Cunnan:Old Village pump discussions (moved 2004)

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This page contains old discussions from the Village pump. If you need to talk about these issues again please do so there and not here.

Old topics

Headline news

OK, I want a new major category for an idea I've been kicking around for a while. I want to do a series of pages, with the high points of the news of the day for a place and other things that someone living there would know. I dont so much want wars and battles, but when the new bridge got put up, who the King is sleeping with this week, who the top poets are and whether or not the harvest was good or bad. I've got some scrawled notes for 1589, and I'd like a set of pages I can do ... a "News from a Place and Time" section would be ideal. And could I please appeal for some way to easily put footnotes into Wiki ? I'm a footnote junkie, because that empowers readers to go do their own research.

Thats an interesting idea. I'd say the best way to go about it would be to link to pages with names like [[News from 1066]] of [[News from 1066, England]] from the different centuries. If there were lots of these pages we'd have to start dividing the centuries into decades. Anyway, the best thing to do now would be to create a sample page of headlines so that we can all comment on it. - Tobin

Working with Wikipedia and other online material

How do people see this site working with content on (or other sites I suppose)? If wikipedia has good content on some topic of interest, do we just address the re-enactment aspect and use an external links section to point people to the wikipedia page? Problem there is that as people surf they end up leaving this site and there won't likely be links to bring them back. Alternatively, we could copy over content from wikipedia so that linked content would point to the Cunnan version, but the obvious problem here is redundant maintainence. Whatever the consensus, it seems the style guide could say a little more about this. JakeVortex 10:34, 30 Oct 2003 (EST)

When I've moved in info from the wikipedia I've tried to re-word it so that its a bit more SCA relevant. I'd say that the best way to work with wikipedia content is to move it into Cunnan and work from there, that way we can add whatever we feel is needed to the article without worrying about the goals of the wikipedia. - Tobin

On a related topic, would it be possible / desirable to make all external links open in a new window? Conrad

It would be possible but it is not something I'd like to do. It would mean making some changes to the wiki software which would make it very hard to upgrade. - Tobin

The main problems I have with some of the stuff in Wikipedia is that it is either (a) wrong, being often based on cuts from, say, 1905 editions of encyclopediae, which are in turn based on research conducted in the 1800's, or (b) not applicable to SCA folks.

If it is wrong or dated, it seems better to fix it there than to make a new copy here. I agree with the comments that the value of pages here is to make the content relevant to SCA folks. ~ JakeVortex

Now I don't have a problem with a lot of it. It's relevant and accurate and stuff, and we needn't reproduce it here. e.g. the various biographical articles which are quite detailed. Some of their other articles contain a number of innacuracies and/or prejudices, however. Also, an article on, say, the third crusade, for which wikipedia gives the dry facts, is really only useful here if you take the view of how you would handle your persona if he or she were living, say, in the levant in the time of that crusade.

For that reason I'll continue my current approach of linking to wikipedia articles where appropriate, copying and revising where necessary, and re-writing from scratch with links to the original where I feel it benefits Cunnan for me to do that.

Del 16:59, 17 Nov 2003 (EST)

Standard format for attribution

For those that haven't been following the conversation happening in another part of the wiki the topic of attribution for original text has come up. Since we have, at least, one person who insists upon having this style of attribution in the article (and not just the article history) I think there should be some discussion of a standard format.

I don't like the idea of this being used for articles that have been written for the wiki (since the original author will always be recorded by the software in this case and it is contrary to the wiki ideal) but I do think that it would good for this to be included in articles started using content previously published elsewhere (since the original author may not have been the person who added it to the wiki).

The format I propose is as follows:


Much of this article is based on an original article by Person XYZ, you can find a copy of the original article at some location (Possibly the article history?)

What do people think of this format? When should/shouldn't attribution be included? - Tobin

Personally, I think that if somebody wants to have their own perspective with attribution on the wiki I would like to see it done the following way:
The person would put either a stub or non-controversial entry for the topic in question (eg. the reformation started when Martin Luther accidentally nailed his laundry list to the church door). At the bottom would be a See also list including something like Anton's perspective of the Reformation.
Given his writing style and depth of knowledge and writing style I would go out of my way to look at what Anton has to say on a subject. Having extra pages along these lines would IMO add an extra dimension to the wiki, while still retaining its original flavour. Everybody still gets to have their input on the main article page, while individuals are able to put forward a consistant, well thought out point of view in a single article. Best of all no extra coding is required. Conrad Leviston

Software Upgrade

I'll soon be upgrading the wiki software. This means that the wiki will be locked for a short while and that things may appear to be broken. - Tobin

The software upgrade seems to have been successful. If you spot any weirdness be sure to mention it here.
It might be a good idea for everyone to log out and then in again to help clear up any user preference issues - Tobin
I just noticed that some of the skins don't seem to be working (Cologne Blue is almost useless), I'll try to fix this quickly. - Tobin
Skins are fixed again. The database is now read/write so people can begin editing again. - Tobin

