What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

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What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby Thorf » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:15 am

As mentioned in the Technical Problems thread, now that I've got the Atlas Wiki up and running again, now seems like a good time to start to think about its future.

I don't actually have a cohesive vision for the wiki. Additionally, my plans for the Atlas in general have been superseded by other stuff, and look to be rather too ambitious at this point in time; I simply don't have the time to pull all this off.

Which leads me to wonder: what would you like to see in the Atlas Wiki? What would you like it to be?

Is it fine now in its present form as a file delivery system for my maps, keeping track of changes? Would you be happy simply to see a bit more organisation, making it easier to access what you want?

Would you like to see it developed into more of an atlas format, with geographical info to go with the maps?

Or would it be better to abandon this system altogether and go for another platform — perhaps one where changes could be emphasised, for example?

Or something else entirely?

Let's do some brainstorming and see what we can come up with.
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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby agathokles » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:07 am

Hi Thorf,

I think the current structure -- primarily organized by location -- works best. Geographical info would be nice, but also likely very time consuming.
Changes are nice to show, but a structure mostly or totally oriented to showing items in order of novelty would not match well with the content of the atlas, which has its own internal organization in terms of continents, etc.

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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby Thorf » Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:31 pm

Thanks for the feedback, GP. I guess I am on the right track, then. It's easy to keep building on the current platform, with the long term goal of adding geographic info and a full page structure to support and present the maps themselves.

In this day and age perhaps the solution to announcing changes is just to flag them in the usual social media channels, including here of course as well as Facebook and so on.
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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby agathokles » Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:17 pm

Yes, that's certainly a stronger approach. It could be automated to some extent, of course.

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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby Havard » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:44 pm

Looks like you are on the right track my friend :)

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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby Gecko » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:51 am

It sounds and looks like you've gone away from the Wiki to a blog like template.

for what it's worth: the fancy java takes a long time to load and then doesn't display well on my end. It's usable, but please don't try to get any fancier. I recognize it's a balance between the desire to be "fancy" and "professional looking" vs. "accessability" & "usability", and different people will have a different "sweet-spot" on that spectrum, but for my view I'd recomend the KISS principle.
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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby Ashtagon » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:13 am

What I'm finding with the new blog-ike template is that the map itself gets shrunk down to allow for a fancy sidebar and all the surrounding paraphernalia. You need to download the file or do some obscure image view stuff to see the map at a useful zoom level. It diverts attention away from what people have actually come to see.
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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby Gecko » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:21 am

Ashtagon wrote:What I'm finding with the new blog-ike template is that the map itself gets shrunk down to allow for a fancy sidebar and all the surrounding paraphernalia. You need to download the file or do some obscure image view stuff to see the map at a useful zoom level. It diverts attention away from what people have actually come to see.


yes, that sidebar becomes the dominant feature, another thing I dislike about the new site.
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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby AllanP » Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:50 pm

Hi Thorf -

Just to echo a couple of the above comments - tghe new template for the site works BUT on a PC screen the left hand panel hust seems to dominate.
I guess using Themeify to build the pages gives you the responsive design so the page layout adjusts to the viewport of the device the visitor is using to look at the site and adapts for portrait oriented tablets and smartphones, but does not elegantly allow for those viewing on a PC screen.

I understand the problems here; I've recently been looking at how responsive layout design can be incorporated into websites. In particular I've been dabbling with the Bootstrap framework which seems to give plenty of flexibility. Bootstrap can be used in combination with Wordpress.

Just my thoughts on the layout.

Excellent work on moving this project on and I'm looking forward to seeing the Atlass take shape with more entries.

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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby Thorf » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:36 am

Gecko wrote:It sounds and looks like you've gone away from the Wiki to a blog like template.


Yes, I've given up on the Wiki. It was taking too much time to research how to get it to work, and too much time to set up the organisation. In the end, it wasn't focussed on the maps themselves, which at this point seems like a critical flaw. It also has no built in way to publicise updates and new maps, so it's kinda like chucking them into a hole somewhere and hoping someone finds them.

for what it's worth: the fancy java takes a long time to load and then doesn't display well on my end. It's usable, but please don't try to get any fancier. I recognize it's a balance between the desire to be "fancy" and "professional looking" vs. "accessability" & "usability", and different people will have a different "sweet-spot" on that spectrum, but for my view I'd recomend the KISS principle.


The "fancy java" is not very fancy — it's just a WordPress theme. The idea is just to show off the maps — but having said that, the maps have never been designed to be viewed on the page they come on. That's not the case in my threads here, and it's not on the blog. You really need to download the file and view it big in order to see it. No theme is going to fix that.

I've turned off the loading screen, which I agree just makes it seem like it takes longer to load — and if it hangs there, it's even worse.

In any case, as you probably noticed I'm just using the same theme as my cartography site right now. This is simply because I already have it set up, so it's easy to implement. I'm trying to focus on content, and every minute I spend tweaking web pages is a minute I am not spending posting more content.

I've decided to post a map every day for as long as I can manage it, in order to get all the maps on the site and into the system. At the same time, I'm updating each map before I post it, as well as adding in some new ones when I can. Until I have a nice spread of maps on the site, it's hard to see what I'm going to need to do to present them in a nice usable index. So for now I'm concentrating on the content of each map, its article, and what tags and categories it has attached.

