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Do you know how many prefixes we have on our wiki? 90. Nine-zero. And rising. In order to make sense of our article citation system, you have to wade through some seriously thick alphabet soup.

This whole prefixing "thing" came from early administrators' (well, okay, Freethinker1of1's) love of w:c:memoryalpha. It's all there in the early forum archives. But the thing is, MemAlpha is much simpler. They have seven prefixes, by my count: TOS, TAS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT and MOV. So there's no great barrier to understanding. Even newbies know within their first day of using the site what all the prefixes are.

And, yanno, back in 2005/6 when this system emerged, there were much fewer lines to worry about. More than MemAlpha deals with, but much less than today. Big Finish have created tons of new lines since 2006. We've got a thriving new series book line now; we've had the explosion of new comic lines, and — let's not forget — we've had three televised spin-offs since the prefixing system started.

I think we've reached the point of critical mass. Casual readers shouldn't be made to feel like they need a cheat sheet just to read an article.

Prefixes should be something that people can pick up almost intuitively. They really shouldn't have to go to a scorecard to figure them out.

Call this a last-minute "think about a way to make it simpler for the newbies that will be arriving once the new series start" moment. But we've got to simplify this mess.

What if we reduced all the prefixes to the bare minimum? What if we concentrated on medium rather than range? Now I realise that most of the people who respond to this thread are going to be long-time editors. So you're all used to the system we have now. But imagine you're someone who's discovered us because you just watched one of the brand new Matt Smith episodes a couple of weeks from now. Is the need to become familiar with 90 prefixes gonna retain your interest or hamper it? Even though I've done a lot to build the current system, I have to say that I think it's gonna turn you off.

If you're one of the thousands of people who come here every day just to read our articles, it's probably more than sufficient to know that a factoid derives from "a comic strip", "a book" or "a television episode". You don't need to know, if you're reading, say, Martha Jones, that the fact comes from a DWM strip versus a DWBIT strip versus an IDW strip. A comic is a comic is a comic. If you want greater details, you'd click on the name of the comic strip and quickly scan the infobox.

By site policy, MAs are not more authoritative than PDAs, and DWBIT stories aren't more valid than IHP ones. So why should we continue to make these trivial distinctions within the body of our articles?

I think we should consider carefully the advantages of going with something like this:


  • PROSany prose story — novel, novella, novelisation or short story from any range
  • COMany comic strip from any range
  • TVany TV story from any programme
  • AUDany audio from any range


  • REF — used as now
  • INFO — used as now
  • PCOM — used as now
  • DCOM — used as now
  • DOC — used as now
  • CON — used as now

And that's it.

Changeover is incredibly simple with a bot. The entire wiki could be converted in probably 72 hours. Thus "oh my God, this is an impossible task" is not a valid reason not to adopt this change.

However, you may have other good arguments for why I'm not thinking straight in this instance. If so — or if you actually agree with me, or have a counter-proposal — please put your comments below.
czechout   03:05: Tue 21 Aug 2012 

i remember when i first started reading this site slightly over a year ago, i got super confused with the prefixes. even now i only feel comfortable with the most popular ones. tbh, when i first started i didn't even know there was any official spin off media. i think the simplification would help a lot, and will avoid much confusion for newer users. i'm all for it. Imamadmad 06:07, August 21, 2012 (UTC)
As one of those long time editors, I do quite like our quirky prefixing system. However I will admit having to check the list of prefixes when editing some articles. The annuals especially I find needlessly complicated. I think it's things like this and the 90 different prefixes is putting off new editors.
So I support this proposal, though I do have a few questions;
With this new system will WEB finally be shifted out of use in-universe articles as it's non-narrative (except for when websites are seen onscreen).
Also what of GAME? We'll need to make it clear that ones that have a narrative are covered under the PROS prefix.
And BFX, CD extras don't really fit within the presented non-fiction prefixes presented here. I'd suggest AUDX so it's a broad coverage so we're not limited to CDs or producer as Big Finish release their stories/extras as downloads and the prefix can be used for any other producers of audio story. --Tangerineduel / talk 07:19, August 21, 2012 (UTC)
I don't edit much here, but I thought I'd throw my view in. I'm afraid I have to disagree with the proposal. At the moment, the system (while complicated) makes it clear what format each item is and whether it is canonical. By condensing these down into much larger groupings, we lose some of that disambiguation. Tangerineduel's comments above highlight this to me quite well - the system has evolved over time to give everything a proper group that it fits in with. By reducing the prefixes available, we'll likely have to shoehorn items into groups that they probably don;t belong in.     ǝsʞpɐןǝ  (talk page)  09:13, 21/08/2012
I'm also of this view. I think the imposition of a "cover everything" prefix for each format will confuse more people than it will help. The current system is better as it allows for easy identification of what range the source is from, and makes it easier for our readers, rather than them clicking on the source to find the information they're looking for.
This wiki is about getting things right, and as Eladkse says, we will most likely end up having to shoehorn items into groups they don't belong, as nothing is ever simple with Doctor Who, and we've already made it as simple as we're going to get it. --Revan\Talk 09:30, August 21, 2012 (UTC)
Could you please develop the point about "shoehorn[ing] items into groups they don't belong"? I'm not getting how it's "shoehorning" to put a comic strip under a COM prefix. It's not, in my view, shoehorning if you organise by medium instead of range. And it seems to me that the present system is so overclassified that there are some points where we're just making prefixes up. We're trying to make up a definition for the prefix PROSE right now, for instance. And in the recent past we've tried to find prefixes for particular parts of the Iris Wildthyme prose.
See, to my mind, we've — and I definitely include myself in the "we" — not applied a consistent standard to the creation of prefixes. Sometimes it's about the range (AUDIO), sometimes it's about the publication (DWM applies to both short stories and comics), and other times we've created a range where none exists (PROSE). On still other occasions, we don't really have a clear notion of what the prefix means at all (AUDIO is a total mess). It's really the current system that shoehorns. This new proposal was designed specifically to eliminate shoehorning.
If we prefix by medium, we're not only simplifying, we're organising along indisputable lines. I think if you're going to allege shoehorning, you're going to need to provide cases where a story's status as "prose", "comic", "audio", or "televised" is at all ambiguous.
czechout   09:47: Tue 21 Aug 2012 
I mostly agree with CzechOut. There's no real need to know which comic series a story comes from, just that it is a comic, as opposed to an audio story or novel. I would (possibly) consider splitting the prose one up, but the TV one definently needs to be split by series. If I want to see where a source comes from, opening up hundreds of them just to check if it's a Doctor Who or Torchwood or SJA episode is far too much work. I'd also consider splitting up the audio one, but only into TWA or DWA or BSA. All main Big Finish audios, plus CCs, and the Eighth and Fourth Doctor ones would all simply be DWA, but the BBC Torchwood ones would be TWA, and the Benny ones would be BSA, ones with Sarah Jane would be SJA, etc. Tardis1963 talk 10:42, August 21, 2012 (UTC)
Why does it matter what series an episode comes from if all programmes have equal validity? Does it matter that a particular fact comes from DW as opposed to SJA? I can see why the medium matters, because if we cite a story with which the reader is unfamiliar, at least they'll be able to say, "Oh, it's an audio; no wonder I've never heard of it." But beyond that, I'm not sure I see the need for establishing that the fact comes from an SJA audio, or a TW radio drama.
What's the compelling reason for moving away from an acronym that parses upon casual inspection (I think most readers would assume AUD means "audio"]]) to something that is actually ambiguous (COMIC means Doctor Who Adventures, and it would upsset our issue listings to have DWA as a prefix that doesn't indicate Adventures.)
czechout   12:03: Tue 21 Aug 2012 
Nobody said anything about validity; this issue is, as said above, about making things easier for newbies. I agree the current system is unwieldy, and am in favor of simplification, but don't think we need to go to the other extreme. As the Manual of Style says, "Please consider that many of our readers will not necessarily know as much about Doctor Who as you." Most of the newbies will come from the television show, and many will not even know (at first) that The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood exist. So, yes, simplify by medium, but keep the original television prefixes is my suggestion. Shambala108 16:18, August 21, 2012 (UTC)
I'd like DW, TW, SJA, KAC and K9TV not to be merged as some single television prefix. In an ideal world, I'd also at a minimum clearly divide Doctor Who spinoff series from "just Doctor Who" prose, audio, comics. I don't have too much issue in consolidating EDA, PDA, NSA and the problems brought up in Forum:New past Doctor stories: PDA? into one BBC Books thing, as they're not strictly speaking lines. It's just putting Torchwood novels and PROSE into that as well where I draw the line.
I'm gathering that WC and GAME can remain as they are, though? -- Tybort (talk page) 18:36, August 21, 2012 (UTC)

