Intended purpose of this page: history or privacy
It has been brought up in #wiki-discussion that there is a conflict of interest in the purpose of the Mods page. I would like to recount what was discussed, and use this for all future conversation on the issue.
Battlepedia's primary intended purpose has always been to document the game in a factual, non-biased manner. Meta:About kind of states this, but in hindsight, the wording could be better. I apologise if I have accidentally misled any of the community due to omission of the intent behind this wiki. There are other hubs and resources such as https://bfbb.site/ that aim to bring exposure to the community and the game, whose intentions include stating what is currently going on with the game, giving the spotlight to content creators, and the like.
Battlepedia is not a showcase, and I'd like to keep it that way. I would like the game to gain interest and popularity through the content on this wiki, but I want to do so by means of documenting the game, from a casual standpoint, a speedrunning one, a technical one, a historical one. And so my intent with allowing the Mods page to exist, would be that it is a full, factual recount of any published mods made for BFBB.
Currently, others in the community do not see the Mods page in this light. There is debate on whether to allow redactions to the mod list for people who want the collective conscious to "forget" their project ever existed. I feel that this is disingenuine to the goal of documenting the game, in full.
If I am going to allow a list of mods here, I want it to be solely in an informative context: that includes the possibility of documenting the history of mods (and of modding in general) as a timeline, documenting all published projects. But so far, it seems to be treated as an entirely voluntary list. People are proposing that only the mod author can list their mod on the page, and that their wish should be respected to redact information about their mod, should they wish to discontinue it. While, personally, I would propose to have a "Discontinued mods" section, below a "Current mods" one, where we would move dead mods that are no longer being distributed.
Another concern brought up is that since this page is public, it can be freely scraped, and the contents of download links can be trivially mirrored. Mod creators *must* be open to this possibility. It is not in my control whether this happens. As such, I do not believe it is safe to include download links here, in any fashion, if mod creators cannot accept the risk of this happening.
Just as a disclaimer, such scraping and/or mirroring can and will happen regardless whether Battlepedia hosts it, as long as a user publishes their mod and shares the link. So, regardless of the policies on this wiki, you have to accept that risk, or not share your mod at all. But that is your call, whether you see the argument this way. I only want not to be held liable for hosting links to copyrighted works, if the authors of those works object to having it on this wiki. And I have no interest in maintaining a partial list full of redactions and omissions; to me this is an all-or-nothing deal. Either have links to content, or don't. Either have mods listed, or don't.
Being a content creator myself, I am not interested in fostering a "safe space" for content creators. Anyone who publishes their work online must be wary of the possibility that their work may be accessed, mirrored (locally or on other sites / filesharing platforms), publicised, praised, ridiculed—whatever. I have uploaded music and media, published writings on my blog and on other places, that I know I cannot take back, and I am fine with that. Some of it I'd rather not have up anymore, but that isn't my call to make. I am not trying to "harm" content creators with my reasoning; I simply think it is infeasible to expect that sharing mods would not have these repercussions.
So, TL;DR: until there is a final decision on this debate, I urge users not to add new mods to this page. In the near future, I anticipate doing one of the following:
- Modifying the Mods page so that it does not have any lists of mods, redacting all revision history for this page on the grounds of copyright claim, and pointing to bfbb.site or another resource that does have the stated goal of spotlighting mods, rather than describing them impartially;
- Agreeing with the larger community that the Mods page should be an entire recap of published mods, without links to said mods; or
- As above, but keeping links to current revision of the mod, or the mod's information page or Git repo.
Initially this debate spawned out of my desire to mirror the mod files onto this wiki so that we do not have to entrust third-party hosts to stay alive. Mirroring has its own share of concerns, though, which I was made aware of after discussing the issue. So, for now, let us not even approach that issue, until we have resolved the issue above.