For people who asked me if the article count was accurate: It wasn't but it is now. We have 1033 articles (a bit of a difference!). - Tobin


The current stable version of the Mediawiki software, which Cunnan is running, doesn't include the experimental Category feature. This means that there are some articles that contain [[Category:whatever]] which no longer do anything special. I've deleted the Category: articles but pages linking to them will still need to be cleaned. - Tobin

Enhanced special pages links

It is now possible to link to specific cases of the special pages. Eg [[Special:Whatlinkshere/Heraldry]] will create Special:Whatlinkshere/Heraldry, a list of all pages that link to the Heraldry article. - Tobin (See my contributions, another example of the enhanced special page links ;-)


Two enhancements I'd like to see:

  • A piece of javascript to place the cursor into the search box on entering the main frame. It would be a few liners in the main template. I'll see if I can dig out the code and paste it here.
  • A search for links type page where I can find what links to a certain article without creating the article. e.g. I've written a bunch of pages with links to, say, lollard, lollardry, lollardy, lollards, etc, and I want to find them all in turn if I have to but fix the links so I only create one "lollard" page.

Finding a specific users contributions

I was trying to find an anton's first news headlines article, and anyway i realised I couldn't work out how to view a list of anton's contributions. I'm not fussed if you decide to keep this private, but I believe you've been running under the idea that anyone could *easily* find out what annother contributor has been editting. New software issue? Lack of Links ot help me? i don't know - tell me. And I'm still trying to that article... Tiff

At the bottom of every user page is a "User contributions" link. You can also link to these like so: [[Special:Contributions/Some user name]] e.g. Special:Contributions/Tiff. Anton's contributions can be found at Special:Contributions/Anton (a few of his edits have been made when he wasn't logged in these can be found at Special:Contributions/ Remember though that edits made by someone who is not logged in could actually have been made by anyone, we shouldn't be quick to assume who an anonymous user is). Anyway, Anton's page of sample headlines can be found at Cunnan:Period headline news (it wont show up when you search unless you specify that the software should look in the "Cunnan:" namespace. This option appears at the bottom of the search results page). - Tobin


I just noticed a nice way of handling footnotes on the Wikipedia. It is not only possible to link to headings on another page. It is also possible to link to a heading withing the current page e.g [[#Footnote|<sup>1</sup>]] is translated into a "swish" looking footnote link1 (<--- there it is). If people would like to use this style of footnotes then it might be best to use symbols not numbers as the link text (or an abbreviation of the reference name, etc). - Tobin 21:16, 15 Dec 2003 (EST)


This is where the footnote link links to. Nice isn't it?


I realise that Cunnan is hosted by and mostly maintained by folks from Lochac. My question is, is there an active intent to make the information on it Lochac-centric, or would you like the information to be more widely applicable?

To give an example of what I mean: take a look at non-combatant, and read it while keeping in mind that most Kingdoms have completely different rules for light armour and suchlike. The information given is regionally specific but is not identified as such.

Should it be identified as such? Would you appreciate broader perspectives? Or, if this is intended as a largely Lochacian resource, would it be a good idea to put a prominent notice somewhere informing visitors of this fact?

(ex-Lochac, now in Ealdormere)

Just one voice of many, but.. Personally I'd like to see the widest possible audience for this wiki, with the focus being simply a consequence of the users. So I like lochac and sca specific info, but I prefer giving a general introduction, then saying "in lochac...." or having subsections of articles eg "favours in the sca" after "medieval favours" Sometimes I think articles will be entirely in a subsection eg I think the persona article could be given the subtitle "personas in the sca", enabling other types of personas to be added if anyone comes across them. But since we've labelled this as a sca wiki I'm not so fussy about that as I sound. And finally, yes you are one of the perfect people to help label the wiki thusly - you know what we are talking about when we slip in Lochac centric stuff, and also know which bits are done differently elsewhere (which we often don't). Tiff

I'd think it would be very nice to give the wiki a more general, non-lochac centric feel. Part of this will mean trying to attract more contributors from other kingdoms. If you want to edit something to make it more general then go right ahead! There is no reason for us not to try and cover the entire of the SCA, wiki isn't paper. We can, and should, be as comprehensive as possible! :-)
Much of the Lochac bent that articles have is obviously the result of the people doing the editing (some of the old, old articles still have a St. Monican feel to them.) We should expand the article on cunnan to explain how we got where we are today. - Tobin
I added a [[Cunnan::Lochac-centrism]] page to organize clean up, and proposed some boiler plate for pages that need attention. ~ JakeVortex
I moved the page to Cunnan:Regional point of view (or RPOV) since I am just as apt to write something An Tir-centric. ~ JakeVortex

Redaction Project

In case someone hasn't already noticed I've imported all the recipes from the Forme of Cury into Cunnan. They're useful on their own but they would be aven better with redactions! To help make this happen I've written a set of Redaction project instructions and have cleaned up Recipes from the Forme of Cury to help identify redacted/unredacted recipes. Both pages need to be examined by other users

I've spoken to a few people in Krae Glas and they are (were?) interested in this project so I was planning on testing the instructions/format on the group there before I started announcing this on various mailing lists. Of course, since this is in the wiki anyone is welcome to start now and recruit others (I just wanted to test things out first).

