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(Note, see below - first)

Original posting:

So, I got an email from White Wolf containing this:

White Wolf is planning to host a Wiki on servers here in our offices.
We were wondering if you would be willing to let us host the material
that is already existent on your Wiki. 

There are a few possibilities here, I've asked for more details.

1. they're wanting to move the wiki completely

2. they're wanting to copy selected content over

What do you think about each of these options? I suggest accumulating a yes/no/maybe in the first block, and discussing it in the second. (I'm sure there'll be a lot to say...) - Xyphoid


Okay, got a clarification - all is well! The situation is this - they're planning on setting up a company-endoresed wiki, and they'd like to encourage people to repost their stuff over there if they want to. No panic about moving the wiki or anything. - Xyphoid


Hell No: Telgar
No. - haren
Maybe: FrivYeti
Ixnay. -DarkheartOne
Good god no! -MadGreenSon
I'm wary of this, very wary. -Jade
No, I'd rather try to keep things from diverging. -- GregLink
No, Eldmar
Abstaining, Wordman
Hesitant yes, TheHoverpope
Subjective Sorta. - Molikai
An optimistic but highly conditional Yes --UncleChu
Nope - Trithne

Ha, even though the result was No, it still went online! Nothin' like the nostalgia of the 2000 U.S. Election. Then again, it was like asking the North if they wanted the South to secede. --UncleChu and his damned American history refs


White Wolf's web people have demonstrated in inability to keep their servers running for extended periods of time, a love of censorship and rules, a hideous aesthetic sense and a general ineptitude for being socially adapted and, you know, friendly.
While I'd be happy to have WW link to the Wiki or mirror it in it's current form, I think allowing WW to create a second wiki with our already-existant content on theirs would be a horrid, horrid mistake. When DaveFayram left the admin of the wiki to no one in particular, at least three wikis popped up and it took a lot of effort to get everything back together in one place. I have no desire to see this happen again. Also, if sole control of the wiki goes to WW, they'll almost for sure begin instituting new rules and regs, which no one wants.
Basically, let them advertize it, support it, even offer a gateway to it. But let the control it or it's content? Hell, HELL no. - Telgar

Now, I don't see a horrible reason for this, and if anything, it gets people knowing more about this, our, wiki. Now maybe I'm missing something, but there's alot of positive things that could come from the second option. There is one thing I'd like (but don't expect) them to say, which is that all content may not be held on theirs, if they have a section that holds specifically the Exalted Wiki stuff. That way people may come here looking for the other stuff. Oh, and screw them having control over content on this one. - haren

I think I'd want to know what the details were, first. If they're copying/hotlinking this wiki, or just taking the things on this wiki that they like the most and hosting them, that's cool. If they're taking control of the wiki... less cool. I sort of like this place as a fan-wiki, with no restrictions on it. I have no opposition to White Wolf creating a "best-of" wiki using everything they like most on this wiki, though. - FrivYeti

Please let me know what you decide about this; while I think it's a nice idea to have a company-endorsed wiki, I don't want my content to be any part of it. - willows

Not much to say, but the idea doesn't sit well with me. Perhaps they can just point us out and say, "This here is the coolest wiki, and we loves it like a son!" and leave it at that. Anything more does not a happy Raksha Boy make. (Edit: okay, no moving good. Reposting... I dunno.) -DarkheartOne

Yeah - it'll be entirely up to you if you want to repost your content. I figure some people will want to, some won't. -xyphoid
I, for example, would be happy to re-post my content to another site. The issue I've got is one (as Telgar noted) is that if Wiki++, then there's less reason to post on only one, and things get divergent, etc. And that's real bad. Hence, while I support WW, and would love to see more fan-created and fan-allowed content (such as the wonderful Sol Invictus stuff), I don't want divergence, and will therefore not actually post my stuff. So yeah. Great idea from a content standpoint as a snapshot, but two actual editable systems is a bad thing. -- GregLink

GregLink, are you Jade? There's a vote from Jade but a comment from you.... I for one will not be reposting my content. I might post a few old things and, of course, DragonsHoard when I finish it, but nothing dynamic. - Telgar

Nope, I'm not Jade. Never yet posted on the wiki as anything but GregLink, so I'm simple enough to find. I'm considering a name change in the near future, however, as having a RL name on the intarweb isn't the smartest thing in the universe. I'll vote now, though. -- GregLink