[edit conflict]

Shambala, I'm not quite understanding how you agree with the basic logical underpinnings of this proposal, but then conclude by arguing for a bit of complication. I would think that the quote from the manual of style argues for the simplest system possible. Everyone can get that TV means "a story you can watch on your TV". As you point out, not everyone will know that the spin-off programmes even exist. Thus, for the sake of the newbies, it seems to make more sense to go TV: Title, than to include some prefixes, notably K9TV and KAC, that don't parse quite as clearly to newbies. Also, it's a bit unsatisfactory to suggest that we would allow a broader range of TV prefixes than those in other media. This implies that television is a more "important" medium, which goes against one of the foundational principles of the wiki.
czechout   18:42: Tue 21 Aug 2012 

[/edit conflict]

I will try to make myself more clear. The current system is complicated and confusing. The suggested system is simple, but it is also confusing. I've only been doing this for about a year, so I remember how overwhelming the Doctor Who universe is. I don't think the very simple method gives enough information to a newbie. If we can only choose the very complicated or the very simple (with no middle ground), I change my vote to keeping the status quo. 06:07, August 22, 2012 (UTC)
Tybort, your meaning is a bit unclear. Are you saying that you want to have a system where we keep the current television show prefixes, and then prepend those to letters suggesting a medium. So: SJAC, PROSE, AUDIO, COMIC, COMIC, PROSE, and so forth?
czechout   18:46: Tue 21 Aug 2012 
I understand the trouble with using DWA for Doctor Who audio stories and potentially DWN for all Doctor Who novels, but essentially, yes. -- -- Tybort (talk page) 18:48, August 21, 2012 (UTC)
It's not a potential problem. It's a Big Honkin' Problem. You can tell by the blue links that it wouldn't work to have a DWX convention. All the potential acronyms are genuinely already taken. They all have at least one, but often multiple, meanings. COMIC is obviously Doctor Who Adventures, but there's an argument for Doctor Who Annual, too. Doctor Who Audio doesn't even come close to being a natural meaning for the prefix DWA. COMIC means Doctor Who Classics. I'm not about to change every single issue of Doctor Who Adventures, Doctor Who Classics and Doctor Who Classic Comics just to make way for DW Audio.
Since you can't do it with any of the DWX things, it wouldn't make sense to do it for any of the spin off material either. Which means that, as a matter of technical practicality the best, most easily comprehensible course of action is to go to prefixes that simply identify the medium, period.
IF you're okay with changing the prefixes, the change should be to something better and simpler — something that makes sense without having to go to a help page. COM and AUD and TV make sense inline. There is literally no user on the site, regardless of their familiarity with the DWU, who will misunderstand what TV and AUD and COM mean. COMIC and COMIC are not nearly so universally and immediately understood.
czechout   00:41: Wed 22 Aug 2012 
I think we do need to go to the other extreme, Shambala108, because if we do something less we'll be compromising so much so we'll get another iteration of what we already have.
I also disagree that many of our new readers and editors have come from TV. Doctor Who is on TV for 6-12 weeks of the year, it's greatly, hugely outweighed by the other mediums which produce stories for the DWU. It is also just as possible that new readers/editors may not know the full extent of the DWU having come here via Torchwood, SJA or Bernice Summerfield.
If for sake of argument we don't merge DW/TW/SJA/KAC/K9TV the next question is why and why don't we have individual prefixes for the other mediums / series? If we did half-hearted merge along these lines it smacks of us favouriting one line over another.
We are all agreed and have been for some time that all the stories are as valid as one another then why separate them as we have done so? Is it not better to be able to look at a citation like this COM: Battle for the Moon and know instantly that's a comic whilst AUD: The Sound of Fear is an audio? As it is the citation for the former would be DAN (a Dalek annual) and the latter IW neither of which is particularly enlightening and both you would need to click through to the prefix to discover more. People also would more likely click through to the story to discover more than the prefix, and as I've said above the infobox on all stories contains information that is currently wrapped into some (though not all) the prefixes. --Tangerineduel / talk 10:14, August 22, 2012 (UTC)
I know that there's hundreds of books and they have a dedicated fandom, but it seems ridiculous that they've had more (if any!) mainstream attention than the 80-odd most recent episodes of the shows.
It is favouritism to only defend those, I'm sure. In an ideal world, I don't want to merge anything outside of maybe lumping "everything Doctor Who BBC Books" together, as Past Doctor Adventures, New Series Adventures and so forth don't seem to be actual names of lines like Virgin New Adventures. But as there's 90 prefixes, it's not really feasible to just merge a couple.
I'll concede to simplifying it down to PROS, COM (or COMIC to avoid conflicts with the commentary prefixes), AUD and TV. I won't completely like it, but I can't think of any proper alternatives.
I'm gathering that special cases of TV (Meanwhile in the TARDIS, the Prequels, Night and the Doctor) would be TV, Are we expanding TV to "anything moving picture" such as webcasts and the semi-licensed videos?
Unless there's a discussion I missed with video games as sources, I assume we can keep GAME as well? -- Tybort (talk page) 16:43, August 22, 2012 (UTC)

I'd like to make a suggestion, regardless of any decisions made about prefixes, which could make the system a little clearer to readers without having to open any more pages. By using a template that surrounds prefixes in a span tag, we can add a sentence which explains the group to the user when they hover over it. Some of you probably know how this works already; but for those who don't, hover over this for an example: TV. For those who are not quite sure about what an abbreviation means, they can find out in a few seconds without changing page.     ǝsʞpɐןǝ  (talk page)  16:53, 22/08/2012

Personally, I really don't see the point in simplifying the prefixes, especially since it would probably cause more problems than it would solve as people would have to read around the Wiki to a greater extent in order to find out whether a reference was made in, for instance, in a Missing Adventure or a Past Doctor Adventure. For what it's worth, I'm against it. GusF 20:10, August 22, 2012 (UTC)

I'm 100% with Gus on this one. But Eladkse's suggestion does seem like a perfect compremise. --Revan\Talk 21:23, August 22, 2012 (UTC)

