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The Victoria Cross Reference is migrating its content to Wikipedia - you can help   [ what's done | what needs to be done ]
Message ForumVC Reference - Wikipedia Migration Project  

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Mike Chapman

Joined: 24 Apr 1998
Location: Rye, England
Total posts: 82

Sun 27 Jun 2004 10:02

What’s the problem?



Since 1997 many people have provided information and photos for inclusion on this site, far exceeding any possible expectation I may have had.

Despite my best efforts it has become clear that due to changing circumstances I simply cannot find the time (and am never likely to) to either update the site with this information or modify the site so that members can carry this out themselves - despite several development starts. Commercial or open-source alternative site software has always seemed to have had issues of a financial, technical, or functional nature that have prevented their implementation.

There is now a considerable backlog of information / photos, etc. to add.

My key aims with this site were:

  • To provide as much detail on every VC award as possible.
  • To allow visitors to easily find the information, hence all the indexes, and be able to easily jump from page to page and explore.
  • To act as a focal point for Victoria Cross-related information both added to and linked from the site and to allow visitors to add/update this information.
  • To foster a community spirit with interactive elements such as the Message Forum.
  • It was also always in my mind to be able to provide information at a much wider level surrounding the awards – background to the campaigns and such.


And a solution?



There is an online encyclopaedia called Wikipedia ( http://www.wikipedia.com ) that allows anyone to create and maintain articles. It has been around for a number of years and has a huge active community of people. The text of the articles are very easily formatted, changed, linked to both internal references and external site links, and can include uploaded images. It also features a full version history when changes are made.

So, after much thought and investigation into other options over the last few months, I believe the solution is to migrate all the Victoria Cross information on this site to Wikipedia. There was already a general Victoria Cross article page on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Cross that I have modified.

The important point to remember is how fast and easy it is for anyone to update. It has very comprehensive help ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Contents and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Topical_index ) and also see the following two Wikipedia pages for details on the pros and cons of such a "Wiki" system:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Why_Wikipedia_is_so_great
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Why_Wikipedia_is_not_so_great

So how will this migration work?



I have now setup a Victoria Cross Reference project page on Wikipedia (known as a WikiProject) which provides full details on how the information on this site can be migrated: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Victoria_Cross_Reference_Migration

(To quote from Wikipedia: "A WikiProject is a page resource devoted to the management of a specific family of information within the Wikipedia. It is not a place for information, it is a resource about that information: how it should be formatted, what should be included etc. The attached talk pages also provide a convenient meeting point for those interested in a particular project.")

Here’s a summary:



Registered members will now see a new block at the top of all recipient pages which shows an auto-generated Wikipedia-styled and formatted version of that page. A link can be clicked on to go to that recipient’s (blank) page on Wikipedia and the text simply copy and pasted into it.

Some extra formatting may be required, especially for pages which have had extra information added to them, and photos may need to be uploaded to Wikipedia. These details are noted on the recipient pages.

Although there is no requirement I would recommend that members who are willing to help migrate this information log in/register on the Wikipedia site so that page changes can easily be attributed. For more details see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Why_create_an_account?.

Once a recipient’s page has been created on Wikipedia the member should use the button on this site’s page to mark it as migrated. Thereafter a link to the Wikipedia page is shown on this site rather than the content.

Pages that have been migrated are marked as such in all the recipient indexes throughout this site.

General site information pages such as The Medal, Stats and Unusual VCs can easily be added (and of course edited).

I have been sent a great deal of electronic information (text and photos) from people for addition to the site. For the reasons already stated at the beginning I won’t be able to add this myself and although I plan to send an email out to those people notifying them that they will now be able to update the pages themselves I expect a lot of emails not to get though as the people may have changed address. I am open to suggestions on how to proceed.

What about all the indexes?



The indexes have proved very popular and so I have created recipient lists (as indexes are known on Wikipedia) for Name, Campaign, Nationality, and Living Recipients indexes. They are linked from the main Wikipedia Victoria Cross page.

What’s going to be different?



The Wikipedia recipient articles are formatted in a more paragraph-styled fashion which lends itself to an encyclopaedia article rather than the list-like facts as now. They also tend to have a References section rather than text indicating where people have submitted information on the page. I have created several recipient pages already - under the Name index A.

The Message Forum here can remain for the time being – although Wikipedia has what it calls Discussion/Talk Pages associated with every article (help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Talk_page ) they prefer this to be for discussions related to the article (improving it for example) rather than questions about the subject. This can certainly be looked into.

What’s New? - one useful feature for logged-in Wikipedia user’s are watch pages which allows you to easily see when pages you are interested in have been updated (as well as the Talk pages above): http://meta.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki_User's_Guide:_Using_the_Watchlist

Searchhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Searching

What’s going to be missing?



I was not planning on creating indexes for Unit, Rank, Location of Deed, VCs Publicly Displayed, and Books. We should try and look into a way of automatically showing a list of Wikipedia pages based on some text which appears on those recipient pages – this would then allow a list to be added to an existing location in the encyclopaedia. Categories may be the route. For the recipient lists that have been created there are no sort options (such as by date or location of deed).