Since I don't post much of my own stuff here, I'll leave the vote to those who have more blood invested. A few points, though:

  1. Technically, if White Wolf just copied the stuff without permission, the wiki wouldn't have much of a legal leg to stand on. All exalted stuff on the web lives at the whim of White Wolfs ambigous online policy (which this site doesn't follow anyway) and their legal department.
  2. Telgar's point about WW's horrible IT department and worse sense of web aethstetics is completely accurate.
  3. WW's current online policy holds that you can (maybe) claim copyright over some things. It would matter a lot to me what the policy of content ownership would be on their wiki.
  4. One would hope that WW's wiki would use significantly better wiki software (like MediaWiki) than this wiki does.

- Wordman

I don't actually -like- mediawiki, at least not unless it's heavily skinned and altered. This one is nice. It could indeed do with more features, but it's better than the weird and horrid names with millions of crunched up bits, underscores and colons you find in a mediawiki.
-- Darloth
Since the "crunched up bits" are easily avoided for most users, I'd much rather deal with them and have the features. Particularly templating and their table syntax. - Wordman
I'm pretty sure we do follow their online policy - what's missing? -Xyphoid
According to their "officially sanctioned White Wolf fan sites" requirements, either the front page needs to have the Dark Spiral logo or every page needs to have a specific copyright notice on it. In addition, the requirements make statments like this: "A note to people who think they are making up their own rules, if you use terms like Disciplines, Gifts, Rotes, Willpower, Humanity or list every discipline from a rule book with minor changes (or even major ones), those are not "your" rules, they are ours, don't use them." This would imply that using word like "charm" is a violation of their requirements. Looking at these requirements, I don't think they would stand up to serious court scrutiny, but if that happened, then default law would take over and (probably) trademark violation would apply. - Wordman
That's ambiguous - it states '... and that they actively and visibly include the following code instead of the Dark Spiral code', my emphasis. I've read that as placing the code fragment on the frontpage like we do here. Easy to change, anyway. Should we? - Xyphoid
Wordman, even if the wiki contents were unauthorized derivative works (which, based on the online policy, I don't believe they are) there would indeed be a strong leg to stand on. Derivative works under US copyright law (and, via the Berne Convention, most other countries) protects the rights of the creator of a derivative work immediately, even if it is created infringingly. White Wolf and the creator of an Exalted fan work share equally in the copyright of that material automatically, and neither can continue to use it if the other objects. White Wolf very explicitly cannot publish something created by fans without purchasing rights to it, and "putting up on a White Wolf wiki" counts as publishing in this case. - Charlequin
If you make the claim that the site complies with White Wolf's requirements, this protection is forfeit, as the requirements state: "keep in mind anything that is derivative from our works is still owned by us". Again, not sure that would hold up, but if it didn't, even if coyright law protects the content of the wiki, trademark law probably does not. - Wordman
This is just after, however, stating that you have copyright on this stuff too. This is accurate, pretty much - all the derivative material is controlled by both WW and the author, and either can kill it. - Xyphoid

Yes, with a few caveats. First, I'd be worried about new and restrictive regulations. Second, I would not want to cede control of what I write. However, I don't think it's worth discarding this idea out of hand just on the off chance that WW will change the rules; and until I know more about this, I wouldn't vote against it on nebulous fears. And in any case, if WW is making a wiki regardless of our vote, would that not already split readership? Frankly, I think this is a case of a company actually reaching out to its fan base, rather than taking an opportunity to screw them over. White Wolf could have sent a message asking the site to be shut down for copyright infringement; regardless of whether or not they have a real case, it almost certainly would have worked. WW has seen that what we do is good, and they are reaching out to the audience rather than slapping us about. This is the sort of good corporate behavior that almost never happens, and I for one would like to encourage them to continue in it. So yeah, instead of voting no on the hypothetical changes to wikiing that this would entail, I vote yes on the basis of this being a fundamentally good thing. Yeah, if they become dicks about copyright or start changing wiki rules, then yes I will change my mind. But that's not inherent in their proposal, and the benefits are: increased readership, the company reading and listening to our concerns and suggestions, encouraging them to do so rather than criticizing them for the attempt. - TheHoverpope, who despite what you may imagine does not work for WW.

