without references. Personally I feel strange about messing with unreferenced material (aside from adding ref), but if it includes a spoiler, MHO is that it definitely shouldn't be in the Intro section.
>When moving an unreferenced statement, It can be hard to remember the source book & can be time-consuming to look it up. What should be done with it If there's no time to confirm where it goes? aimzzz (talk) 13:47, September 8, 2015 (UTC)
  • -Probably best if we concentrate of getting some of the more major characters straightened out first. For most of the one-liners, the basic info from DP should be sufficient to tell a reader who the person is. Yes, book headers are always a good idea. It is surprising how much info one can actually scrape together even for very minor characters.
-Maps and intro section - great idea although they can contain spoilers. Both should be on the book pages before any content summaries. If we check them over, book pages should be safe up to where the plot summaries start. I have added the link for GotM with a warning to that effect... take a look.
-Unreferenced info (or referenced info) if it includes a spoiler should not be in the intro, I agree. Not only from a spoiler point of view, but simply because it actually very rarely is material suitable as 'intro'. I'm afraid, there is nothing for it but to check it out. If you haven't got time, add it to your to-do list or pass the buck ;)
Egwene of the Malazan Empire (talk) 17:06, September 8, 2015 (UTC)
  • Can a map be spoilery? At all? A lot of the maps come with the books. Most readrs have already seen them.
I agree intros need to be totally spoiler free.
Given the very high volume of characters would it be a good idea to spoiler scan intros and short character pages for the first three books on a priority basis, and then shift to the latter ones? If we are mainly worried about new readers that is. Andorion new (talk) 17:26, September 8, 2015 (UTC)
  • re. maps: What I had in mind was a link to Category:Maps on the new reader pg, similar to the link to Spoiler-free gallery. Wasn't thinking about maps in articles. Either way, tho, I agree with Andorion— don't see how a map itself can be a spoiler, with the possible exception of the 2 Chain of Dogs maps (Part 1, Part 2). Even those 2 wouldn't mean much unless accompanied by reading the book. I've always used the maps a lot on a stand-alone basis (not as part of an article.) Have downloaded several to enlarge & see detail while reading. aimzzz (talk) 17:59, September 8, 2015 (UTC)
  • In that thread on reddit, one of those commenting is talking about a spoiler-free map section that's what made me think about it. But given that the maps are fairly small... I am going to insert a few and see how they look... ok... made several changes... take a look and let me know what you think. Ref character pages, a much easier way would be to mark the 'safe' ones in the DP lists :) Egwene of the Malazan Empire (talk) 21:07, September 8, 2015 (UTC)
  • "let me know what you think"...uh oh... In your 1st post, I managed not to see that 'New Readers Zone' is a link & you're talking about a specific page in progress! (self-flagellation moment.) I've been making general suggestions about the Wiki as a whole & a hypothetical New Readers page— not in reference to what you had sketched out on the project page. Will push the reset button & have a look! aimzzz (talk) 00:06, September 9, 2015 (UTC)
  • I am going to be nitpicky here, but how about instead of Spoiler-friendly Characters, we say Spoiler-Friendly Character pages? Egwene, am I right in assuming that as the list of character pages lengthen the overlapping chapter tables will sort themselves out? I think the best way to start the page-vetting is to use the extended DPs. I am into the Battle of Capustan now, so I am not really expecting a lot of new characters. So the MoI EDP can be used for this, The GotM one is already complete. What about the DG EDP? Andorion new (talk) 01:11, September 9, 2015 (UTC)
    • Agree re. "Spoiler-friendly character pages". aimzzz (talk) 02:13, September 9, 2015 (UTC)
  • On NRZ pg—order of books: As a new reader, I didn't know there were any books besides MBotF. People come in with different levels of knowledge. A list of books in ultimate order without explanation would have left me pretty confused— the title list of MBotF alone can be daunting in early days.
In the NRZ page intro, I suggest a paragraph saying that there are several sets of books in the Malazan world, briefly describing each series. Also, for beginners, I recommend presenting the books on the NRZ page in order of series. I think the majority of new folk would not want to mix the series in the first reading, though a few would want to go chronological. Maybe mention that some people prefer different reading orders & link to the Reading Order page for more info. aimzzz (talk) 01:20, September 9, 2015 (UTC)
  • Good idea about the reading order. Also there should be a link to this page from the front page. Is there a link? I couldn't find one. I have been browsing through some character pages and the Cotillion page needs a lot of work. Its just spoilers everywhere. In fact the first part should be rewritten. Andorion new (talk) 02:37, September 9, 2015 (UTC)
    • re. front page link: It's too early. We need to get it in good order before putting it out there— especially since it's for new readers. aimzzz (talk) 02:47, September 9, 2015 (UTC)
      • Thanks for all the feedback. First off - reading order. I agree with Aimzzz - putting together the NRZ really brought home that to implement the ultimate reading order across the board as option A isn't going to work for the majority of new readers. I suggest that on all content pages on the Wiki we stick to the classical order i.e. SE first then ICE and use the ultimate reading order for exceptional cases only. The ultimate reading order is most likely going to be used during re-reads in which case people can go back and forth on any page as they like. New readers can't do that without getting spoilers for books they have not yet read. (by the way, I'll move the other discussion on that topic to archive as we are including it here).
