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IndexTech notes → Infobox: Conflict three-ways?
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(Try The Howling, instead.)

I'm not 100% on how to approach the Shoreditch Incident and Battle of Canary Wharf's sides. I sort of conceded that humanity (if not Torchwood, then the Preachers and the parallel universe Torchwood) was broadly speaking on the Cybermen's side in spite of being upgraded in Canary Wharf, but where do you put the Counter-Measures Group AND Imperials AND Renegades at Shoreditch? Anyone with Remembrance fresher in their minds have an idea? -- Tybort (talk page) 01:37, April 3, 2012 (UTC)

Well, Remembrance is McCoy, so it's not canon. (Calm down, people, that's my personal view, not my view as an admin. But really, I refer you to other people who, yanno, understand the McCoy era.) And Canary Wharf is surely the Doctor on one side and everyone else on the other. Well, I know the Cybermen and Daleks are not allies, but I can't imagine there being an infobox design which will work at 250px and allow for a three-column display. I think it's best in this case to say that the actual point of the battle is the preservation of the physical integrity of the universe. Thus, you have Torchwood Pete's World, the Tenth Doctor, Rose, and Jackie on one side, with Torchwood 1, Daleks and Cybermen on the other. The result of the battle is that the walls between the dimensions were sealed, the Cybermen and Daleks were sent back into the Void, and Torchwood Pete's World, along with Jackie and Rose, were returned to Pete's World.
czechout@fandom   03:54: Tue 03 Apr 2012 
It would be rather ridiculous to say that the Daleks, Torchwood, and the Cybusmen were on the same side, since they were, you know, killing eachother. You could even argue that the Doctor wasn't actually a part of the battle itsself, even though he was an important player in the events surrounding the battle. The battle was really the conflict between the Cybermen and the Daleks, which the Doctor and Torchwood both managed to get in the middle of. Rememberance of the Daleks is definetly one of the better and easier to understand McCoy episodes, and if I remember correctly, there were definetly three sides in that battle. The two groups of Daleks were fighting eachother, and the humans were fighting both groups of Daleks. I don't know anything about how the formatting works, but in these cases, an infobox that only allows for two sides really doesn't work.Icecreamdif talk to me 05:05, April 3, 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I think I pretty much agree on that re: the "caught in the crossfire" comment. As I mentioned up top, there was some loose alliance in the "It's very good at opening doors" scene, but I suppose that may have been too brief to really "count"? -- Tybort (talk page) 12:43, April 3, 2012 (UTC)
Wow, sorry, I didn't see there had been activity here, and that it had mostly gone negative against the Battle of Canary Wharf suggestion I had made. I went from that comment directly to changing the article just to make clearer my notion. I didn't change the article in defiance of this thread. I'd invite you both to now look at the article and see if it doesn't make sense. To me, that's the only way of looking at the battle. It really is the Doctor and Pete against everyone else. The key to figuring out the "sides" is to look at the event which ends the battle. That event is the use of voidstuff to pull the Cybermen and Daleks into the void, an act which simultaneously ends the utility of the Torchwood One facility. Who gains by this end? Only the Doctor and Pete's team? Who loses? Cyb/Dal/TW1.
As for whether the infobox is "broken" because it can only do a two-sided thing, well, I find it interesting that people are having more problems using it with simple fictional battles rather than the infinitely more complicated real world wars. No one's registered a complaint about its use with World War I and World War II, and those all have very complicated allegiances, even as given to us by the DWU.
The truth is, though, that a two-way split is the best we can manage with a 260px width. We need that width to work because of average display sizes on mobile devices. The box just about works as it is on iOS devices, but it wouldn't do well if we made it wider. And an infobox is only supposed to provide you with a snapshot of information. It's not there to track things like Italy's defection from the Nazi camp (which is explicitly referenced in COMIC: Treasure Trail), or the complicated loyalties in the American Civil War (referenced by PROSE: Blood and Hope) or the generally changeable nature of a battlefield. The infobox is there to give you the broad truths — not the fact that Greece flip-flopped between Axis and Allied camps a few times.