This is a great point, TheHoverpope. I'd wager most RPers would agree that in general, Corporations are the "debbil frum hell." To see a company actually enjoy their fans efforts and comments and encourage it would be lovely. On the other hand, the primary reason I'd be wary is that unification is huge. I think ExaltedWiki is fantastic not because of its fan content (which is great, admittedly) but also as a an ORGANIZER, a place where if I have a question about a specific detail, I can actually search it and find where the heck it was referenced in the first place (as any Exalted ST knows the agony of flipping through entire hardcovers looking for a single damned character name or rule). For me, unity is the biggest thing, and if efforts are split between Wikis (with no back and forth traffic), then this would be a set-back. Is it possible to have open and free traffic between ExaltedWiki and whatever Wiki WW puts up? --UncleChu
A possibility is setting up an interwiki system, such that on each page here, if a corresponding page exists on the WW wiki, a link is automatically provided with a WW logo or something. Have a look at the bottom of this page on C2's wiki to see what I mean. --Xyphoid
Then let's keep the Wikis separate, but allied! Two independent servers and sources, both committed to the perpetuation of Exalted in the minds of its fans, with free information flowing back and forth. Its a veritable utopia. Its like how people in love should be: two independent people, each with their own motivations and interests and goals, that nurture and support and encourage each other at the same time. Sure, there will be the occasional fight, but then the make-up sex will be ALL the GREATER. That analogy drifted a bit, but you can all see what I'm saying. --UncleChu
Hmm. I like that idea, if it could be floated/clarified: I would suggest.. Ask them to send us the rules they're suggesting for it, so we all know what we'd be getting into: Float the suggestion that - if possible - the Wiki's can interlink: rather than reposting, redirection links on their site, or.. hmm. I'm pretty sure you could do something fun with XML presentation to 'transfer 'data from here to there, and allow people to reference links on the WW site that could lead them here - i confess I'm VERY hazy on Wiki tech. But making a firm opinion is impossible, without knowing more. - Molikai

Hey guys, this is Mike Todd from the White Wolf web department. First off, let me say that I'm a fan of this wiki. I think this is a great group of people that has a lot of creativity and a strong sense of community. There seems to be a some confusion over what exactly we're asking, and why. So hopefully I can clarify it some.

First off, we are not wanting to be Big Brother, we're not wanting to have the wiki on our servers so that we can moderate the content and pare down anything that could possibly, maybe, sorta be seen as copyright infringement. I know that some members of our web staff have a name for being very militant about this sort of thing, and also have a bad reputation for not being, as Telgar eloquently put it, "socially adapted and, you know, friendly." Let me assure you, that's not what this is about. I have recently been promoted to be lead of the IT department, and I will personally make myself available to anyone feels like they've had their toes stepped on. In fact, we would be very happy to have Xyphoid moderate the wiki that we're going to be hosting. I think he does an awesome job of it on here.

We want this to continue to be a fan-driven thing as well. And we're not going to use any material that people post here in our printed works. Essentially, we want exactly what you've got here, but hosted on our servers. I know, that idea puts butterflies in your stomachs, and for some of you even makes you feel enraged. So let me explain our reasons. Frankly, we would be happy to just point everyone to this wiki, except for a few concerns. One of the concerns is the bandwidth requirements -- in my personal experience, this wiki seems to be pretty slow in general, much less with lots of extra traffic added. But more than that, management is really uncomfortable with the idea of us sending lots of our users to an outside site -- that's the real sticking point.

So to summarize, we're definitely going to be hosting an Exalted fan wiki, we're not going to be Big Brother, and we want this community to form its foundation through work that you've all already put in, and in the future. We know that we're asking for a lot of trust here, and we haven't made the greatest name for ourselves in the past. However, we want to look forward and work with you all to create the definitive online fan resource for Exalted now and in the future.