In the meantime, I should clearly state the wiki's goals on the About page (or, well, it's free to edit too). As I said, I want this wiki to be full of casual gameplay information, trivia, easter eggs, speedrunning and TAS strats, technical information—no stone unturned with the game. As well, I'd love to have us cover the history of this game and its community, such as speedrunning timelines, modding timelines, important milestones and events. A lot of resources do this, and the first example that comes to my head is SSBWiki, where it covers not only the gameplay elements, but also higher-level gameplay, information and bios about Smashers, et cetera. I'd like to model what SSBWiki is doing and have that for Battlepedia. wowaname # C 04:36, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
- The Mods page is meant to be a historical and informative list of mods, but it should not be the wiki's task to enforce availability of any mod in it. Of course, any kind of work posted online has the risk of ending up copied and redistributed, but on regards of these mods, it should not be the wiki's task to allow or disallow this practice, much less enforce it. Mod authors should be allowed to post their mods on whichever host they wish, and we can encourage them to do so on the wiki on the grounds of preventing dead links and lost files that can happen by using other hosts, but not force them. We have not had mods removed from the list in the past, but authors should be allowed to if they wish. The mod will still be in the page's history, for any needed archiving purposes. The wiki needs to be informative, but as part of a greater community, it should also be a safe space for members. This is a community-oriented space and, and as an influential community member, I say the Mods page needs no change on its current structure/purpose and removing mods from it should be allowed in case it ever comes to that. Igorseabra4 (talk) 05:02, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
- For the purpose of this discussion, I would like to avoid the topic of mirroring or hosting mod files. This is about the contents of the Mods page itself.
- The mod will still be in the page's history, for any needed archiving purposes.
- So, I do not see the reason to remove mods from the list at all.
- as an influential community member
- Social standing is irrelevant to this discussion. Please avoid appeals to that. I want us to gauge the general interest, which is why I'm having this discussion at all rather than saying "case closed, this is how the page is going to work from now on". wowaname # C 05:09, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
- "I want us to gauge the general interest, which is why I'm having this discussion at all rather than saying "case closed, this is how the page is going to work from now on"."
- That's exactly what you're doing. You gave a list of 3 possibilities, all different from keeping the page the way it is operating right now. Igorseabra4 (talk) 05:19, 11 August 2020 (UTC)
- Because the way that people propose the article to currently operate go against the goal of the wiki. Either have a full list of published mods or don't have a list at all. I'm beginning to move that the list format is not appropriate at all and leads people to think that this is some sort of free advertising for their mods. It is not. It never was. wowaname # C 01:45, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
- Also, I'm going to go out and say it. You are not entering this discussion in good faith. I am urging people to come up with reasons to prove why the page should be maintained in a way that opposes my belief, yet I have not heard of good argumentation that holds up. And you're resorting to non-arguments such as "I have influence" and "you're a pushover". Please fuck off with that shit; I will not be debating with that type of attitude. wowaname # C 01:54, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
- Another thing to note. The larger BFBB community revolves around the game, not around individuals. Not around me, not around you, not around SHiFT. I think people forget this because the community has grown unnaturally, a small core of people having to carry the weight of the game, in order to grow it to where it is today. Now that it's big, there's going to be a lot of resources and personalities spinning up around it, and none of them are going to have "the say" on how the other resources and personalities operate.
- I've said: I think bfbb.site is better suited for a mod listing, for the purpose of exposure rather than recount. That's okay. I'm not trying to silence anyone, I'm not trying to be a pushover, I just genuinely believe such a list does not belong here. And I'm more than willing to give suggestions on alternative places, to help migrate to a better place that can be used as a spotlight.
- As an analogy, igor, nobody's demanding you how to develop IP. People can suggest things, but in the end it's up to you to write your own software. (And if you currently take all demands, I suggest you not, because free software quickly gets tiring when it feels more like a task than a thing you enjoy doing.) If someone "in high standing in the BFBB community" (as you say) told you to add a feature that you didn't want, I guarantee you would not want to do it. That's how this wiki is: it is not run by influence. I run it, and if I really want to, I can push my weight around, lock a page I don't like, and call it a day. I am fully justified. I just don't do that because I know it's a dick move, and I want to discuss these issues before making rash decisions. You seem to be taking me less-charitably, perhaps you have had negative experience with other communities who don't communicate, but don't conflate that with my own actions. I want to help provide a platform, out of my own interest, but I have lines I draw, lest I want to be trampled upon and get tired of hosting this wiki. wowaname # C 22:57, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
Another thing that was brought up in chat (well, I brought it up) is that we could omit the mod list entirely and only create full articles about notable or major mods. This might be a better format for the wiki in general, anyway. wowaname # C 05:09, 11 August 2020 (UTC)