I very strongly agree with simplifying prose and comics, and some audios. But not TV - a user may not watch, eg, SJA. If they see (TV: Death of the Doctor), they're gonna think that there's a new Doctor Who TV episode out.
I quite like the hover over idea though. Is there any way to keep the same word, but change the hover over? You could have 'AUD', but then the hover over would read 'Big Finish', 'Sarah Jane Adventures', 'The Lost Stories', 'Torchwood' etc. Tardis1963 talk 10:28, August 23, 2012 (UTC)
Possible, but not practical. To do so would render this entire conversation as pointless, as we would still need the old categories anyway in order to label them. The hover idea will only really work if a) we keep the current system, or b) we move to the proposed system.     ǝsʞpɐןǝ  (talk page)  10:51, 23/08/2012
(Edit) It could work as Tardis1963 suggests if we use some semantics. We would need to call some sort of 'type' or 'series' semantic from each article, then use that to generate the hover. I've made something pretty similar in my sandbox recently. Take a look here.     ǝsʞpɐןǝ  (talk page)  10:55, 23/08/2012
The only problem with the template based system is of course implementation, not creation. It's easy to create this template, and in fact we've tried something similar in the past. The problem is retrofitting it to existing cases. Because people have done a variety of things with their citations, we may never get complete, 100% adoption of the template.
But we can probably expect something over 85% of instances will use the template — higher if my bot programming successfully predicts more unusual cases.
In any event, this change will eventually come with a new template that not only incorporated Eladkse's idea, but auto-italicisation and proper dab truncation (Castrovalva (TV story) --> Castrovalva) at the same time, thereby improving overall compliance with the manual of style.
Also, I think people are wrongly thinking it's "bad" that newbies might have to click on a story name to see where, specifically, the story came from. That's good. That means we're keeping people here a little bit longer. We want that. The greater our pageviews, the more we improve a number of popularity metrics. And, yanno, we're not forcing people to go on some kinda treasure hunt here. We're just adding one click to look at an infobox. I'd argue that on many of these prefixes, they were having to click anyway in order to decode the prefix. So really, we're just swapping the click target, not actually adding a click. We may even be decreasing click throughs in some instances, since people might be curious what PHS means, but will probably not think twice about clicking on COM (or COMIC).
To answer Tybort above, GAME will probably be supplanted by GAME, and we'll probably need to invent something like HOMEVID for the stuff now prefixed with RP and BBV, as well as the Meanwhile in the TARDIS and Night and the Doctor stuff.
czechout   16:18: Thu 23 Aug 2012 
Okay, I've kicked the tires on Eladkse's template-with-semantics notion and I think it needs to be made clear that such a notion depends on a lot of work on my part. I'd have to tag every single story page with a little bit of code. And just adding it with a bot isn't going to be enough. I'd have to integrate it in such a way that it was likely that people would remember to add it to new pages. Maybe, for instance, I'd co-opt the {{{series}}} variable that exists in all infoboxes.
It's not impossible, but it is time-consuming and will require testing. Getting a cool hover is therefore a discussion for another thread. We're putting the cart before the horse a bit by suggesting templates for a prefix system that isn't even installed yet. Down the road, something like the "Eladkse gambit" is possible. But when Revanvolatrelundar says of Eladkse's plan, "Great, that's a good compromise", I feel compelled to be honest and say, "No, this thread isn't actually offering that compromise". I could lie and say, "Yes, definitely, i'm going to incorporate Elkadse's plan by 15 September 2012" — but I'm not going to do that. There will definitely be a period of time where there won't be a mouseover on the prefix. It'll be PROS and that's it for an unspecified period of time.
Of course, I probably will instal the wherewithal to have something very close to the "Eladkse gambit". But I'm not about to do all the work for that unless this motion passes. So: one step at a time. What we have on the table right now is the question of whether or not to change the range-based prefix system to the medium-based system.
czechout   17:17: Thu 23 Aug 2012 
Okay, I take back what I said on the prequels. It seems to have nothing to do with the home video "special cases". It turns out the only uses of TV for them were on images that I added and Forum:Timeline - Eleventh Doctor, which I started off. Everywhere else it's WC. They're web broadcasts, though they're clearly produced by the same BBC Wales production team as the television series, which I'm sure CzechOut brought up elsewhere. That must have been what confused me.
I'm abstaining on whether to do this for now, but if we do go through with it, if we are continuing the use of WC and WEB, maybe we should turn them into WEBCAST (plus a few online PROS-es) and WEBSITE. That's not too long for a prefix, is it? -- Tybort (talk page) 17:40, August 23, 2012 (UTC)
For the record, I really don't like "PROS". I think 3 letters work best, so I'd go for either a 3 letter abbreviations - "PRS", "PSE", or the first 3 letters - "PRO". I like "PRS", "CMC" and "AUD" the best for prose, comics and audio stories. Tardis1963 talk 07:34, August 25, 2012 (UTC)
Not sure either way about how to approach a prose prefix, but CMC definitely seems like a better idea than COM, which in my opinion could just as easily be confused with "commentary". After all, if there wasn't PCOM, wouldn't the DVD commentaries likely have been called COM? -- Tybort (talk page) 17:17, August 25, 2012 (UTC)
Can we take it that Tardis1963 and Tybort are in support of the concept of simplifying the prefixes?
At the thread's outset CzechOut did say "something like this", the proposition at the start doesn't state it's going to be exactly as shown here.
I think we can develop the prefixes, but essentially what we're looking to do is get rid all the prefixes we have and get down to 6 or so for stories and 6 or so for non-fic ones. --Tangerineduel / talk 14:30, August 28, 2012 (UTC)
By my count there are 4 in favor of and 5 against (or 3 in favor of, 5 against, and 1 abstaining from) the proposal. Once again, and for the last time, I will state that I don't think reacting to one extreme by going to the other extreme is helpful. Some simplification is necessary, to be sure, but too much simplification is just as confusing as too much complexity. Shambala108 17:22, August 28, 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm abstaining the "six or so in-universe prefixes" decisions. I support the concept "having much less than 90 prefixes", but I'm not 100% behind that specific proposal, but at the same time, I don't know what alternatives ther are. What I'd be happy with is prefixes for Doctor Who and each spinoff in each medium (i.e. consolidate Doctor Who prose with the prefix PROSE, PROSE, PROSE, PROSE, PROSE, PROSE, PROSE, DWM, DWAN, PROSE, DWY, PROSE, PROSE and PROSE into one prefix, but not all prose ever), but as pointed out above, COMIC, COMIC and so forth are pre-existing acronyms. If the Doctor Who universe had a massive "Doctor Who" on the various covers of every story, we wouldn't have this problem. But we don't. There's tons of spinoff series that barely or infrequently feature the Doctor. -- Tybort (talk page) 18:20, August 28, 2012 (UTC)

ok, i think we should cut down on the amount of prefixes used, but to six (in universe) i agree might be too few. but i would preferably have too few than too many! the average user wouldn't care if the format of one novel series is slightly different from the format of another novel series if they both contain the same main character set (ie both based on the doctor, or both following torchwood etc) and are published by the same people (eg the BBC). so, i think we should definitely narrow it down. here's my suggestion. we should categorise the works based on medium (tv, prose, comic, audio...), main character set (eg. doctor who, torchwood, sarah jane and co. etc) and publishing (eg not mixing BBC with BBV works). also, does it really matter if an acronym is pre-existing if we are going to change them all anyway? Imamadmad 02:18, August 29, 2012 (UTC)

What would we do about the prefixes for COMIC, COMIC, DWMAC and Doctor Who Poster Magazine, which seem to be for altered versions of pre-existing comic stories, but not used for anything? DWMI and DWPM have absolutely no links at all beyond the prefix page, while the lone link for DWMAC I'm not sure if it really qualifies for that page.

Also, I have no idea whether Evening's Empire counts as DWM or COMIC. If it's the former, then my question about reprint issues prefixes is for this as well. -- Tybort (talk page) 03:26, August 29, 2012 (UTC)

Can you explain in more detail what you're narrowing the 90 prefixes down to, Imamadmad? I can understand "publisher + medium" or "medium + main characters", but I'm not sure if I can get my head around all three.
And I suppose CzechOut's issue is that they're in use outside of this wiki as initialisms/acronyms? Or possibly that magazine titles use initialisms for page titles with nothing to do with prefixes, such as issues of Doctor Who Classics being DWC Issue 1, DWC Issue 2 and Doctor Who Adventures being DWA 1, DWA 2, DWA 3... -- Tybort (talk page) 23:18, August 29, 2012 (UTC)

ok, scratch the publisher bit. but i do think that the prefixes should be divided up by medium and main characters. i just think that medium alone isn't enough, and what we have at the moment is too much. Imamadmad 04:12, August 31, 2012 (UTC)

You're rather proving the point, Tybort. The need for one, simple COMIC (or whatever) prefix couldn't be clearer when you start to wonder about whether something counts as DWM or COMIC. It doesn't matter to the average reader. All that counts is that it's a comic strip.
We won't be going to any sort of publisher + medium or character + medium solution. Neither solve the underlying problem, and both represent the substitution of one form of complexity with another. Simplicity is what we're after here.
czechout     05:00: Fri 31 Aug 2012
A disambiguation page will be needed for TV, as normally, the page TV would be an explanation of the prefix, but, quite logically, it currently redirects to the article about Television. I suggest choosing a different prefix for television stories. TVS? As in TeleVision Story. There's no page already there.  Digifiend  Talk  PR/SS  KR  MH  Toku  JD  Garo  TH  CG  UM  Logos  CLG  DW  19:54,9/1/2012 

Moving to conclusion

There's a good reason why finding consensus is not the same thing as having a vote — as this thread shows. If you look at people's opinions throughout the thread, you'll see that they migrate over time. Is Tybort actually opposed to the proposal? Early on, yes; later he says he's abstaining. And that's not to single him out; in a discussion, people's opinions are naturally refined over time. Strong opposition frequently melts to grudging acceptance. Staunch advocates sometimes hear the soft whisper of doubt. So we can't just go off a vote.

That's why it's been a truism of wiki editing that we sift through the comments made and come up with a consensus. We have to find the most logical interpretation of all comments left. In general, on a bigger wiki, it would never be allowed that the admin who proposed the change would also be the one to actually make the change. But we don't really have that kinda luxury here. I could possibly pass it off to Tangerineduel — but you'll note that he's in complete agreement with the proposal. So it might as well fall to me, since ultimately it falls to me to actually implement the results of the debate.