I feel the Relatives Register details should be added to each Wikipedia recipient’s Talk page – although this may be frowned upon by the Wikipedia community. I think they are for discussion of the article itself but perhaps a section detailing the contact details for relatives willing to provide further information will be fine. An email will go out to them letting them know of the migration project. Many will not have valid email addresses.

The Guestbook and On This Day are probably not necessary...

And finally...



At this time of the 150th Anniversary of the first VC I hope that those active members of the Victoria Cross Reference’s community will embrace this project and its aims. I am very pleased that the information will not only continue to be available but can be greatly expanded and built upon by a much wider group of contributors, both now and into the future.

Regards,
-Mike Chapman
 
Bart Versieck

Joined: 3 Apr 2004
Location: Ekeren-Donk, Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium
Total posts: 244

Mon 28 Jun 2004 04:04

I wish you good luck!!!
 
Ed Haynes

Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Location: Earth
Total posts: 26

Mon 28 Jun 2004 15:00

And let us all help, as we can.

Ed Haynes
 
Bart Versieck

Joined: 3 Apr 2004
Location: Ekeren-Donk, Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium
Total posts: 244

Mon 28 Jun 2004 15:19

Deal!!!
 
Dawn Street

Joined: 5 Apr 2004
Location: Watford, Hertfordshire, England
Total posts: 1

Thu 1 Jul 2004 12:10

Thank you Mike for all your excellent work, and for setting up the Victoria Cross Reference project page on Wikipedia. I would echo Ed Haynes comment that we all please help to carry on Mike's project.
 
Bart Versieck

Joined: 3 Apr 2004
Location: Ekeren-Donk, Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium
Total posts: 244

Thu 1 Jul 2004 12:25

Agreement!!!
 
Anthony Staunton

Joined: 7 Jul 1998
Location: Canberra, Australia
Total posts: 297

Thu 22 Jul 2004 03:06

Mike

I am pleased to be able to assist and have just migrated Thomas Arthur and Peter Badcoe. Three of the four external links for Badcoe are down. I will see if I the links are still live before deleting the three broken links.

What about references. They also need pages - do you have ideas or should I use my own initative?

I would also recommend that Symbol of Courage by Max Arthur be added to all biographies.

Anthony
 
muftimian

Joined: 25 Jul 2004
Location: pakistan
Total posts: 1

Sun 25 Jul 2004 01:49

hello my dear!
hope have good time,i registerd my self with VC SIGHT,
I WANTED TO GIVE INFORMATION REGARDING THE VICTORIA CROSS OF SUBEDAR RAM SARUP SINGH.SINCE HE WAS FROM MY REGIMENT I HAVE A PIC OF HIS WIDOW RECIEVING THE VICTORIA CROSS FROM LORD WAVELL ESCORTED BY LIEUT COLONEL APPLEBY, D.S.O.
I ALSO HAVE PIC OR SKITCH OF HIS ACTION .HOW AND WHERE TO SEND.
THANKS WAITING FOR THE REPLY
 
j.p.robertson

Joined: 16 Aug 2004
Location: Dundee Tayside Scotland
Total posts: 2

Mon 16 Aug 2004 17:37

Mike Thank you for all the work you have put in especially the register of holders of the Victoria Cross. My great uncle John MACKENZIE,(not Mckenzie)as listed won his VC
at Dompoassi in the Ashantee campaign. He went on to fight in the first world war where he was killed at Festubert-the battle of Loos in May 1915.His VC is in the Museum at Fort George,Inverness shire. At the time of his award he was a Sergeant in the 2nd Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders.
My great uncle is buried in the Guards Cemetry,Windy Corner,
Cuinchy,France. ALESTAIR.
 
Anthony Staunton

Joined: 7 Jul 1998
Location: Canberra, Australia
Total posts: 297

Mon 16 Aug 2004 20:04

ALESTAIR

I am not sure what went wrong with the migration but Mike's design is pretty robust and I unmigrated the entry and then did it again. If you click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_MacKenzie you will find the entry.

Regards.

Anthony Staunton
 
Brian Seward MMM.CD

Joined: 2 Nov 2003
Location: North Vancouver BC
Total posts: 212

Mon 30 Aug 2004 00:32

I have it on good information, that Sgt James Allen Ward's
Victoria Cross is in the 75 Sqn Museum held in trust. A duplicate set is in the Museum whlie the originals are in a safe deposit,
 
Peter Warrington

Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Location: London & Spain
Total posts: 1

Wed 17 Nov 2004 08:43

Mike

I've just discovered the migration project and it's right up my street, being a military history nut and an avid 'number cruncher'.

I've migrated half a dozen so far, but I'm having a problem with the images. How do I get them onto the relevant 'recipient page'? At the moment when I upload the image goes onto it's own 'Image' page, and, try as I may, I can't find a way to get them where they should be. Can you help?

