Kongming’s Archives Development Project
I would like to introduce the foundation of what, with participation, could turn into the Kongming’s Archives community encyclopedia. Some time ago, in this forum, we talked about the relatively new Kongming’s Archives database and the possible future of a member-based <a href="/viewtopic.php?t=10161">Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia</a>. The role of Kongming’s Archives’ database has been gradually becoming a greater part of the site, and now I’m even having more wonderful ideas for its possible future. The Hanzi, Biography, Style Name, and other projects are all based off the information in this database, and some of the possibilities for the future include, now realistically, the encyclopedia talked about in that older thread, and other things like community biographies.
Basic Officer Information Editor
This is where you come in. Some basic information used at Kongming’s Archives (specifically mini-biographies, lifespans, kingdoms served, and very soon, Hanzi) has all been made available through a new community tool. It allows you to bring up collections of officers at once, edit information for as many as you like, then update all the information in real-time to the Kongming’s Archives site. Changes are reflected on the site immediately. Down the road any information you could imagine can be added to tools, and it could result in a community maintained and update searchable encyclopedia of Three Kingdoms officers (not to mention battles, kingdoms, locations, etc.). I think anyone here can probably imagine the potential of something like this—it certainly exceeds anything any one of us might be able to do on our own.
Today though? We’ve got to start somewhere, and this is that place. With so much authority over content on our site, strong security measures and program reliability have to be developed, and I’ve already done about everything I can without public use for additional testing. Now I’m looking for people that want to help with the project, are interested in seeing something like this happen or being a part of it, or simply want to contribute good information to our site. If things go well, and people participate, I’ll keep adding tools as we gradually work toward the possibility of a full, searchable, and more reliable, Three Kingdoms Encyclopedia. Here are some pictures of the new tool.
General Editing of All Officers in the Database
The information editor supports advanced searching (the same engine used elsewhere on the site), which supports everything from smart searching (e.g. it will recognize names like A-Man, Xian Di, and alternate spellings [e.g. Liu Chan/Shan]) to regular expressions (which I’ll write a basic guide for). It then brings up all the requested officers and lets you edit information as you please, only updating what you have requested. It also remembers who made the last changes were made by.
Login and Logout
Log in and out using your Kongming’s Archives user account.
Access is managed through special permissions set in your Kongming’s Archives user account (which was previously only used for the Three Kingdoms Quiz). In the future, that user account will be used to govern other elements of the site such as the game and music downloads sections, or perhaps even a FAQ, Fan Art, or Fan Fiction contribution manager (the later mentions not presently planned updates). If you want access, or what your permissions changed, all you have to do is ask! Very soon I’ll be creating a new account page for the whole entire site so you don’t have to sign up in the Quiz page. (For the moment, accounts can be created manually).
The chief concern behind opening the Kongming’s Archives database to other members is making sure contributed information doesn’t cause problems, while protecting the integrity of the site. The tool is smart enough to update most of the content it receives to site standards (e.g. curly quotes, placement and use of ‘AD’, em and en dashes) while also making sure the tools aren’t abused (if vulgar language is used, for example, the tool will terminate a user account on the spot).
Want to Participate?
If you would like to participate in this new project, all you have to do is let me know what user account you would like activated. Post in this thread or PM me with the details (and make sure you let me know if you want certain rights like Hanzi editing) and I’ll write you back with the necessary information. If you don’t have an account, send me a User Name, Password, Email Address, and, if you like, your affiliation (used for things like the quiz, defining what site you are a member of) and I’ll set it up for you. A signup and account editing page will be available online in the upcoming future.
Have Questions, Comments, or Ideas?
By all means, please ask or share them here. This could really turn into something cool.
So what are we doing with the tool now?
Our main goal is to set up the basic information for the database. We want to add kingdoms served and mini-bios to basically everyone if possible so people can search and identify them using these criteria. Mini-bios help to discern between officers that have the same names. It will also help to find possible invalid or duplicate entries in the database (sometimes, for example, name confusion results in two officer entries under different name variations). This will also give us our first chance to start creating a reliable listing of officer lifespans. Also of importance, we are looking for errors in the tool or its programming that would cause much more serious problems with more users or later when code is borrowed to other tools.