User talk:FrJohn

From OrthodoxWiki
Revision as of 18:09, January 5, 2005 by ASDamick (talk | contribs) (Images)
Jump to: navigation, search

I keep a database of Orthodox web pages, and publish them on my Orthodox Links Page.

Can you give an e-mail addres to add the Orthodox Wiki to the database?

Deacon Stephen

Email sent to you!

I hope you don't mind, Father, but I passed the link to OrthodoxWiki along to some of my seminarian friends and a few others. God willing, there will be a few more contributors soon.

Rdr. Andrew 15:48, 20 Dec 2004 (CST)

That's great news. Thanks again for your contributions! I'm happy also to have someone onboard who has experience with WikiPedia. I hope you don't mind that I've bumped you up to sysop status. FrJohn


Thanks! Now I have to figure out what to do with that.  :)

Rdr. Andrew 21:59, 21 Dec 2004 (CST)

Style Guide

Father, I've started a tentative OrthodoxWiki:Style Guide to govern the writings of articles, especially naming conventions. Perhaps it could somehow eventually be linked to the top of the page when editing is being done.

Rdr. Andrew 10:42, 22 Dec 2004 (CST)


That's great. I noticed you linked to the NPOV page on Wikipedia from your User page there. I think we should also have an explicit statement about this here -- basically I mean that on issues where substantial disagreements exist within or among the Orthodox churches we should adopt a description tone here -- giving reasons for different positions, citing notable figures on different sides, etc. Do you have some idea about how this should be written up?

Also, what do you think would be the most effective content for the front page?

Thanks again for your work! I'm thrilled that things are moving and shaking here :-).

FrJohn 14:42, 22 Dec 2004 (CST)

It's an interesting and somewhat difficult question. On the one hand, we'd probably want to keep things as "neutral" as possible, especially regarding disputes within and involving the Church. However, on the other hand, I think it may be wise to include something of what one might refer to as a "Mainstream Chalcedonian bias" in the project.

That is, especially WRT naming things, I'd prefer if we named an article Church of Alexandria to refer to that patriarchate in communion with your and my bishops, and Church of Alexandria (Coptic) to refer to the Non-Chalcedonian one, rather than Church of Alexandria (Melkite) and Church of Alexandria, respectively. Further, instead of Church of Greece (State Church) (as it might be called by the "True Orthodox"), we'd just use Church of Greece. A lot of these adjectival distinctives are already in use by the groups in question, anyhow (e.g., the Coptic Patriarchate refers to itself as "Coptic Orthodox.")

Additionally, when describing things, while not saying, "So-and-so's church is one of heretics and schismatics," we probably also would not say, "The majority Church of Greece has fallen away from the true faith, which subsists only in the Old Calendarist movement."

Thus, at least as far as naming and some other things are concerned, there would be a certain bias in favor of the mainstream of Chalcedonian Orthodoxy. But why?

I think the possibility for confusion is massive if we don't explicitly set the bias in some way. Additionally, without it, I think we run the risk of drawing ourselves deeply into the controversies themselves. That is, there is going to be some bias, no matter what we do. As such, since the site is run by an OCA priest (yourself), and also because in terms of the rest of the world, the mainstream Chalcedonian position is what is most well-known (thus lending support to the bias in what might be called "definitional usage" terms), I think it's probably wisest to put this sort of bias in place.

That being said, making the bias explicit in the Style Guide would be a must, trying to explain it in as neutral terms as possible, mentioning the reasons and that it is in no way meant as a judgment on dissenting groups or persons. That way, perhaps we could attract as contributors some of the more thoughtful participants in these debates while leaving behind their more shrill brethren.

But all this is subject to your approval and revision.

Regarding the front page, I think we should move the list of things in development elsewhere, perhaps just giving links to major categories of topics. Perhaps a photo or two, especially maybe an automatically rotating one (I have no idea how one would do that). I've noticed that websites with continually changing things on the front page tend to have more frequent visitors, and of course more frequent visitors mean more contributors.

One thing I'd like to develop would be at least a bare-bones fixed-feast liturgical calendar, with entries titled things like November 1 having links to the saints and feasts of the day. Then there also might be a calendar page with links to all the dates.

Rdr. Andrew 09:26, 23 Dec 2004 (CST)

In Reply

Greetings again! I think those are good ideas. I agree about the "mainstream Chalcedonian bias" made (gently) explicit. It would be great if you could just revise what you said, add some general stuff about NPOV and stick it in an appropriately titled style page.

About images, I think that's a good idea too -- easy to implement, providing we find some appropriate ones.

The liturgical calendar shouldn't be impossible. At and other places, there already exists php code to integrate a site in with the calendar on The challenge would be rightly fitting it into the MediaWiki template (I don't think you can put PHP code right into an edited page, right?). I don't have much PHP experience, but I don't think it would be too hard for someone who does. Also, Huw Raphael ( sent me the code he uses for this purpose.

Thanks!! FrJohn 12:24, 23 Dec 2004 (CST)

One more

Father, I've further expanded the OrthodoxWiki:Style Manual if you'd care to take a look. --Rdr. Andrew


Fr. John, I tried to upload an image and use it in an article. All worked just fine until I tried to use the "thumb" tag in the link. At that point, the image failed to show, and there was difficult to make out error information near the top of the page. --Rdr. Andrew

Hi Rdr. Andrew,

Thanks again for your contributions -- Great work! About the image, I have a few ideas about what could be screwy on the server-side. Let me check into them and get back to you. Also, what was the image called? I can see if it's been uploaded successfully. Wishing you a blessed New Year, FrJohn

P.S. Hey, actually, I see you've uploaded lots of images that have worked fine. Is it just one you're having a problem with?

Uploading images is no problem. My difficulty is with using the "thumb" option when incorporating the image into an article. For instance, the following does not work:
[[Image:Theodora.jpg|right|thumb|The Empress St. Theodora, Wife of [[Justinian the Great]]; Mosaic, 6th c., Cathedral of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy]]
...whereas this works fine:
[[Image:Theodora.jpg|right|frame|The Empress St. Theodora, Wife of [[Justinian the Great]]; Mosaic, 6th c., Cathedral of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy]]

I've noticed the same behavior with other images, too.
--Rdr. Andrew

Hi again,

Sorry for the delay. I found out the problem -- When I moved the site to a new server I neglected to install ImageMagick, so the thumbnail function just plain wouldn't function. Anyway, it should be fine now, but let me know if I need to tweak it anymore. Once again I'll say it -- thanks for your work!

FrJohn 23:16, 2 Jan 2005 (CST)

It seems to work just fine now -- thanks! --Rdr. Andrew

News page?

Father, what would you think about having an OrthodoxWiki:News page (protected so that only sysops may add to it)? We could use it to make announcements about major updates and changes, with the newest news at the top, perhaps including a permanent link to Special:Newpages. --Rdr. Andrew