While I enjoy seeing this new and novel stance from a WW Web Employee, I do have to say that saddly unless there are either zero or very, very, very few coding differences between ExaltedWiki and WhiteWolfWiki, I will not transfer any material. I'm simply too lazy to re-write my material to fit new coding standards. I think my laziness in this regard extends to a large percentage of our community. That or we just don't care enough for another wiki that'll split our readers, community and content. - Telgar
On the technical end, we'll be looking into our options. Ideally, we'll be able to work with Xyphoid to perform some sort of direct database import that won't require anyone to manually copy over their stuff. Failing that, having the new wiki accept the same formatting as the old one would be better than nothing. Also, we don't see this as being "another" wiki -- as I said earlier, we basically just want to host this one, with some better software (since Xyphoid has said that the software he uses for this wiki really isn't too great), and higher bandwidth. And lots of pimpin' from our main site.  :) ~Ghost
While I object to splitting the userbase, I object even more strongly turning the wiki over to WW. Nothing against WW, but your servers are notoriously unstable. ExaltedWiki where it is now goes down for a few minutes every few days. The White Wolf Forums, by contrast, go down for a few *days* on a regular basis. Also, WW is a too fond of moderators (the wiki currently does not have any official moderators) and, um, frankly everything WW has ever put on the internet has been butt-ugly. Seriously. Butt-ugly. ExaltedWiki might not be the Sistine Chapel, but it's not that horrid to look at. Where as the WW Main Page makes my corneas scream.
Oh, and we get back to that small issue with certain WW Employees being not so good at the friendlyness.
You'll note the unhappy comments mostly stopped coming when Xyph told us that WW was creating a second wiki and encouraging us to repost our material. Giving WW the wiki is still objectionable in a number of ways. Some of them legal, I think. Those I don't care about. I'm more a fan of the technical and social aspects of keeping ExaltedWiki where it is. - Telgar
It wouldn't be giving White Wolf the wiki, it would simply be hosting it on our servers. As I've said, what we want to do is host this one with a better backend. You don't believe that, and seem to think that we want it on our servers so we can control it. That's your prerogative -- I've got the feeling you've possibly had some bad history that makes you think that, and there's nothing I could say to convince you otherwise. The fact is, if we did start to get too heavy-handed for people's tastes (which we won't), then I'm sure Xyph would continue on with this wiki and give us the finger. All I'm asking is to give it a chance.
On the technical side, since we've moved to Apache 1.3 (though that was admittedly only about a month ago), the site's been rock-solid, and we've had no downtime. In fact, that also seems to have sped up the site quite a bit. On the graphical end, my hope is that the site would have different "themes" that could be used, and even let users apply their own theme in a fashion similar to how you can view this site with custom CSS now.
That's really about all that I can say. You can choose not to believe any or all of that; like I said, all I'm asking is that we give it a chance. I truly think that if we do, it will be a good thing for the community. ~Ghost
Would it be possible to mirror the sites? Such that edits on one also show on the the other (in both directions)? That would allow people who wish to keep this site bookmarked and comfortable, while others can go and start anew using the one hosted by WW. It would also allow either site to continue while the other is offline for whatever reason. The response times of this site would improve as some users switch to the faster WW one - particularly casual browsers who come for content that can be served up faster at WW, I imagine. I dunno if this is feasible or not, mind. It's just an idea. - nikink
I like your style, nikink. This ties into my previous comments: independent but allied. Two countries in Europe, both realize that they each have strengths (one has raw materials, one has great foreign relations and impressive cultural influence) and weaknesses (one is a bootleg ragtag nation, the other known for past shady dealings and occasional breaches of proper diplomacy). The nations respect each other, but still want their own cultural identity (Try asking Latvia if they're exactly like Lithuania... they pretty much are, but they'll break your face denying it). Despite their differences, they throw in together. "Hey, lets form a power duo. United we excel, divided we, well, we won't fall, but we can't aspire to the same heights. But we're not going to fly your flag, or let you have our territory." allies. Let's mirror, let both servers exist, let data fly back and forth, even let content be duplicated, but let there be independent webmasters (governments) and servers (territory), as well as a possibility of breaking it off if things don't work out (or one nation starts fucking her old boyfriend). Unquestioned trust is foolish, but so is prideful isolationism. --UncleChu, who bleeds analogies instead of plasma and cells.
I'd personally be okay with this idea, if it's feasible on the technical end. Of course, I'd still have to run it past management too. However, my fear is that technologically there won't be a good way to integrate the two. But we'll look into this as a possibility too. ~Ghost
I guess it may add some overhead. Once you've managed to port over the existing wiki and translate the existing markup, then everytime someone clicks 'save page' it has to write to both servers (and thus check for concurrent posts from both servers) too. Not knowing how it checks, I dunno how much overhead this would be. From my ignorant perspective, I would imagine not much at all.nikink
Ghost said: "management is really uncomfortable with the idea of us sending lots of our users to an outside site". Question: why? And, by "management", do you mean "management" or "legal"? -- Wordman