For fictional conflicts that are ended by the Doctor, I'd strongly recommend starting from the position that the Doctor and friends are one side, while everybody else in the story is on the other — whether or not the other sides are actually allies. That won't work for every conflict, particularly if the Doctor comes in on the tail end of a war, but it'll work surprisingly well in most circumstances.
czechout@fandom   00:49: Wed 04 Apr 2012 
Well, I was only discussing Shoreditch and Canary Wharf because those are the examples that Tybort brought up, but the Battle of Canary Wharf really wasn't a battle between the Doctor and his allies against everyone else. For example, Torchwood One lost, but they weren't defeated by the Doctor and his allies. They were defeated by the Daleks and the Cybermen. The Doctor actually did very little to work against Torchwood apart from arguing with them. Neither the Daleks or the Cybermen were acting to destroy the universe either. The universe was broken as a side effect of the Daleks actions, and the Cybermen were taking advantage of it. By the time the actual battle started though, the only people who were still doing any damage to the walls of the universe were the Doctor and his allies, when they were jumping back and forth. The conflict wasn't really a battle over the safety of the universe. The Daleks were fighting because they needed to release the other Daleks, and they like exterminating, the Cybermen were fighting because they needed humans to upgrade, Torchwood was fighting because everyone else was fighting in their tower, and Pete's World Torchwood was fighting because the Cybermen were their enemies. The only person who was really concerned with the damage to the walls of the universe was the Doctor, and his side did very little actual fighting, even if they were the ones who ended the battle. The sides who did most of the actual fighting were the Daleks and the Cybermen, and they were very clearly not on the same side. The Shoreditch incident was much less complicated, but you still can't really say that it was the Doctor Captain Gilmore's team on one side, and the Renegade and Imperial Daleks on the other side. The infobox for that conflict already says that it's part of the Dalek Civil War, and the two groups of Daleks spent most of the episode shooting at eachother. Would you say that the Dalek Civil War was a conflict between the Daleks and the Doctor just because it ended with the Doctor destroying Skaro? I'm not sure how or if the infobox can be improved to reflect conflicts with more than two sides, but the way it is set up now doesn't really work.Icecreamdif talk to me 01:13, April 4, 2012 (UTC)
Is the Doctor ever on a side?
He enables parties to revolt, he might initiate revolutions or conflicts but is he ever on a side in a conflict?
In the Shoreditch Indicident the Doctor participated alongside the humans, but he doesn't actively work to further their actions or even force a resolution in the human's favour, all of his actions are to further his own agenda (and a slight detour to save Ace's life).
In a majority of circumstances the Doctor doesn't end the conflict, he's present and enabled the people around him to end it.
If we're going for broad strokes of history, then yeah, the Doctor is usually one of the participants who ends the conflict, by him usually being one of the people left standing at the end. But I'm not sure if that constitutes a side in a conflict. --Tangerineduel / talk 10:14, April 4, 2012 (UTC)
(I say he's clearly on a side on Demon's Run, and (at least until the final days) the Last Great Time War, both of which he clearly ends the fighting of as well.)
However, to somewhat muddle things, while I agree there's no obvious "side" he's on in Canary Wharf, he pretty much does end it himself, and not especially as a "last man standing in the rubble" either. After all, while he does nothing in terms of Torchwood's fate per se, he is the one that pulls both Cybermen and Daleks back into the Void, forcing the Cult to perform an emergency temporal shift. -- Tybort (talk page) 13:24, April 4, 2012 (UTC)
There's also GeoComTex (van Statten's Vault) and the Game Station - the Doctor spends a good portion of the story finding/building a weapon to destroy the Dalek(s), but is unable to actually fire it. Especially GeoComTex, where while he's not on the front lines, the grudge is very personal. -- Tybort (talk page) 14:16, April 4, 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that he's really on any side in either of those cases. At GeoComTex, he was working to kill the Dalek, while Van Statten was working to neutralize it but keep it alive to add to his collection. On the Game Station, he allied himself with the Humans, but his goal was to destroy the Daleks, even if it meant destroying the population of Earth, while the Human's goal was to defend the Earth. If they had known that he planned to use the Delta Waves to kill all the Humans, the Humans (apart from Jack and Rose) would probably have turned against the Doctor. The only times that I would really say that the Doctor was on a side in a battle would be in situations like Demon's Run, where he raised an army himself, the Time War, where (as far as we can tell) he was on the Time Lord's side for the entire war, and pretty much any UNIT episode, since he is a member of UNIT. Apart from that, the Doctor will help out whoever he wants to, though his goal is usually to prevent and stay out of actual battles, and to find a peaceful solution to whatever is going on. Anyway, even if you take the Doctor out of the equation, all of these battles still have more than two sides. Canary Wharf had the Cybermen, the Daleks, Torchwood, and Jake and his friends. Shoreditch had Renegade Daleks, Imperial Daleks, and Captain Gilmore and his friends. There is just no way that you can accurately say that any of these conflicts only had two sides.Icecreamdif talk to me 19:09, April 4, 2012 (UTC)
My mouth is literally agape. I am genuinely surprised at the fact that my interpretation of Canary Wharf is apparently so different to everyone else's. I don't see how you could not see it as the Doctor and Pete versus everyone else. The single act of closing the void, which the Doctor performs at the behest of Pete, does three major things:
  • Ends the Cyber invasion of Earth Prime
  • Ends the Dalek invasion of Earth Prime
  • Shuts down Torchwood One (The Ghost Shift is the whole reason for the building being where it is and how it is; the Doctor permanently ends the Ghost Shift at Pete's very strong insistence, so Torchwood is left wholly rudderless.)