Ashtagon wrote:What I'm finding with the new blog-ike template is that the map itself gets shrunk down to allow for a fancy sidebar and all the surrounding paraphernalia. You need to download the file or do some obscure image view stuff to see the map at a useful zoom level. It diverts attention away from what people have actually come to see.


Again, the map is not really supposed to be viewed on the page at any size. The sidebar on the left is purely decorative, and aside from that there is no surrounding paraphernalia; the article is on the right. Would you prefer if it was like this?

http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/foresthome-8/

It's either decorative sidebar with a nice graphic on the left, or functional sidebar on the right. The actual article doesn't change other than that. The vertical layout seems better for vertical maps, the horizontal one for horizontal maps.

Considering that up until now I've been presenting the maps in threads here in 200 pixel thumbnails, I'm quite surprised at these comments. ;)

Anyway the beauty of WordPress is that the theme can be changed down the road, so I will hopefully be able to answer some of your concerns later on. Although I'm pretty sure it will not be possible to please everyone. :(
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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby Ashtagon » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:53 am

Thorf wrote:
Ashtagon wrote:What I'm finding with the new blog-ike template is that the map itself gets shrunk down to allow for a fancy sidebar and all the surrounding paraphernalia. You need to download the file or do some obscure image view stuff to see the map at a useful zoom level. It diverts attention away from what people have actually come to see.


Again, the map is not really supposed to be viewed on the page at any size. The sidebar on the left is purely decorative, and aside from that there is no surrounding paraphernalia; the article is on the right. Would you prefer if it was like this?

http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/foresthome-8/

It's either decorative sidebar with a nice graphic on the left, or functional sidebar on the right. The actual article doesn't change other than that. The vertical layout seems better for vertical maps, the horizontal one for horizontal maps.


That's actually a lot better.

I think also with the other template, having text on top of a picture was distracting my eyes from everything else, all the more so because it wasn't even the important bit of the page (despite being larger). I can only imagine how bad it might've been for someone with colour blindness issues.
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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby Thorf » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:15 am

Ashtagon wrote:That's actually a lot better.

I think also with the other template, having text on top of a picture was distracting my eyes from everything else, all the more so because it wasn't even the important bit of the page (despite being larger). I can only imagine how bad it might've been for someone with colour blindness issues.


The text is still on top of the picture, but it's at the top of the page and you quickly scroll away from it, so it doesn't sit there the whole time you're reading.

I actually want to remove the text from there altogether, and have just the map, but there isn't an easy option to do that, and I don't have time to look into doing it manually.

If anyone comes across another theme that would be more suitable, please let me know. I'm willing to give anything a try. :)
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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby Thorf » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:17 am

Sorry everyone, I don't mean to sound ungrateful — I appreciate the feedback. It's just that I'm trying not to let the site itself distract me from mapping at the moment, and it can be a HUGE distraction, to put it mildly.
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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby happylarry » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:52 am

Hi Thorf,

just to say I'm really enjoying these maps - Alphatia is really taking shape in a way it never quite did when I bought Dawn of Emperor 26 (!) years ago.

I know that you are reproducing Bruce's work, so credit to him for the maps - but also credit to you for the time it must take to get these as fantastically finished as you do. (I know it's time consuming having played about with illustrator in the past)

I've also enjoyed the work you have been doing on joining the maps.

Maybe there will be a canon Brun map in 8 mile hex in time for the 30th anniversary of GAZ1 in 2017... :-)

But all that aside - thanks for the maps, and I'm very happy with how the blog looks.
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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby Hugin » Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:26 pm

Thorf wrote:Would you prefer if it was like this?

http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/foresthome-8/

That looks quite good, Thorf!
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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby Gecko » Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:32 pm

Thorf wrote:
Gecko wrote:It sounds and looks like you've gone away from the Wiki to a blog like template.


Yes, I've given up on the Wiki. It was taking too much time to research how to get it to work, and too much time to set up the organisation. In the end, it wasn't focussed on the maps themselves, which at this point seems like a critical flaw. It also has no built in way to publicise updates and new maps, so it's kinda like chucking them into a hole somewhere and hoping someone finds them.


makes sense.

In any case, as you probably noticed I'm just using the same theme as my cartography site right now. This is simply because I already have it set up, so it's easy to implement. I'm trying to focus on content, and every minute I spend tweaking web pages is a minute I am not spending posting more content.

:D (I need a clapping smily) Quite true. And I certaintly hope I didn't come across as overly critical, it was just my small suggestion and letting you know about a display compatibility issue that you might not of been aware of.

The foresthome example is much better, I don't have to keep scrolling the right "frame" left and right to read what you wrote about the map.

THREE CHEERS FOR THORF!
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Re: What do you want the Atlas of Mystara Wiki to be?

Postby Big Mac » Mon May 02, 2016 12:48 pm

Thorf wrote:Which leads me to wonder: what would you like to see in the Atlas Wiki? What would you like it to be?

Is it fine now in its present form as a file delivery system for my maps, keeping track of changes? Would you be happy simply to see a bit more organisation, making it easier to access what you want?

Would you like to see it developed into more of an atlas format, with geographical info to go with the maps?


Well the maps need to go up first, but I'd love to see something (not necessarily a wiki) that provides some sort of information about places.

Maybe something that links to a list of source material about that place would be the way to go (eventually).

But perhaps it would be better for that to happen from the other end, and for people to make an encyclopedia of Mystara canon and to import your maps to use as a navigation tool.
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