      • Lists of spoiler friendly character pages (suggesting a better way is never nit-picking, Andorion!) - - I thought of adding those to get the info boxes displaying correctly, however, with the addition of the maps that can be sorted in a different way. With adding those lists, the page would get far too long in short order - I suggest that instead, we have an ongoing project were we go through the EDPs, check over the character pages and mark those which are safe with a symbol behind the name. Maybe a ♦ for example. We start with GotM and see how it works. As Andorion mentioned, some of them will need a lot of re-working!
      • Yes, a short paragraph pointing towards the reading order options and how we use them is a good idea.
Yes, I too, thought of adding a front page link but the page needs to be a bit better sorted before we want to advertise it.
Egwene of the Malazan Empire (talk) 07:49, September 9, 2015 (UTC)
I have added all the maps for MBotF. Will do the others probably tomorrow as I am pretty tied up the rest of the day. I don't know how to get around getting the lay-out other than by adding lots of empty space in the editing window... if anyone has any suggestion. Adding text would also work... any ideas there would be welcome. I thought of adding publisher's summaries, but that would introduce spoiler content to the page which I want to avoid.
Egwene of the Malazan Empire (talk) 09:17, September 9, 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree-- the maps don't fit very well. Here's an option: Set up a sub-category in Category:Maps for maps by book Then, in NRZ, you could just add the appropriate link for each book, much like link for that book's spoiler-free picture page. The maps for each book wouldn't necessarily have to match the ones SE included in the actual books. I volunteer to set up the sub-categories. aimzzz (talk) 10:12, September 9, 2015 (UTC)
  • I want to make NRZ a 'one-stop' new readers place where possible. The info boxes provide access to all chapters without having to go to a book page so they are a good idea. The boxes don't unfortunately display one under the other. They go about four in a row and then, because of the varying sizes, not in the order you want them. Adding the maps almost solves that problem. The alternative would be to display all the links from the info boxes individually (that might not be a bad idea actually....)
However... with regards to the maps, apart from being useful to new readers, I can also see this page becoming a quick reference tool for others with access to all books/chapters/maps all in one place so my preference would be to keep the maps.
Egwene of the Malazan Empire (talk) 10:47, September 9, 2015 (UTC)
  • Maybe Jade Raven could help with the formatting issues. S/he probably can provide code for locating elements on the page. Not to give you a headache, but It won't work to rely on maps or info boxes as placeholders. They are likely to reposition with monobook/Wikia, ads/no ads, different screen widths & resolutions, etc. aimzzz (talk) 11:56, September 9, 2015 (UTC)
  • Hope you haven't abandoned the idea of listing a few key "Spoiler-friendly character pages" for each book. I like the idea of having both a short in-page list of characters as well as links to EDPs. aimzzz (talk) 11:57, September 9, 2015 (UTC)
  • Based on the Reddit thread that started this discussion & other comments elsewhere, it seems like many readers don't understand the purpose of the Wiki, why it can't be spoiler-free, what it contributes in contrast to discussion-type venues, etc. Maybe just above or below the "About this page" paragraph, there could be an "About this Wiki" paragraph. aimzzz (talk) 13:30, September 9, 2015 (UTC)
  • Did I just see someone volunteer for a job?! Sounds like a great idea, Aimzzz. Look forward to reading your 'About this Wiki' paragraph :) The issue of info box lay-out is solved by adding more text to each section. I have checked out the ones I have done so far with several display options and with each, the info box is now displayed within its relevant section. If you could see what it looks like on mobile phone, that would be great. With the characters, yes, nothing to stop us adding a short list (which would also fill the blank spaces with text) but who to display? My feeling is that the characters which people are most likely to want to know more about, are the more obscure ones which they can't remember and where do we start there? Egwene of the Malazan Empire (talk) 09:19, September 10, 2015 (UTC)
    • Sure— I'll have a whack at it. The page looks great on my phone. Will PM you a couple of screenies. BTW, I may not word things well, but my comments are meant just as suggestions. I'm not strongly attached to having things a certain way ;) aimzzz (talk) 12:17, September 10, 2015 (UTC)
      • lol... well, I do hope you feel strongly about having some things a certain way... (subliminal advertising... *references* ... *references* ... *references*...) :) Seriously though, I think having some characters listed would be good as it would flesh out the page as well. Maybe we should throw it open to the wolves i.e. forums etc. to ask for suggestions of past searches. When you look at the page on the phone, do you see any difference between those images I listed in the gallery format and those I listed just as files? Bonehunters and Forge of Darkness for example versus GotM and DG? Egwene of the Malazan Empire (talk) 13:59, September 10, 2015 (UTC)

