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Forum:Canon scale

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I had an idea, what if we created some sort of scale, like 1-5 or 1-10 or something that would specify how canonical (?) an article is considered. Just something to help people identify how scholars view the character/thing. --Hyarion 10:49 2006 (EST)

I don't think one can make a "scale of canonicity". The question of 'canon' or 'non-canon' is far too cmplicated and individualistic I think. One could make a list like 'published', 'postumously published', 'early idea, later discarded', 'late writing', and the like, I guess, with the reader him/herself deciding on canonicity. --Earendilyon 15:24, 5 March 2006 (EST)
You're probably right. But I think even works like The Lord of the Rings aren't perfect. For example in the latest edition Aiglos was changed to Aeglos. In my opinion Aeglos would be considered more canon even though it was altered after J.R.R. Tolkien's death. I guess as long as we specify what makes the character/item/etc canon or non-canon then that would be sufficient. --Hyarion 15:32, 5 March 2006 (EST)
We could add Notes on Canonicity at the end of certain articles, if we think that's necessary, with arguments pro and con its (non)canonicity. --Earendilyon 15:47, 5 March 2006 (EST)
Hi, new user. I wrote a note on Talk:Glorfindel anonymously questioning why this encyclopedia has Orodreth as Gil-galad's father, yet insists on having two Glorfindels. Rog 22:37, 15 August 2006 (EDT)
Hey there Rog, glad to have you aboard. Canon is a very difficult issue in the world of Arda, and even more difficult when trying to create 'factual' entries. While some encyclopedias (EoA for instance) prefer to leave out items which are strictly not canon, at TG we'd prefer to include the content while stating the reader be aware that the content is not considered factual by some people. This allows the visitor to make up their own mind as to what should be considered canon, our goal is to be as neutral as possible. Since we are still just a rather small tight group the views on Orodreth and Glorfindels may change in the future and are by no means set in stone. Hope to see you around more often --Hyarion 23:10, 15 August 2006 (EDT)

[edit] Canon Scale

Recently, on several other talk pages or forum pages, the idea of a canon scale has been brought up again. I've composed a working scale for the time being. I can upload graphics for it, but I wanted input first.

  • 5 – This is the highest mark on the canon scale, indicating no objections and absolute assurance of accuracy. Only The Lord of the Rings is placed here.
  • 4 – This rating means that it is generally considered Canon, and is taken as such by most. Articles in this category are not contradicted in a later writing. Subjects rating “4” will be written as fact in the articles, and any objections written on the main page for that article. This includes The Hobbit, as well as later writings such as The Shibboleth of Fëanor and others found in The Peoples of Middle-earth.
  • 3 – This rating simply means canon except where contradicted elsewhere. It is a neutral. The Silmarillion as a whole falls into this category. Individual parts of the Silmarillion that are not contradicted elsewhere are 4s; those contradicted later are 2s.
  • 2 – This rating means generally not accepted as canon. On subjects as a whole (such as The Fall of Gondolin), it means that the details should not be accepted as solid fact, even where not contradicted elsewhere. This mostly is composed of Tolkien’s earlier writings. Found in this category would be such articles as Orcobal.
  • 1 – This rating means noncanon; thoroughly contradicted elsewhere. This rating will be often composed of articles taken from subjects as a whole rated 2 or 3. Articles such as this would be Iolo Boffin or Tevildo.
  • 0 – This rating refers to characters or things from extra-Tolkien sources, such as film adaptations or RPG games.

Tell me what you think. --Narfil Palùrfalas 16:51, 21 June 2007 (EDT)