Great project which I am delighted to help with,

Yours Ay
 
Ian Ruxton

Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Location: Japan (since 1988)
Total posts: 18

Mon 22 Nov 2004 20:29

Hi Peter

Maybe someone has already helped you out, but if not please take a look at my Duncan Gordon Boyes page on wikipedia. I have three images on the recipient's page and all you need do is look at the edit to see how to do it and copy that method for the recipients you are working on. (Please don't edit the Boyes page though!)

I hope this helps

Ian
 
Alex Knight, CD

Joined: 19 Oct 2001
Location: Langley, BC, Canada
Total posts: 52

Mon 6 Dec 2004 16:47

I too am perplexed as to how to upload and add an image to a page. I had a look at the Duncan Gordon Boyes page and I think I can get the Image added to the page o.k. ...... but I can't for the life of me find out how to upload the .jpg image to Wikipedia ...? I upload to my own websites constantly using a FTP program, I may be having a mental block when it comes to getting the image to Wikipedia. Can anyone assist me ..? You can email me or put it here. I would appreciate any help to overcome this 'seniors moment' that won't clear ..!! Thanks.
 
Ian Ruxton

Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Location: Japan (since 1988)
Total posts: 18

Sat 11 Dec 2004 03:27

Alex

When logged in to wikipedia click on "upload file" in the left margin and take it from there.

Ian
 
Ian Ruxton

Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Location: Japan (since 1988)
Total posts: 18

Sat 11 Dec 2004 03:29

P.S. After you have uploaded the image, you need to refer to it in the main recipient's text, something like [[Image:NameofImage.jpg]] from memory. This is the point at which looking at the Bpyes page will help you. But first you have to upload the file!
 
Alex Knight, CD

Joined: 19 Oct 2001
Location: Langley, BC, Canada
Total posts: 52

Sun 12 Dec 2004 12:45

Ian - thanks again for the information here and on my other message about uploading and adding pictures. Appreciated.
 
DUBOIS

Joined: 27 Oct 2003
Location: Valenciennes France
Total posts: 4

Mon 27 Dec 2004 15:31

Hi,
I'm living in vvlenciennes ( France) and working on the life of Hugh Cairns an his VC for his courage on 1918 november 2d,
The pges have migrated toward wikipedia ( beuark !, it's my opinion) is it possible have the las original pages of this site, it was 1000xbetter !!!
Alain
alain.dubois@univ-valenciennes.fr ( university is on the Mont Houy)
 
DUBOIS

Joined: 27 Oct 2003
Location: Valenciennes France
Total posts: 4

Mon 27 Dec 2004 15:31

Hi,
I'm living in Valenciennes (France) and working on the life of Hugh Cairns an his VC for his courage on 1918 november 2.
The pages have migrated toward wikipedia ( beuark !, it's my opinion) is it possible have the las original pages of this site, it was 1000xbetter !!!
Alain
alain.dubois@univ-valenciennes.fr ( university is on the Mont Houy)
 
Alexandra Clarke

Joined: 21 Jan 2005
Location: Harrogate
Total posts: 1

Fri 21 Jan 2005 10:21

Is it possible to verify a family rumour that our relative, Colonel Roddy (VC indian Mutiny) was actually awarded a second one later, commuted to cash to help support his unmarried sisters? Would love some help on where to look next! My grandmother, Georgina Roddy, was his grand-daughter.
Alexandra Clarke
alexiclarke@aol.com
 
Hugh Bomford

Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Location: New Zealand
Total posts: 1

Sun 13 Feb 2005 17:33

Great website and project. As a great grandson of a VC holder I fully approve of the collection and protection of the history.

One problem....... I find the font used on the Wikipedia pages almost unreadable. This is a big shame - can it be changed to something easier on the eye? What does anyone else think?

I hope that I can soon register to help with the migration project

Cheers
Hugh Bomford
New Zealand
 
alestair gibson

Joined: 9 Sep 2004
Location: I live in Dundee
Total posts: 1

Mon 11 Jul 2005 10:37

I refer to the above entry dated 16th August 2004, where I am referred to as J.P. ROBERTSON looking for any relatives of my great uncle John MacKenzie V.C. There has been some
error. My name is Alestair Gibson and I am a registered member. This has only came to light when I received an E-Mail from Peter MacKenzie, the grandson of John MacKenzie,
but was addressed to J.P.Robertson Thank you Alestair
 
Alan Sharkey

Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Location: Hampton in Arden
Total posts: 215

Sun 18 Sep 2005 00:27

I have to say that I do not find the Wikipedia entries very user friendly (to read or to amend - which I have found almost impossible). Sometimes the default is to someone else of the same name, and when comparing the entries with say the GC site they just do not seem as good. Unless it is just my imagination, there seems to far less information on the Wikipedia pages. But what a huge disappointment!

Rereading Mike Chapman's original note, it seems that the intention was to migrate absolutley everything and abandon this site? Everything else seems to work, for example it is still possible to add people to the 'nearest relatives' lists and the message forum still works although not as well used anymore.

It would be very helpful for Mike Chapman, or someone equally authoritative, to give an update on where we are now, what works and what doesn't, and we go from here.

Dare I ask if there is any way back to the wonderful site this once was?