Layout Edit

Well, it has taken me until today to visit this page, so it's only now that I realise that it has some serious formatting problems (and I'm not just talking about in monobook). It probably looks great on your screens, but to anyone with a moderately high resolution monitor (aka a desktop PC) there are layout glitches all over the place. I've had a go at cleaning it up, but it needs more work which I'll get to over the next few days. --Jade Raven (talk to me) 13:31, November 1, 2015 (UTC)

Hi Jade Raven,
I don't know about your monitor, but the current option is terrible on mine. I had a thread on the forum when I implemented the previous changes and everyone (MonoBook and Oasis) was ok with the previous lay-out - guess no large monitors.
Egwene of the Malazan Empire (talk) 08:56, November 2, 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I figured as such. I was going to finish it up this morning, but something came up. It should look reasonable now across all resolutions and skins. Let me know if there are still problems. I'll still do some more work on this, but major issues should be past. --Jade Raven (talk to me) 12:23, November 2, 2015 (UTC)

Ok, I'm done now. --Jade Raven (talk to me) 11:29, November 10, 2015 (UTC)

Ha - don't you know, JR, the work is NEVER done, lol!
... however, I give you that... for the moment, it at least it does look that way ;) Thanks for all the work you did on those info boxes. I especially like the inclusion of the pagination links. Thinking about how much time it took me to try and set up the initial page, I can only guess at the amount of hours you worked on the templates! Egwene of the Malazan Empire (talk) 11:39, November 10, 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, it's never done. But this chapter is finished at least. I'm going write up about my productivity tools at some point soon; this didn't take me as long as you might think. --Jade Raven (talk to me) 02:45, November 11, 2015 (UTC)