In case anyone missed it, White Wolf has now put up their wiki: http://wiki.white-wolf.com/exalted/index.php/Main_Page
~ Shataina

Indeed they have and, as of right now, it is 100% empty of content. This would be a wonderful time for those worried about ReaderCentricDesign to migrate their content to a wiki set up to handle exactly as has been proposed. In fact, it's hardly set up at all and can thus be set up any what way is wanted. So, have fun! Enjoy! I won't be moving. - Telgar

I posted one thing, just to see if I needed a login or anything - I didn't, so I'm done testing, and am sticking with Telgar. Solidarity!-- GreenLantern

After looking at the raw potential of the new wiki, and seeing the ReaderCentricDesign discussion, I'm starting to think it's almost crazy not to try and take advantage of WhiteWolf's offer. -EJGRgunner, who probably won't do any porting out of sheer sloth

Out of curiosity, how would people feel about porting select bits over (specific charms, artifacts, etc.) and including a nice little header at the top of the page like "This item was originally created by AUTHOR and posted at (Link to this wiki)? I know cross posting is kind of silly, but I wonder if it wouldn't be nice to get all of our yummy user-created stuff out there for public consumption in as many places as possible? -EJGRgunner
I'd say you're making good points, and I suppor that? -- GreenLantern

As the writer of ReaderCentricDesign, I'd also like to discourage people from moving to White Wolf's wiki, for one reason: I don't trust the abilities of their web guys. I haven't seen a web site by White Wolf yet that wasn't mostly garbage. In the second place, I could have trivially created my own wiki and encouraged people to move to it, but I didn't because I feel splitting the content up would be self-defeating. The point of any web site is content. This site has it. Others don't. -- Wordman

I tried to help organize it. I failed. Will promptly forget about it now, though I really do dig MediaWiki. -Xeriar
Uhhh... where? I didn't see any sort of post on the White Wolf Wiki about how to organize it. Epsilon
That, of course, was part of the problem. I tried to put my thoughts in White_Wolf_Wiki_Organization, but it got steamrolled and a bunch of people went and did their own thing, and the ExaltedWiki account went another way. It really could be quite awesome, but as is it's becoming a mess. -Xeriar

Not to be, you know, inflammatory or anything, but it seems a little short-sighted to me to just say something like, "We must stand firm!" and ignore the other wiki. It's not like the other wiki's going to go away, and considering that it's linked directly from the WW web site, it does not need us in order to start building up a userbase and gaining content -- it will do that on its own. Which means that if we have an "us or them" attitude, we're going to end up with two usergroups of two wikis who don't like each other and don't share content. This is going against the whole idea of wiki-ing -- sharing information -- in the first place!

It is not that difficult to set up parallel accounts at both wikis. (Or at least it won't be, once their signup process is more transparent... heh.) I know I'm going to do that, and if anyone accuses me of "betraying" this wiki or not showing "solidarity", I'll be very disappointed in them. There's no need for cattiness here.

White Wolf isn't making their own wiki "trivially". It would be "trivial" if they were like, "screw you guys I'm making my own wiki because you suck!", or if they had no intention of supporting the thing. But, as has been pointed out time and time again, they're trying to reach out to their fan base. They even tried to come to us and get us in on it, and if you look at the above commentary from Ghost, you'll note that he put up with some pretty snarky comments from us in the name of trying to get us involved. This is a Good Thing, not a Bad Thing, and indicates that they're really trying to respect and interconnect with us.

Sure their wiki will have mechanical blips. But so do we! The search function hasn't even worked on any computers I've used for years now. This site goes down too. And since they're starting over, they -- again, as people have been pointing out -- will have a chance to build an accessible content skeleton from the start. Which will quickly make their wiki superior to this one -- which shouldn't matter, unless we continue to keep up the "us or them".

To sum up, I think the other wiki offers a lot of good stuff. I think we should keep a positive, sharing-type attitude about it, rather than retreating from it and putting community pressure on wikizens here not to use that wiki. We're not warring countries here, we're all gamers! Etc, etc, etc.
~ Shataina ... can't we all just get along?