In any interpretation of consensus, the key is to look at at where we agree, first.

Everyone who responded believes that the current system is too complicated. There is 100% agreement for the general notion of prefix simplification.

Therefore, the prefixes will be simplified.

The one detail on which every respondent seems to agree is this: all the Doctor Who novel ranges should take the same prefix. There's no one who's offered up even the slightest peep of resistance on this point. That is therefore ordered.

It is logical, then, that other mediums should also be so collapsed. All the Doctor Who comic ranges should be the same prefixes. All the Doctor Who audio ranges should be the same. And so forth. That, too, is hereby ordered.

But now it gets tricky. There is dissent on the notion that we should just go to medium-based prefixes. There are a couple of people, who have proposed that a publisher or a franchise should appear. Thus, we'd have DWPROSE, TWCOMIC, SJAAUDIO, and the like. However, I think it has successfully been countered that the acronyms beginning with DW would be very confusing, in light of the T:MAGS rule that magazine issues use an initialism of their title. Thus, we can't use COMIC for "Doctor Who Comics", because that could be confused with Doctor Who Classics, a comic title. DWCOM wouln't be very much clearer, thanks to Doctor Who Classic Comics, and DWCOMIC would be a seven-letter acronym that would be confused with DWCC, too. The audio situation isn't much better. COMIC could confusingly mean Doctor Who Annual or Doctor Who Adventures. Thus, since segregating the Doctor Who media in this way would offer additional complication, we just can't do it. And if we can't do it for Doctor Who, we really can't do it for Torchwood or SJA. So, inasmuch as audio, comics and prose are concerned, the most logical approach is to go for simple, media-based prefixes that do not distinguish between franchises.

That leaves us with television stories. There's been a lot of debate about these, and there's a strong contingent of people who want to keep TV, TV, TV and the like. And I was very strongly tempted myself to go this route. Again, however, we have to look to the quality of the arguments advanced. It seems to me that Tangerineduel's notion that this would show favoritism for a particular medium is clearly in philosophical keeping with the main precept of this wiki: no medium is deemed more important than another. If we have to use simple, medium-based prefixes for non-televised stories — and I think it's been proved that we must — then we can't have mutliple TV prefixes.

Shambala108's argument that there is such a thing as too simple has been carefully considered. However, despite making several attempts, he failed to establish how new users wouldn't understand what an audio, comic, or TV story is. It's really not clear how the proposed system is over-simplifying things for new users. It might be oversimplification for those of us who have taken time to learn the system intimately — but the goal of the exercise is to make things simpler for new users. I think Imamadmad's expresses a better sentiment when he says: "six [prefixes] might be too few, but I would preferably have too few than too many!"

Taking all this into consideration, the original proposal carries. Now comes the details of what exact prefixes will be used. Your input is further sought in the following section.
czechout    01:14: Wed 05 Sep 2012

Just for future reference, Shambala108 is a she, not a he. Shambala108 03:32, September 5, 2012 (UTC)
same with me. i'm a she. Imamadmad 09:51, September 5, 2012 (UTC)

The prefixes

In the rather arbitrary debate which is now left to us, there are two basic philosophies:

  • Tardis1963 has argued for three-letter prefixes: PRS, CMC, AUD. I assume this would mean he'd argue for TEL for TV and WEB for web and VID for home video. I don't think there is a logical three-letter thing for games — GME, GAM? I dunno, but it can't be VGM because of the need to allow for non-video games.
  • I would argue for a system less beholden to number of letters, and one which makes more immediate sense while reading: PROSE COMIC, AUD, TV, WEB, HOME, GAME. (Digifiend has pointed out that TV would need to become a disambiguation page if we used TV for a prefix. But the truth is that, in a medium-based prefix system, people will assume that TV is the right prefix. The prefix page TV will naturally have a link to the word television, so it naturally will act as a disambiguation page. Even if we choose the 3-digit approach, realistically, we'll still use TV, not TEL.)

The system will be changed over this coming weekend. You have until roughly the BBC One broadcast of Doctor Who this Saturday to offer up any concerns about the actual prefixes to be used.
czechout    01:30: Wed 05 Sep 2012

Thinking about it now, I guess using the same prefix for all TV stories, i.e. not differenciating between Doctor Who, Torchwood, SJA and K-9, isn't really that bad. There is still way more Doctor Who episodes than the others, so it's not like Doctor Who is losing it's 'priority', as such.
As for prefixes, I vote for:
  • Prose - PRS
  • Comic - CMC
  • Audio - AUD
  • TV story - TVS (either for Television story or Television)
  • Web (like Shalka, Pond Life, Prequels) - WEB
  • Home video (Meanwhile, Night and the Doctor) - HVD (possibly "HMV", but thought that might get confusing with the retailer)
  • Games (I'm assuming this included video games as well as online games and board games) - either "GME" or "GAM" will do - they're both as incorrect as each other
I really don't like having a prefix of longer than three letters, because it starts becoming less of a prefix and more of an actual title. We have 2 digit titles - 42 - and (even though it's a TV story) COMIC: 42 just looks wrong. Tardis1963 talk 01:42, September 5, 2012 (UTC)
I'm in favour of the "readable" in place of "it must be three letters", though if it's both readable AND 2-4 letters, that would be a bonus. Not sure how to approach that with a home video prefix though.
  • TV (including Dreamland on Red Button) - TV. As the redirect to Television, it has all of three links.
  • Audio - AUD or AUDIO
  • Home video - HOMEVID (VID?)
  • Games - GAME
  • Webcast - WC or WEBCAST (though only actual moving pictures. Prose and comics would presumably get a prose and comic prefix.)
  • Comics - COMIC or CMC (probably not COM if we're keeping commentary prefixes)
  • In-universe websites - maybe keep it WEB, maybe make it clearer. Not sure...
  • Prose - PROS or PROSE
  • Stage plays - SP or PLAY
  • Theatrical film - FILM?
And keep CON, TWD, BFX, INFO, PCOM, DCOM, REF, DOC and maybe CP for the time being.
Should Tardisodes be consolidated into one of the above, or is "mobile phone" really none of the above?
Also, now this is definitely going through, what do we do about outgoing prefixes that are used in categories like Category:BFC audio stories, Category:BNA novels, Category:BFBS novels and so on? -- Tybort (talk page) 01:50, September 5, 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and dab terms like (SJAA audio story), (DWA comic story) and (BNA novel). What do we do with that? Especially considering we have two 2011 audio stories called "Judgement Day". -- Tybort (talk page) 01:59, September 5, 2012 (UTC)
I would prefer the least mental processing needed as possible for prefixes.
So looking at it it's the first look the sways my decisions.
PRS doesn't mean anything on first look, whilst PROSE does. AUD is fairly also logical for audio.
Tardis1963's point though is somewhat valid, there should be a limit on how long a prefix is, just from a typing stand point, as holding shift and typing more than 5 or so letters does become tiresome.
One group of stories that hasn't been mentioned too much is BBV and Reeltime Pictures' straight-to-video contributions. I initially thought that VHS would be a fitting prefix for them, if it weren't for Dæmos Rising which went straight to DVD. Though HOMEVID (put forward by CzechOut up-thread) could work, even if it is 7 letters. Tybort's and Tardis1963's suggestion of VID might be a good alternative.
Would VID or whatever be used for Meanwhile in the TARDIS and Night and the Doctor?
As for Tybort's question of DAB terms I think we can draw up a table based on series article names so many would remain the same. --Tangerineduel / talk 06:20, September 5, 2012 (UTC)

i say PCOM and DCOM need to be changed, because i had no idea what they were until i clicked on them a few seconds ago. the prefix is definitely not clear enough. maybe PCOM (which to my understanding from the linked page are podcasts) should be PODC and i have no ideas for DCOM. Imamadmad 10:02, September 5, 2012 (UTC)

I would assume Meanwhile in the TARDIS and Night and the Doctor would be HOMEVID or VID, though I can definitely understand if their prefix is TV instead, given that they're dabed (TV story). -- Tybort (talk page) 11:32, September 5, 2012 (UTC)
If we're open to 6-letter prefixes, and I'm just throwing it out there, how about PODCOM and DVDCOM? If not, then forget I said anything. -- Tybort (talk page) 19:37, September 5, 2012 (UTC)