I like it. Where do you think we should put this level on the article and what do you think the category name should be? --Hyarion 17:08, 21 June 2007 (EDT)
Do we need to have categories for the various canon levels? If so, I'd say Category:Canon-5 or so. For where the graphics bar would go. . . I've been thinking about that. I think the best place would be upper left. The "Contents" thing might get in the way in larger articles, though. I'm going to upload the graphics and experiment with them. We can delete them later if we want. --Narfil Palùrfalas 17:23, 21 June 2007 (EDT)
Experimenting with the preview mode, I think it looks best at the upper left between 25-40px depending on the article. If you want I can convert it to horizontal (which would enable us to add a space for it in the infoboxes, but also pretty much relegate it to the bottom of the article). --Narfil Palùrfalas 17:32, 21 June 2007 (EDT)
I really like the images, my only concern is the size of them. I'd like to be able to implement it into the infoboxes or maybe add the image to the bottom of the articles or somewhere which doesn't push the text farther down or to the left in consideration for our smaller resolution monitor friends. Horizontal with a line in the infobox would probably be our best shot. Great work! --Hyarion 17:40, 21 June 2007 (EDT)
I probably shouldn't have uploaded all six of the canon scale images. You can delete them when you like. Before you do, however, do you have any other recommendations (colors, etc.)? I'll change them to horizontals and shrink them down to 250px wide (the minimum size of the infoboxes). --Narfil Palùrfalas 17:49, 21 June 2007 (EDT)
I re-uploaded the Scale. The Noldor template is temporarily hosting a canon section that will be removed shortly. I set up an example in the Sandbox for your viewing pleasure. Tell me what you think. --Narfil Palùrfalas 22:02, 21 June 2007 (EDT)
On second thought - I'm going to bed, so after you've seen it, Hyarion, go ahead and revert the change to the infobox. I probably should have copy-pasted the whole source. --Narfil Palùrfalas 22:04, 21 June 2007 (EDT)
Great work! I really like it, it fits in pretty well. My only two thoughts now are color and size. It almost seems too colorful, but I can't make any suggestions because we don't really have a main color scheme here at TG, so for now I think it will be fine. The size is pretty big, and I wonder if it is almost too big for the importance it has, we almost don't want to draw that much attention to it. However since any new size would have the same width, all we would have to do is upload a new image with less height (and different colors) and we would be set, so nothing is holding us back from implementing this. Awesome job. --Hyarion 00:15, 22 June 2007 (EDT)

I can reduce the height some. That might also reduce the distraction of the colors somewhat. Another option might be alternating green and white, or green and red. Anyway, do you think alternating colors would be better than a color scale? --Narfil Palùrfalas 08:32, 22 June 2007 (EDT)

I definitely don't like alternating colors, after experimenting. Overall I'd say the multi-color scheme looks the best, but is too distracting. Here's a comparison:

Narfil Palùrfalas - Canon Scale - 1.jpg Narfil Palùrfalas - Canon Scale - 0.jpg

Tell me what you think. --Narfil Palùrfalas 15:10, 22 June 2007 (EDT)
I definitely like the new green one you uploaded, it's not so flashy but still conveys the same information. Nice job. I was thinking, on a lot of articles we have "Other versions of the legendarium" so should we have another scale down there since it is possible multiple levels of canon will be used in one article? That might be too many scales, maybe just sticking with one is best. Also I'm not sure what the Extra-Tolkien means, maybe on each side we should say "Canon" then "Noncanon" though that'll probably get in the way of the arrow. We could probably just have the image be a link people can click on if they are confused as to the meaning. --Hyarion 15:18, 22 June 2007 (EDT)
Extra-Tolkien was bad word choice. 0 on the scale means from Adaptions or RPGs or the like. I don't know about just having Canon-Uncanon/Noncanon. Would we put nothing down on a 3? Other versions of the legendarium generally contradicts the information found in the main article, so I don't think a scale would be neccessary. There's also often more than one bit of variation in those sections. After your response, I'm going to try and upload the rest in the new color scheme/size. Any other suggestions? --Narfil Palùrfalas 15:42, 22 June 2007 (EDT)
I just changed the experimental infobox so that the new version is in the one on the Sandbox. Also, I've placed it down at the bottom instead. I think I prefer the scale just below the name and image, actually. --Narfil Palùrfalas 15:46, 22 June 2007 (EDT)
I'm just going to state here and now why I believe articles on the scale that are 3s, 4s, and 5s should be stated as fact in the articles: clarity. Objections should be voiced below or in a different article if there is the need. Wikipedia's Tolkien articles (see their Galadriel article and biography section, for instance) are often cluttered with whether or not this or that is accepted as canon. In my opinion, the biographies should be kept clean of that, to make them more readable. No need for anyone to respond, just voicing the reasons so I won't be asked later. --Narfil Palùrfalas 06:29, 23 June 2007 (EDT)
The application of the notion of a canon scale is more complicated than i first thought at a glance. It's pretty obvious that we should make the main biographies of characters, items and locations as canonical as possible and so from that point of view the notion of a scale only really is applicable to older or debatable conceptions. In the 'dictionary' format which Hyarion has described to me as the current thrust where every different version is treated as a separate entity the canon scale has more applicability than it would to the wikipedia format where it (sometimes quite bluntly) shoots down all alternatives in a section at the bottom of the page. I think there's a happy medium and from that point of view i sympathise with Earendylion's standpoint that we shouldnt lock it down to something as simplistic as a scale but should rather face canonicity head-on, analysing the individual aspects of it in the fullness of their complication (the canon scale might be good as a stop-gap until we get round to doing that for every nessercary article). While i was originally in favour of the notion therefore i have to say i think it steps over the line of 'make it as simple as possible but no simpler'. Dr Death 10:23, 23 June 2007 (EDT)

I have uploaded what looks like the final draft of the canon scale. All I need now is permission to add spaces for it on infoboxes. --Narfil Palùrfalas 12:56, 5 July 2007 (EDT)