And while these three sides are not allies, they all facilitate each other. The Cybermen wouldn't have gotten through without the Void ship cracking the glass and Torchwood doing its Ghost Shifts. The Daleks wouldn't have gotten through without the additional stress on the universe caused by the Ghost Shifts. Torchwood wouldn't have built itself up in the way it had without the access to the void being punched in the universe precisely where it was. And finally, a lot of the Cybermen on Earth Prime are implied to be conversions from Torchwood Staff. So the Cybermen essentially force Torchwood to be allies.
Seriously, when you say it's not accurate to describe it as a 3-on-1 fight, I don't understand you. That's precisely what it is, to my eyes.
As for whether the infobox broadly works, I have to ask you for specific suggestions for improvement. I know it doesn't allow for fine detail, but that's not really an infobox's job. If you can find another example on a MediaWiki wiki that works better, I'll find a way to emulate it. But it's funny that you call this version broken, whereas the box that this one replaced couldn't even handle 2 sides. I mean, it is a fairly massive improvement over what we used to have.
czechout@fandom   11:05: Sun 08 Apr 2012 
I'm sorry that I don't have a solution, and it may be better than what we had before, but there is definetly a problem. The fact that we both have two hugely different interpretations of the battle may point to an even bigger problem, since so much of this is left up to individual opinion. I don't really see the battle as the Doctor and Pete against anyone else. The Doctor may have ended the battle, but apart from that, he didn't do much actual fighting. The bulk of the battle was between the Daleks and the Cybermen, with Torchwood fighting back when they could. The fact that the Cybermen upgraded Torchwood employees certainly doesn't make them allies of Torchwood, as that would mean that most enemies of the Cybermen are also their allies. The Daleks, the Cybermen, and Torchwood spent most of the battle firing at eachother, so to say that they were on the same side against the Doctor would be very misleading. Most people glancing at the infobox would probably interpret that to mean that the Daleks, Cybermen, and Torchwood were allies. Also, keep in mind, Torchwood weren't exactly enemies in the episode, even though they did imprison the Doctor. Even though they were damaging the walls of the universe, allowing the Cybermen to come through the void, Torchwood didn't know the extent to the damage that they were causing, and Yvonne took the Doctor's advice after he broke her window, and agreed to stop opening the void. After the Cybermen took over and opened the void, Torchwood was really more likely to consider the Doctor an ally than the Cybermen or the Daleks. In contrast, no matter how many times the Doctor asked them too, Pete and Jake and their friends wouldn't stop using their universe-damaging dimension-hopping buttons until the very end of the episode. In fact, Pete was perfefctly willing to let the Doctor's universe be destroyed as long as he could save his own. The sides in that battle simply aren't as simple as the Doctor and his allies from Pete's universe against the Daleks, Cybermen and Torchwood. I do not have a solution to this problem, but the problem does exist, and I hope that somebody here does have some idea to improve the infobox. Icecreamdif talk to me 05:49, April 9, 2012 (UTC)
Icecreamdif is right. Some conflicts are more complicated than "us v. them". If we users can't agree on sides, then maybe we shouldn't put the combatants into sides. My suggestion, for what it's worth, is to list the combatants in the infobox, no sides, and let the article sort things out. Shambala108 talk to me 17:31, April 11, 2012 (UTC)
Much as I can't find a simple solution to Canary Wharf, I'm against removing the "vs." part for the many DWU conflicts which ARE "us and them". I'm sure it's the minority of conflicts which have this trouble. Wouldn't removing the two columns just set it back to where it started? -- Tybort (talk page) 17:42, April 11, 2012 (UTC)
Maybe we should keep the simple us vs. them infobox for the simpler conflicts (Thals vs. Kaleds/Dals, Sontarans vs. Rutans, etc.) and go with Shambala's suggestion of not putting the companions into sides for the more complicated ones, like Canary Wharf and Shoreditch.Icecreamdif talk to me 21:49, April 11, 2012 (UTC)
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