Given the way navigation templates are organised, especially under [[:Category:Villains navigation templates]], I'd assume it'd make sense to remove the prefixes altogether on those (with the exception of non-DWU stories listed that don't specify the medium), given that on, say, Template:Cyberman stories, the section that already says television stories would go TV: The Tenth Planet, TV: The Moonbase, TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen and so forth. -- Tybort (talk page) 19:34, September 5, 2012 (UTC)

i'm just wondering, since we have the dab terms for all the stories, could we just not cut them out when referencing a story in articles? seems to me it would be easier than changing all the prefixes as they are already sorted by medium. or, if nothing else, we can use slightly more in depth prefixes as it would also say (TV story) or whatever after the name. is this possible? would this work? Imamadmad 00:07, September 6, 2012 (UTC)

I don't think it would, no. I'd much prefer (TVS: Dalek) than (Dalek TV story). Tardis1963 talk 02:17, September 6, 2012 (UTC)
that's not quite what i mean. i mean, the page for the story is already called Dalek (TV story), wouldn't everything be clear enough if we stick to the current prefix system but leave the ending on for clarity, eg (TV:Dalek (TV story)). then, the people who want the specifics keep their prefixes and the people who just want the medium are also happy. also, people wouldn't have to pipe Dalek (TV story) to Dalek, leaving less room for error. Imamadmad 09:58, September 6, 2012 (UTC)
Leaving the current prefix system more or less as-is leaves 90 prefixes. I may have abstained the current decision of "only the mediums" prefixes, but there is no way in hell we're keeping the old prefix system. I don't think an average user would really make more sense of TN: Time and Relative (novel), KC: Occam's Razor (audio story) and DH: Time Bomb! (comic story) with the dab terms showing than without. -- Tybort (talk page) 17:16, September 7, 2012 (UTC)
Just to briefly answer Imamadmad: no, the dab term can't be used as a "suffix". There are several templates whose job it is to strip these dab terms. It would be a major undertaking to completely change their philosophy. As for "error" in piping, I'm not really sure I see it. What's the inherent error possible in simply adding a pipe? You don't have to type [[Dalek (TV story)|Dalek]]. You only have to type [[Dalek (TV story)|]]. Let the system do the replacement term for you, and you'll never have an error.
czechout    21:03: Fri 07 Sep 2012

Getting back on track

The last few posts have taken us off track, so, as the deadline approaches, we need to get back to the decision that's actually before us.

Which of the following should we go to?
  1. Strict three-letter prefixes?
  2. Prefixes which make more literal word that would be easier for newbies to read and make sense of?

Going back up in the previous section, it seems like we have a fairly firm split between the two ideas. If I told you that I definitely would make a template that required only the shorter forms to be typed but allowed the longer forms to display, would you see this as an acceptable compromise? That is, you'd type {{HMV|Meanwhile in the Tardis}} but get HOMEVID: Meanwhile in the TARDIS. My point is that we could have both with only a tiny bit of work.
czechout    21:03: Fri 07 Sep 2012

I'm probably reiterating what I've already said, but I'm going for somewhere in between. TV and AUD are self-evident, and neither of those are full words. That said, a short initialism for home video is nigh-impossible, so I'm okay with the seven-letter HOMEVID. I'm also uncertain about the legibility of WC and WEB, though naturally, the BBC website short stories would be the prose prefix.
How about:
  • TV (including Dreamland on Red Button) - TV
  • Audio - AUD
  • Home video - HOMEVID
  • Games - GAME
  • Webcast (animated or filmed only) - WEBCAST
  • Comics - COMIC
  • In-universe websites - WEBSITE, or maybe WWW
  • Prose - PROS or PROSE
  • Stage plays - PLAY
  • Theatrical film - FILM
  • DVD commentary - DVDCOM
  • Podcast commentary - PODCOM
And keep CON, TWD, BFX, INFO, REF, DOC and maybe CP for the time being. There's probably a good alternative for Torchwood Declassified and some of the others, but I'm focusing on the new in-universe prefix suggestions for the time being.
Interesting idea though about creating a little less effort with typing and making the prefix readable. -- Tybort (talk page) 21:25, September 7, 2012 (UTC)
This probably goes without saying, but your template would automatically remove the dab term like so much other code does, correct? -- Tybort (talk page) 21:32, September 7, 2012 (UTC)
Why does everybody sugest to go with just PROS? That's the stupidest idea ever, leaving off on letter so it becomes 4 letters long. I still think there should be a 3 letter limit, but I could stand PROSE - I could not stand PROS. Calling it PROS would be like calling it COMI or AUDI - absolutely stupid.
To sum up, I very strongly go for a limit of three, but I could live with the above, as long as PROS is not used. Tardis1963 talk 05:43, September 8, 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't say it's stupid Tardis1963, it's just a different idea to yours.
CzechOut's idea seems like it'd introduce two different systems that would be in use throughout the wiki (if for instance some didn't use it and some did).
So, I object to the template implementation. Keep templates separated from the main text and that system. I think introducing a template system that was different to other wikis and wikipedia would just be more confusing for new users.
Limiting ourselves to a self-imposed strict 3 letter limit seems somewhat mis-thought. But I think we do need a word limit for the prefixes, just based on typing comfort and needing to get them all as capitals. But a 3 letter limit I think means we sacrifice simple understanding.
So in short I support a literal word system, though there should be a limit of 6-7 letters. --Tangerineduel / talk 09:19, September 8, 2012 (UTC)
Seven letters sounds like a reasonable limit. Three seems too restricting for making it clear what medium's what. I think the reason I put PROS is because it's still recognisable as the word PROSE. I think they're equally readable (maybe it's just me), but I have no objections to PROSE instead, hence my "PROS or PROSE" statement. -- Tybort (talk page) 11:14, September 8, 2012 (UTC)

[edit conflict]

Lemme rebut Tangerineduel on the issue of templates. Templates for citation are actually extremely helpful, and I will implement some kind of template solution. As was said upthread by Eladkse, templates allow you to give a tooltip explanation of the prefix. They also — and this is really important for us — allow people to enter the short form of the name — say, Castrovalva — but get a link to the "proper" page name — say, Castrovalva (TV story). Compare the number of keystrokes in the following:
([[TV]]: ''[[Castrovalva (TV story)|]]'')
As I said upthread, though, this is a separate issue. At this point we're merely looking at the literal prefixes we're gonna use. But for the future, the simplification of the prefix system, along with the already-implemented dab term system, means that a templated approach to citation is easy on the servers, helpful to users, and ... imminent.
czechout    16:52: Sat 08 Sep 2012

[/edit conflict]

I think we need to move in steps with this discussion. Let's get the length of the prefixes sorted before moving to what they'll actually be. --Tangerineduel / talk 16:44, September 8, 2012 (UTC)
I'm standing by more than three (apart from when it's perfectly legible to have that few, i.e. TV), and the upper limit for me feels like seven or eight. -- Tybort (talk page) 16:52, September 8, 2012 (UTC)
Well, I think we're probably talking about maximum length, so TV is safe. Seven seems a good upper limit. I think Tardis1963 has said he would accept more literal prefixes, so long as we don't use PROS. Although I initially proposed that clunker, he's right: it is stupid. One more letter makes it perfectly plain, so one more letter it should get.
I'm a little curious about the affection for PLAY, though. Under what circumstances would we actually use that one? How can you cite ephemera? It seems to me the prefix would be AUDIO/AUD, cause that's the form in which we'll have experienced, say, The Ultimate Adventure. I'd much rather go with LIVE for any modern performances, like that thing from last year that toured Britain. PLAY would seem confusing, to me.
czechout    16:59: Sat 08 Sep 2012
Are stage plays / live shows / experiences something we even need to worry about citing? Aside from the super-dodgy recordings of the 80s plays are they something we can even check in order to cite? (Have we had a discussion on the canon of stage plays? Half of the stage plays seem to have been tagged notdwu).
Also, I agree the template is a separate issue, let's get this discussion in the bag first, and as I've said on previous occasions I can be persuaded on a topic. --Tangerineduel / talk 17:10, September 8, 2012 (UTC)
I was thinking about a way of differentiating the live and Big Finish versions of The Ultimate Adventure, Seven Keys to Doomsday and The Curse of the Daleks from a production, if not narrative, standpoint, regardless of whether or not they "count" as valid sources.
There's a page for the Doctor from Ultimate Adventure as played by David Banks on stage as well as a "Fourth Doctor" in Seven Keys and you can't really use an audio prefix for info on year and actor pages about the original stage play only.
I understand if PLAY is too opaque, but I usually associate the word with theatre stuff. -- Tybort (talk page) 17:24, September 8, 2012 (UTC)

