Forum: Reference Library - entries, requests, etc.

Discussing: Standard Categories

Standard Categories

Thank you, Lyllyn for starting this discussion!


Name: Obvious. This already exists inside of the database. Except - not obvious, what about multiple names?

Years: This is trickier than it looks. How do you give years for beings who were born outside of time? Ordinarily, you can enter in a standard number for birth/death and do calculations and such (match them up to events, for example), but no can do with immortals, Valara/Maiar, etc.

Physical Description: OK, is this to be taken verbatim from the books? Or generalized?


Parents: If known or applicable.

Books where mentioned: Given many versions of books, how do we cite them?

There's a big question ==> How do we cite books? This is probably the most important reference point, and is damn difficult with so many versions being produced.

Events: What counts as an event? Only canonical events? Can interpreted events be placed and flagged? Should events be tied to dates so as to enable on the fly timelines of events? Here's a thought - an event may have many people so perhaps events should be independent of characters.

Milestones: perhaps different than events. The Battle of the Pelennor is an event by any consideration - is Denethor's death an event or a milestone?

Just a few stray thoughts.

Ang

 

 

Re: Standard Categories

Some more thoughts...

Names: put most widely known or used as primary name, then list aliases and nicknames. E.g. Galadriel, also known as Altariel, Nerwen, the Lady of the Wood, et al. (Indicate what language the name is in if known?)

Years/Time: Most beings can be pinned down to having been born in a particular Age, at least. Give specific dates (by Age) if known.

Descriptions: I'd say generalize, largely b/c some descriptions might be overly long otherwise.

Books where mentioned: Page numbers are clearly problematic, but chapters should not be. More work for the reader/author trying to track down a particular citation, but also more possible to do regardless of the edition or translation being used.

Cel

 

 

Re: Standard Categories

For events it could be done as a timeline for the characters with less elaborate histories. I'm not sure how a major character like Galadriel or Elrond would be dealt with. Is is more useful to have a simple timeline, or would authors find more use in lists of battles, other events, etc?

I agree with you Cel that we need to use the closest dates possible, whether year or simple age. And chapter citations.

All this is easier for the minor characters. In order to avoid too much work for anyone, the major characters can be broken up into ages.

Ang, if someone came up with a standardized list, how hard would that be to turn into a template? Worth doing?

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Standard Categories

Depends on the data, if it is all in one DB table or in several. Once data handling is made consistent, then it is relatively simple to do.

I would not break the major characters up into ages, however. Keep all data together or people will over look it.

Ang

 

 

Re: Standard Categories

> How do we cite books? This is probably the most important reference point, and is damn difficult with so many versions being produced.

When citing sources for the plant essay, I threw up my hands and just went with book/chapter references. It's clumsy and too general, but at least it's universal.

 

 

Re: Standard Categories

When citing sources for the plant essay, I threw up my hands and just went with book/chapter references. It's clumsy and too general, but at least it's universal.

Agreed, not much choice here.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Standard Categories

And what I suppose is equally, if not more, important than the source of the citation is for the writer to make the reader aware of possible contradictions within the published books. I myself have found this particularly important with characters which only appear and are of importance in the First and Second Age. How do you feel about that?
~Maka

 

 

Re: Standard Categories

And what I suppose is equally, if not more, important than the source of the citation is for the writer to make the reader aware of possible contradictions within the published books. I myself have found this particularly important with characters which only appear and are of importance in the First and Second Age. How do you feel about that?

Agreed. I tried to tackle this a bit in the Glorfindel factsheet, although I didn't get as detailed as I might have.

Perhaps we should add a category 'Contradicions, controversy, and comment.'

Lyllyn

 

 

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