So, have I missed anything obvious in the instructions? Can anyone think of a better way to handle this? - Tobin

Interwiki links

The wiki software provides an easy, wiki style, way to link to other sites. For example [[Google:Cunnan]] creates Google:Cunnan. The list of sites that can be linked to in this way is something that I can easily change if people want me to.

I think it would be useful for us to compile a list of sites that it would be nice for us to be able to link to. Group websites and archives. I'm not keen on the idea of individual's sites but I'm not against them either.

Do people think that this is important enough for us to bother compiling a list? - Tobin

This is great! It seems to already support It would be great to have a list of what all was supported. Be nice to have other related wikis like and elizabethangeek. ~ JakeVortex 07:12, 13 Jan 2004 (EST)
I'll copy the complete list to Cunnan:Interwiki. Currently the list is full of sites which are in no way relevant to the SCA. I propose we empty the list, with the exception of prefixes we currently use, and start over. - Tobin


The method for pages of years in the modern era seems to be fairly ad hoc. at the moment, so I'd like to propose a standard format.

Firstly, years in CE format (eg 2002) should contain only events outside "the game". This would probably include things like archaeological finds (bananas in a Tudor midden heap etc.) and important events in the life of Cunnan. AS years should contain "in game" events, such as Lochac going crown. AS years could link to the concurrent CE years and vice versa.

Secondly, AS years should include "AS" in their title (ie AS XXXIV, not XXXIV).

This will require a bit of tedious fiddling about, but unless anybody raises objections or has a better idea I'll start on the new format in a few days time. Conrad Leviston 23:01, 24 Mar 2004 (EST)

OK, I've done that, except I have included dots in AS (ie the link reads as A.S. XXXIV). I figure links without dots can be turned into redirect pages as they show up. Conrad Leviston 22:37, 28 Apr 2004 (EST)

  • I can see you've put in the hard yards, Conrad - good work. Now we just have to make it easy for people to maintain. One problem that will crop up is that not many people think in A.S. We can mitigate this by (as you said) linking CE -> A.S., and adding an A.S. timeline article to the main page. Morgant 22:45, 28 Apr 2004 (EST)

Software upgrade time

It is time for the wiki software to be upgraded again as we are lagging behind the current Mediawiki version. There will be some hand new features introduced by this upgrade, including better image handling (thumbnails alignment). Take a look at: for more information on Mediawiki development.

The upgrade should take less than an hour but the database will be locked during that time. I'll try to make sure it happens during a "slow" moment. - Tobin 23:52, 28 Mar 2004 (EST)

  • The upgrade should be over now and everything appears to be working (although all out links vanished for a few minutes there after something in the settings exploded). If anything doesn't work as expected Leave a note here. I'll explain the new features and changes when I have time. - Tobin 11:09, 29 Mar 2004 (EST) range blocked

Since the link spammers working from addresses in the range don't seem to have taken the hint I've blocked all IP addresses in the range (that is from to

This block covers 65,536 addresses so it is possible but very unlikely that it will affect a legitimate editor. - Tobin 19:03, 28 Apr 2004 (EST)

  • I don't think it took, Tobin - our friend's back again. I'll email you what I think the problem is. Morgant 20:16, 29 Apr 2004 (EST)
    • The block should now work. "Thank you" to Morgant for his help on this. - Tobin 23:19, 29 Apr 2004 (EST)

More Chinese Link Spam

The Chinese link spammers are starting to annoy me. I've blocked another range of addresses: (that is from to

I don't like to use range blocks in this way but I don't think any of us feel like spending all our time cleaning up after them.

The problem with this new block, in particular, is that the start of the address range covers American IP addresses and might stop a legitimate editor.

The block can be removed at some time we agree on but I suspect we'll need to leave it for at least a fortnight.

If anyone has a problem with these kinds of blocks then please discuss it here. - Tobin 15:26, 30 Apr 2004 (EST)

varangian household

I am wondering wher this varangian household is based out of. I am in Atenveldt, but learned under steingrim in An Tir. I also want to know if we Varangoi can camp and fight together at Estrella, which is 1 1/2 hours from my house. Please e-mail me at I think it would be interesting to get sort of an international standard on things, like cloaks and rank, loosley in place!

If it is the entry under Varangian, then this is an australian non-sca metal weapons recreational group. I am not sure of the origins of this group (it might be a former sca member), but it is a whole organisation, much larger than a household. I doubt if any will be able to make it to estrella, this being a long way from australia, and also not their normal fighting style (they do sometimes do archery with the sca here, but lochac archery is very differnt from american sca archery), but perhaps if you follow the web link provided, you can invite them to if ever buisness or holidays take them to america. Tiff