[edit conflict]

Here's where my mind is on the suggestions Tybort gave above:
Story type Tybort's provisos Tybort's proposed prefix My comments
Television story including Red Button premieres like Dreamland TV Yes, certainly TV should be the prefix. But I'm not so convinced about Tybort's proviso. Red Button is essentially on-demand video from the internet. Is there really a material difference between Pond Life and Dreamland And back in the day wasn't Scream of the Shalka really on BBCi, the forerunner of BBCRB? I mean, wasn't it possible to see Scream on your TV if you turned to BBCi?
Audio AUD I kinda think I prefer AUDIO now that we seem to be agreed to a 7-letter limit. Why not take the extra two letters and remove all doubt?
Home video HOMEVID I know I've thrown out HOMEVID, and that's fine if ya wanna go that way. But I'm wondering if British readers might take this too literally and think we only mean "stuff on video tape". A lot of Britons seem to think video is short for videotape, rather than a word in its own right. It might be better to go with just HOME.
Games GAME Yeah, hard to do better than this.
Webcast animated or filmed only WEBCAST Again, there's the question in my mind as to the actual difference between video on a website and video on Red Button. If we say that RB stuff is TV, then I don't think there's such a thing as a webcast. I guess what I'm saying is that "webcast" isn't a different medium. It's a different dab term, but it's not a different medium.
Comics COMIC Yep, agreed. This will mean that COMIC is used only where the dab term is (comic story). But I can't think of times where you'd cite, say, Endgame (graphic novel) over Endgame (DWM comic story). If you really needed to cite the graphic novel, you're certainly referencing the non-narrative extra features, so you'd do something like "According to the graphic novel The Flood, RTD had approval rights over the way the Eighth Doctor was written out of DWMs comic series."
In-universe websites WEBSITE, or maybe WWW Do we really need this? Seems to muddy the water, and there hasn't been a new one in years. Are they even active anymore?
Prose PROS or PROSE Definitely PROSE
Stage plays PLAY I don't see the need for this one at all. Its usage would almost always violate T:WHAT'S A CITATION
Theatrical film FILM Not needed. These prefixes are for in-universe articles. All films that have been released so far are not valid sources according to our policies. Therefore, there are no films to cite. This might have newbies trying something like FILM: Doctor Who (1996), which won't fly. Anytime you need to reference one of the two 1960s Dalek films, just go without a prefix.
DVD commentary DVDCOM Not a fan. The major subject of this thread is the reorganisation of in-universe prefixes. So I'll leave in abeyance the matter of the various real world tags.
So that means
  • I agree with TV, PROSE, COMIC GAME and AUDIO.
  • I'm not sure whether to go for HOME or HOMEVID, but am leaning towards HOME.
  • I don't think I believe webcasts are significantly different enough to TV to warrant a different prefix. But we're talking about less than 10 actual titles here, so if other people really want WEB, I guess they can have it. I suppose I think that if we have it, we'll need a separate discussion to determine why Pond Life is a webcast, but Dreamland isn't. Of all the prefixes, this is the one with the most ambiguous meaning to me.
  • I disagree with the rest of Tybort's suggestions.
    czechout    17:43: Sat 08 Sep 2012

[/edit conflict]

Ok, I'm ok with TV, PROSE, COMIC, GAME and AUDIO. For Internet stuff like Pond Life, I'd just go with WEB (with WWW for the couple of old/defunct in-universe sites). For stuff exclusive to home video like Night and the Doctor, neither HOME nor HOMEVID work for me; I'd prefer HVD or HMV. But seeing as everything else is going to be the full length, it might better to go with something like HOMEV. That way we know that it's not talking about a house of something (HOME: Ponds house or something), and it's not as prominent for people to automatically assume video tape. Tardis1963 talk 22:42, September 8, 2012 (UTC)

The UNIT and Defending the Earth pages are still online, though I have a feeling that Martha's blog isn't. Considering that there's over a hundred citations, the website prefix still seems useful for those old sites. Maybe a separate discussion is in order to decide if they're really in-universe.
Maybe the line with Red Button is arbitrary, but then I'd just give that a webcast prefix rather than make everything with frames TV. -- Tybort (talk page) 00:42, September 9, 2012 (UTC)
I'm also fine with TV, AUDIO, COMIC, PROSE and GAME.
I agree a separate discussion is needed for the in-universe websites (though as they're not narrative, although may be part of the narrative) that would still make them non-citeable. But if we need a decision on them WWW is good and better than WEBSITE which could be confused with WEBCAST.
I think we also need WEBCAST for those things that debuted as a webcast; Real Time (webcast), Shada (webcast) and Pond Life (webcast)
But as far as the "red button" goes, it's an on-demand service, but it's still accessed via a TV, that's where you're most likely to use it. Dreamland remains TV as TV, other things above WEBCAST.
Red Button I think is not like the BBC's iPlayer which is a cross platform on-demand service, Red Button is something unique to DVB.
As for HOMEVID or VIDEO neither really work, how about MEDIA? Ideally it'd be HOMEMEDIA though at 9 letters it's a bit long. That would at least cover whatever media it's released on and not be confused with VHS (videotape).
DVDCOM and PODCOM are in keeping with the logical terms and make more sense than PCOM and DCOM. --Tangerineduel / talk 06:23, September 9, 2012 (UTC)

I take it you don't like HOMEV then?

As for MEDIA, the problem is that nearly everything could be classed as it. CDs are a medium, are they not? So then people might think that Big Finish audios are to be classed as MEDIA, rather than AUDIO. In fact, MEDIA would end up being like one big prefix encompassing everything. I can't see MEDIA working.

The Wikipedia page for home video pretty much sums up what we are trying to say, but it offers no other names - just 'home media' to encompass it all, and individual formats like DVD or BD. Tardis1963 talk 09:10, September 9, 2012 (UTC)

You're right, MEDIA is a little too all encompassing.
HOMEV is better than HOME, HOME doesn't enlighten much in this context. Ultimately I think HOMEVID is the one that works best, any other iterations like HVID or HOMVID just become more vague. --Tangerineduel / talk 15:38, September 9, 2012 (UTC)
MEDIA is too general, and as much confusion as there might be with video cassettes, HOMEVID is far clearer than something as broad-sounding as "MEDIA" and not quite as clunky as HOMEMEDIA. Maybe red button should be a webcast prefix, maybe not, (as CzechOut says, separate discussion) but I'm not merging TV and moving-picture webcasts as simply TV. In my opinion the distinction is still there.
Also, I forgot to repeat this concern earlier: what do we do about Tardisodes? It wasn't initially streaming on the Internet, and I don't think we can just use TV just because narratively it's part of the TV show's continuity. -- Tybort (talk page) 16:53, September 10, 2012 (UTC)

Moving on

Okay, so here's where we are.

Ideas that won't be implemented

  • PLAY. No. Just no. This is a big ol' can of worms. Plays are different from night to night. How can they possibly be relied upon for information? I don't think they're valid sources. I'm sure we had a discussion about this at some point.
  • FILM. Again, there are no films that are valid sources, so, no need for this prefix.
    czechout    04:42: Sun 16 Sep 2012

Things that will be changing very soon

  • TV, AUDIO, COMIC, PROSE and GAME are locked, save for the exception which follows.
  • HOMEVID seems a lock to me too. This is BBV + any special features on home video releases.
  • WEB is for motion picture webcasts only. Short stories on the web are PROSE.
  • INFO and REF are non-controversial and will be retained.
  • DOC isn't going anywhere, but see below. Other things might get merged into DOC.
This portion of the discussion is now closed, and I will begin the changeover soon enough.
czechout    04:42: Sun 16 Sep 2012