I, for one, will be mirroring my stuff on the two sites; it'll only take a few minutes to set up, and a few extra seconds each time I make something. It's not crippling or anything. :) - FrivYeti

Yeah, it will take a little while to move over all the stuff I've got so far, but that's it. I'm in. -TheHoverpope

I think the tests of WW's Wiki (and their IT staff) will be the first, second and tenth time it gets inevitably hijacked by spammers. -- Wordman

Just took some time to seriously peruse the other Wiki. Hard to say too much about it until there's more content. Drives me a little nuts when people create categories they anticipate being filled, rather than creating links when they finally have content. For lesser Wikizens like myself, I'll wait 'til the more talented (or OCD) wikizens flesh the place out more, either organizationally or with general content. I like to join and develop communities, but I'm no trailblazer or pioneer. This is a cozy place for now, but it'll be nice to eventually port over. I do have to say, based on the current layout and progs used, that in the end only one of these Wikis will really excel, doesn't look like there will be too much inter-wiki action. --UncleChu who does think WW is supa-cool for linkin' back to this Wiki from the main page

Well. I've been fiddling around there a little, obviously. Putting up some demons and some MAs, the usual. All things I've got here. And first of all, the place is empty. You know in westerns, how there's always the tumbleweed rolling through the empty town? Well, this being an exalted thing, the tumbleweed has developed the ability to shoot fire and fly, and has departed. The posting there - well, let's say that when I hit the random button, odds are pretty good it's going to come up something I put there. So that's the problem. On the upside, it is goddamn pretty. The code is better, the templates are easy, it's not as finicky and you can fix things. It's shiny and fresh and everything's humming. But damn, at this rate it does not look to be a wildly successful venture. Now why is that? First, there was the fact that they presented it to us completely bare-bones. Empty, devoid, blank. No navigation, no nothing. So you show up and can't figure out where to post, because they're just leaving it completely open. That's a bit intimidating. And there's porting - for the big names here, with countless pages under their belts, it will take bloody forever to move anything over. Then there's the inherent mistrust for anything White Wolf online, which hasn't caused a problem. So, the question is - why am I doing the whole cross-posting thing? I don't think there are many people who read that wiki and not this one, and it's certainly more work to do both. It's just that it's so damn pretty. It leaves even my posts looking like something worth reading. It's all falling into place, and I love it. Basically, it's nice and shiny, and some wonderful work has been done there, and I salute White Wolf (strangely enough) for their effort- but I just don't think it's going to hold up. Regretfully, TheHoverpope

But certainly, Mr. Pope, this Wiki was an empty place like that once, at its very beginning, well over two years ago. Certainly the most hardcore Exalted fans know about this Wiki, but what happens when the new wave finishes absorbing the huge 400 page book that is 2E, and take to the Intarwebs, looking for more? And they see the Poperhove and Kukla's contributions, and they'll be like, "OH SWEETS I CAN MAEK 1337 CH4RM5 TOO!" and we'll finally have a successful DBZ port for Exalted. Okay, so that would be nightmarish. But my point is, as indifferent as I am to the new Wiki, it might be too early to write it off to that degree yet. --UncleChu, who kind of has a problem with taking sides in a debate
On the upside, it is goddamn pretty. Umm. Red links do not a pretty sight make. I can barely look at them without twitching. The way categories are being used is also, to be charitable, interesting. At this point, it's already overorganized with such bizantine templating that any serious author will be hampered by its conventions. Further, there does not seem to be much payoff from all of this inconveinence, for either authors or readers. -- Wordman
All the categories are built into the templates and so aren't actually any work; although I keep finding them useful. For finding my things. And you can change your visuals to a different skin, if you hate the red that much. Eh, it might not last too long - I just like the place. It's fresh, and I mean that in the way that the rappers mean it. (Word) - TheHoverpope

Many in this discussion listed trepidation at the ability of WW's IT people as a reason they don't use the new wiki. Since at least 5 Jun 2007, the official wiki has suffered from a database error that prevents page contents from rendering. Anyone know when this started? I happen to know how to fix this problem (the same thing happened to my personal wiki), but it should be interesting to see how long it takes WW to figure it out. Or even notice it. - Wordman