Things where a bit more discussion is needed

  • The meaning of TV when it comes to minor videos not delivered by terrestrial broadcast is still in dispute. Is Dreamland TV or WEB? Is Pond Life TV or WEB? I still don't think we know just yet, but the discussion can continue on with that one.
  • It's unclear to me that we need to preserve a prefix at all for URLs. We could just put them in parentheses and be done with it. Even if we keep, though, I think we probably need another round of discussion. Should it be WWW or URL?
  • I personally think we can merge CON and BFX with DOC. I don't see any strong rationale to separate by medium on the non-fiction side of things. I'm not sure there's a rationale for allowing Confidential to be the only show to retain its separate prefix. It's a documentary show, so why not simplify down to DOC for everything that's factual and features people who speak aloud?
  • I really don't like DVDCOM and PODCOM. My thought is this. Let's just make COM the standard. Because podcast commentaries are long gone, now, let's just say that they get PCOM. I'm not really sure that people won't have to click PODCOM, because it's been almost three years since one was made. People who started with Matt Smith DW simply won't know a PCOM from a PODCOM, so the "OD" is more letters for no reason. The default condition of a commentary is that it exists on DVD, so let's just call it COM.
    czechout    04:42: Sun 16 Sep 2012
  • Not sure about Dreamland, but I'd put Pond Life as WEB.
  • I'm starting to think maybe just go without a prefix for these websites.
  • So DOC will cover all documentaries? Both on DVD and Confidential? Sounds good to me.
  • COM for commentaries sounds good. Tardis1963 talk 11:02, September 16, 2012 (UTC)
I think we just need to get rid of in-universe websites as an in-universe source.
We don't for instance use the text of Murder on the Orient Express to write articles about trains, murders or Belgians.
So why do we use in-universe websites? They are basically online REF works with any information presented outside of a narrative.
So, get rid of them and then the need for a prefix goes with them, should they need to be cited they'd just be another REF text.
I'm fine with the merger of CON/BFX into DOC. I'm also fine with the condensing of the PCOM/DVDCOM down into COM.
I think our whole language for web-released stories needs to be looked at, they're not "broadcast", Pond Life was released for streaming and then later broadcast as a whole. This was how Real Time, Shada and Scream of the Shalka were debuted as well – like a broadcast they were released each week, but unlike a broadcast you could "tune in" whenever you wanted. The term broadcast suggests it's a one time opportunity.
I don't think we can classify stories like Pond Life as TV (nor the Asylum Prequel) as there are too many variables involved in their debut. The BBC released Pond Life for streaming on their YouTube channel and on BBC iPlayer (of note neither their YouTube channel or iPlayer is not geolocked for Pond Life). The Asylum Prequel came with the US iTunes Season Pass and the US Amazon Store Season purchase. With all these the common element is the internet. So I propose they be included as WEB. --Tangerineduel / talk 14:14, September 16, 2012 (UTC)
I suppose by that definition TS could become WEB
Also, T:DAB TERM says this:

If two different television series have stories of the same name, then disambiguate by using the prefix from Tardis:List of prefixes. For instance, if there were an SJA story named Inferno, then it would be Inferno (SJA TV story) and the DW story would have to move to Inferno (DW TV story). If two episodes of the same television series have the same noiame, [sic] then disambiguate by the year of initial broadcast.Help:Disambiguation terms

We really need to amend both this rule and various pages following this rule, in particular Wish You Were Here (WEB short story) due to the current change of the prefix list. -- Tybort (talk page) 15:06, September 16, 2012 (UTC)
This is a separate issue, but, no, we won't be doing much amendment to dab term rules. Yes, there will probably be a master list of the old prefixes put up somewhere other than Tardis:List of prefixes, so we'll need to change the link, but the basic concept here won't be altered.
Dab terms and categories are not the same thing as prefixes and have no bearing on them. There's nothing wrong with the current system of dab terms, and many templates, like the {{title dab away}} series, have the old prefix+dab term hard wired into them. You're talking about a very, very small number of exceptions, unworthy of massive changes to the system. Besides, there is no viable alternative, since names are often recycled within the same media. There are common names to TVC and DWM and DWBIT, which means you've got to acknowledge the title from which they come.
czechout    18:34: Sun 16 Sep 2012
EDA, PDA, NSA, SJAA, BFBS and BNA less so, especially as the first three don't seem to be official names (though I might be mistaken on that). -- Tybort (talk page) 18:39, September 16, 2012 (UTC)
Well, as I said, dab terms are a separate issue, and I don't think there's a particular problem with the actual stories that require the additional dab term. We're talking something less than 20 total stories that require this additional step.
Moving back to the issue of prefixes, I'm not so convinced about COM anymore. Looking at upthread resistance to COM for COMIC, I think the same issue exists with COM for COMMENTARY. Thus, I think COMM or COMMENT might be better.
czechout    18:53: Sun 16 Sep 2012
COMM. COMMENT is quite long, and could be classed as a throw away comment by someone. Eg. The Doctor likes dogs. (COMMENT: Steven Moffat). Doesn't wouldn't appear to be a commentary to me. Tardis1963 talk 00:24, September 17, 2012 (UTC)
I suggest AUDCOM - for audio commentary. --Tangerineduel / talk 04:08, September 17, 2012 (UTC)
Can't be AUDCOM, TD, because whether it's podcast or DVD, it's still an "audio commentary". As for Tardis1963's objection to COMMENT, I don't think he's quite understanding the usage. You'd never have a situation like COMMENT: Steven Moffat. It would be COMMENT: Vengeance on Varos, which I don't think would read at all like Tardis1963 alleges.
czechout    05:17: Mon 17 Sep 2012
Exactly. There'd never be COMMENT: Steven Moffat, but it might be mistaken for something like that. People would wonder why VoV is making a comment, and they'd say, well Colin Baker made the comment on that DVD, so I'll change it to COMMENT: Colin Baker. Also, AUDCOM would rule out the in-vision commentaries. Tardis1963 talk 06:02, September 17, 2012 (UTC)
CzechOut I'm not sure your what your objection is or is it the same as Tardis1963's? That it doesn't include in-vision commentaries.
Overwhelmingly the language used on the back of general DVDs, in DVD menus and in general media is "audio commentary". The in-vision stuff much like the podcast commentaries were a nice little experimentat but the general standard is an audio-based commentary. Also Wikipedia describes them as "audio commentaries" noting "Less common are actual video commentaries, showing the speakers as they are recording the commentary".
Is FEATCOM any better for "feature commentary"? It's another term that's used on DVDs to describe audio commentary.
COMMENT I just don't think equals "commentary" just as it's a word on its own there's I think too much of a logical leap. I somewhat see Tardis1963's point of view on this one. --Tangerineduel / talk 07:04, September 17, 2012 (UTC)
I think maybe you missed downloading these podcast commentaries back in the day, and so maybe you don't realise what a big deal they were. But there was one for every ep from Rose to The End of Time. When you say they were a "nice little experiment", you're basically just ... well, wrong. They were the standard RTD-era commentary, not the DVD commentaries. There's about 18 more of them than there are DVD commentaries. Thus, there is definitely the need to distinguish between PCOM: The Girl in the Fireplace and DCOM: The Girl in the Fireplace.
I don't get the distinction you're making when you call the DVD commentaries "audio". The podcast commentaries are audio, too. They're not using sign language, after all. :) Thus the term "audio commentary" isn't much of a disambiguator.
As for the in-vision, well, I'd forgotten about them slightly. I suppose there are a few cases where there's an in-vision that doesn't appear on the DVD, so there's an in-vision, a DVD and a podcast commentary on a few eps. These "triple commentary" eps are New Earth, Tooth and Claw, Doomsday (which oddly has two in-vision comms and a podcast comm), Gridlock, and The Sound of Drums. So I guess we will need IN-VIS or something.
As for Tardis1963's point about COMMENT, I don't see it. How could anyone mistake what that means if it's next to the title of a story? Why would COMM necessarily be more inteligible than COMMENT. One's a word; the other isn't. And haven't we switched to prefixes that are words? FEATCOM is a nonstarter for me, because it's the same number of letters as COMMENT, and it doesn't parse as a word. Maybe we should just keep PCOM and DCOM, while adding ICOM. Less work for me, and they're as intelligible as anything else.
czechout    07:45: Mon 17 Sep 2012
I'm not meaning to be thick, but...what's wrong with calling the commentaries; which are people talking, audio things AUDCOM? It's a pretty all encompassing term, "audio commentaries" are used everywhere to describe the production makers and others nattering on during show on DVD. Be it podcast based or an audio track of a DVD. Is it just that it's not a complete word?
COMMENT is a word and that's the problem. Comment won't equal commentary for anyone reading it. Comments are things left on blogs etc, comments are made by people. --Tangerineduel / talk 14:26, September 17, 2012 (UTC)
Precisely — it's too all-encompassing. To say AUDCOM: The Unicorn and the Wasp would be ambiguous, since there was a podcast commentary and a commentary on the DVD. This is one of the few cases where prefixes are actually necessary, because it's the only thing which indicates to the reader which item you're citing. Both are audio commentaries, in the sense that you listen to an audio track which is synched to the visual of the televised narrative. This situation is true of most of the RTD era, save for series 1, which didn't have DVD commentaries, and season 2, which recycled the podcast commentaries on the DVD (but gave about six new in-vision commentaries). This is why we currently have PCOM and DCOM.
czechout    14:52: Mon 17 Sep 2012
If there is that many podcast commentaries, perhaps it is better to keep PCOM and DCOM, with COM as a disambig to PCOM, DCOM and COMIC. As for the in-vision commentaries, they could probably just be grouped under one of the above, depending on how they were released. Tardis1963 talk 05:22, September 18, 2012 (UTC)

the problem with DCOM and PCOM as i mentioned earlier is that they are not immediately clear to new readers. heck, i didn't have any idea what they were until a few weeks ago just before i complained that they weren't clear enough and i clicked on them. the thing with these is that although they have to show the difference between the two people must also be able to immediately understand what they are. i prefer PODCOM and DVDCOM because they are at least a bit clearer than PCOM and DCOM. and i don't like COMMENT. i agree with others that it is a word which means something else and shouldn't be used in this context. Imamadmad 06:32, September 18, 2012 (UTC)

Right, sorry CzechOut, totally missed what is kinda obvious.
PODCOM and DVDCOM do make more sense and are closer to our user words idea of prefixes and they're under the 7 letters and DVDCOM can cover the in-vision as well. --Tangerineduel / talk 06:43, September 18, 2012 (UTC)
Nope. we need a separate prefix for in-vision commentary, too. Look at the chart at in-vision commentary. Only season 2 and season 5 have in-vision commentaries on the DVDs. Thus, any IVCOM from another season has a competing DVD audio-only commentary, not to mention a PCOM.
Gridlock and The Sound of Drums have a PCOM, DCOM and an IVCOM. IVCOMs which appeared on the Adventure Calendar did not appear on the DVD, even if the DVD had an IVCOM already. Obviously, Adventure Calendar IVCOMs come out after the relevant DVD release.
By far, the most confusing episode for commentaries is Doomsday. It is a bitch when it comes to figuring out which commentary you're talking about. There's the DVD audio commentary, but it's really the PCOM, because all the audio commentaries on season 2 came from the podcasts. Then there's the Piper/Tennant in-vision commentary on the DVD and the "producer's" IVCOM on the Adventure Calendar. I think for that one, we're just gonna have to invent something crazy like IVCOM (Producers): Doomsday or something.
Anyway, to answer your question TD, no, we can't just use DCOM to mean IVCOM.
czechout    03:26: Wed 19 Sep 2012
And, folks, the length of time needed to explain this situation to the site's other active bureaucrat — a man steeped in DW knowledge — I think shows that it doesn't matter what prefix we use. Commentaries are simply confusing. The average user is still gonna have to click the prefix in this case and get a little more info. As the RTD years begin to fade a bit, the exact details of the commentaries in those days are going to increasingly slip away. PODCOM is no less obscure than PCOM, because people increasingly don't remember the phenomenon of going to iTunes immediately after an episode to download an "official" commentary. People aren't going to respond significantly better to INVISCOM than IVCOM. I say let's keep it short and acknowledge that for these three prefixes it's good that people will have to click through on the prefix so that we can explain what they are. PCOM, DCOM and IVCOM are my preference.
czechout    03:41: Wed 19 Sep 2012
It might seem no less obscure, but at least PODCOM and DVDCOM have somewhat more understandable words in them and brings them a little more in line with our other new prefixes. [[PCOM] and DCOM I still need to stop and think what they are. INVISCOM is better than IVCOM even if it is 8 letters.
Though I do acknowledge people are going to need to click through to get some sort of explanation about what these all mean. --Tangerineduel / talk 07:46, September 19, 2012 (UTC)

Problem with Downtime?

The direct-to-video production Downtime has the prefix PROSE in Lethbridge-Stewart family#Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and her descendants. It isn't a prose story. The current list of prefixes doesn't have anything appropriate to direct-to-video or direct-to-DVD productions. Since there are several of these, a prefix is needed for them. Using PROSE isn't simplifying, it's misleading. If you want to restrict TV to broadcast television only, why not use VIDEO for direct-to-video & direct-to-DVD productions? -- to me 17:04, October 27, 2012 (UTC)
You've already reported this on my talk page. Sorry I didn't respond to you directly, but I've had minimal success responding on IP talk pages like yours.
You're taking a single case and incorrectly extrapolating a general condition. Downtime is generally prefixed HOMEVID, which is the prefix for direct-to-video productions. What happened on the page you've discovered is that the original editor incorrectly marked the citation as DWN: Downtime when they should have done DWN: Downtime (novelisation). Thus, the bot appropriately changed DWN (or possibly MA, since it's nominally a Virgin Missing Adventure) to PROSE. It's not reasonable to program the bot to expect unlikely human errors such as the one you've discovered. The prefix change has been accomplished in a careful way, involving in some cases relatively specific and sophisticated programming — but if an editor chose to blatantly mis-cite a point, the programming wouldn't have been able to detect it.
In other words, there is no problem here. Both the novelisation and the video make the point on display at Lethbridge-Stewart family. All that's required is to manually change the prefix to HOMEVID or the title to Downtime (novelisation), which I've now done. No biggie.
czechout    01:56: Sun 28 Oct 2012
Initially, as you say, I just reported the one instance to you. I reported it because it was a bot edit & (for all I knew) it might have been a more general problem. It was only when you didn't respond that I tried to find out what the prefix ought to have been & found there was nothing appropriate listed. That was when I posted the message above on this page.
Note that I know (& said) there would be no point putting a message on my IP talk page. There was, however, nothing to prevent you responding immediately below my message on your talk page, which is what you did the last time I reported a mistaken bot edit ("enroled" for "enrolled"). I was watching for such a response.
By the way, the same applies to my message about 'Bad English: "one of the only"'. That's not a bot problem but it's something that could perhaps be corrected by bot.
Responding below the message has the additional virtue of making it easier to follow the discussion of a problem, since it's all in one place. (My IP address has changed again.) -- to me 14:02, October 28, 2012 (UTC)
It's a bit of "MediaWiki etiquette" that the standard method of communication is for you to leave a message on my talk page and me to respond on yours. That's why the system naturally alerts you to new messages on your own talk page. I appreciate the argument that the conversation is kept all in one place, but this virtue is trumped by getting a message alert. The conversation may be all in one place according to your method, but it proceeds more quickly if you conform to the standard method. You've made a conscious and deliberate choice not to register an account. Communicating with you is made doubly difficult by the fact that you (by design?) have a massively floating IP address. So how do I, or anyone, know that you — whoever you are — has left a message on my talk page, and that I'm therefore supposed to answer you on my talk page? Nope, I'm not having it. I respond like the software means for me to respond, and I'm not changing that method just because some IP number appears on my page. I'm not entirely sure what the upside of that decision is for you, but the downside is that you may not get a response — or at least that you won't get a timely response. However, this thread isn't about your choices, but the prefix simplification project.
If you want to talk about your grammar puzzler, please go here.
czechout    14:56: Sun 28 Oct 2012


Returning to this issue of commentary prefixes, we seem to have left off at something of an impasse. Some preferred the longer names PODCOM, DVDCOM and INVISCOM, while I argued for the shorter (and largely already extant) PCOM, DCOM and ICOM.

Since it was admitted that people would probably have to click through in the longer names anyway, I'm going to say that the impetus to change the names is not actually great. This is really a case of "ease" deciding a close call. If both are probably gonna confuse newbies, then I say we should go with the thing that's easiest to accomplish. to that end I've added the page ICOM, and say that all current uses can stay where they are.

I should point out, too, that the information at ICOM is actually useful. With TV or COMIC there's not a whole lot of need for people to actually read the page. But with the commentaries, I think it's important, since not everyone will know that there was a podcast series, or that Doomsday has two ICOMs. It's useful to have these commentary prefixes be a little more obscure just so we have a higher chance of exposing our readers to useful information about the nature of commentaries in the Tenth Doctor's era.

Accordingly, Tardis:Prefixes has been overhauled as this project winds its way toward a conclusion.
czechout    03:16: Thu 01 Nov 2012

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