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Half-Life Wiki

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We are leaving

Klow July 11, 2011 User blog:Klow

Update: Our data has been copied to the new server. Any edits made to the wiki right now, including uploaded images, will not be available at the new website. From now on you are free to choose which wiki you will contribute to, since the wiki hosted on Wikia will not be closed and remain as another differently named wiki. Please wait further instructions, and be sure to check our Facebook page for the latest news on the process.

After having spent 5 years on Wikia, Combine OverWiki is leaving to a privately owned host, CombineOverWiki.net, which is ad-free, and with more flexibility.

Feel free to add your two cents in the comment field below, or contact us through combineoverwiki@gmail.com, which is now our official e-mail address.

Introduction

The community is grateful for everything Wikia has provided over the years for free, but its new changes and policies towards wiki communities have made us think for a while about leaving.

We have finally taken action, and are currently working on moving our data to the new host, fixing bugs and setting up convenient skins, the move being scheduled for late 2011 or early 2012 (previously summer then fall, see Valve time), although we have no precise date yet. When the wiki has been moved, you'll be invited to cease editing here, and resume contributing to the new website, where you'll be able to find your account, with your contributions, watchlist and user page unchanged, and resume editing immediately. (see below)

Moving will give us as much as freedom as we want. Total control over our content, over our policies, over the site's design, and we hope more credibility towards the community. I guess most of the protagonists of the Half-Life and Portal universe would agree about our quest of freedom. We also spend too much time and energy trying to revert Wikia's new design changes to what they were (what we consider "good"), and often with unsatisfying, broken results, and we'd rather spend this time and energy on improving our actual content.

Wikia is a for-profit business, who makes money by selling advertising on their wikis. We believe that is wrong for them to make money off of the back of volunteer editors, Valve, and the Half-Life community, who give everything to Wikia for free. Whilst we are not and never will be at war with Wikia, who are perfectly within their rights to make money, they go against our view of the true wiki spirit, which is to create an open source, free and public encylopedia of everything, that anyone can improve, and we feel that it is best to simply cease our relationship with them peacefully.

You can of course continue editing here, since Wikia will not close the wiki. However since we're taking Combine OverWiki's spirit with us, we're taking the name as well, so the Wikia wiki will just return to its original name, "Half-Life Wiki". The new community is then free to come up with the name they want and make whatever they want of the wiki, though we sincerely hope that most editors will agree with our reasons to move and move along with us.

Details of the move

To transfer the wiki's contents, a set of Perl scripts called MediaWikiDumper will be used. These can be used selectively to transfer most of the wiki. The following will be dumped and then reinstalled on the new wiki:

  • All current page text, including talk and user pages (there are over 21,000 pages; this takes the longest)
  • Revision history for every page with revision page text and summaries
  • All current images (deleted images will not be copied)
  • Page attributions, such as editor restrictions
  • User accounts, with contributions and watchlist (note that you will not be able to login again immediately - see below)
  • Interwiki links table

Once these are copied over, the wiki should function much as it did before. However, some changes will be made to remove any custom Wikia content, CSS edits and whatnot that are debris from the old skin.

All pages will be intact, with all thumbnails in place.

Resuming editing

Once the wiki has been opened for editing, you can resume immediately. However, you will have to register a new account temporarily. Accounts from the old wiki will be transferred intact but with random passwords, making it impossible to login. Passwords cannot be transferred because they are encrypted.

To resume editing under your old account name, and thus get your user page and contributions back, you will need to first prove your identity. To do this, it is recommended you go to Special:Emailuser/Bramblepath and send an e-mail with your new username (the one you registered on the new wiki) and your old username.

An admin will then first merge your old account into your new account, moving all contribution history, etc., and then rename the new account into your old account name, using two plugins. You can then login to the new wiki using your old username and the password you registered your new account with.

Whilst this system is not ideal, after much troubleshooting it seems to be the only option.

Skins

One of the primary reasons for the move is the current Wikia skin used on the wiki (Oasis). However, on the new wiki this skin will not be available. The default skin will be a customized version of the current Wikipedia skin, Vector.

The old Monaco skin will also be available, and we plan to implement several other game-themed Vector skins which can be chosen from. Any help with creating these skins would be appreciated, and if there are any suggestions for other skins, feel free to offer them up.

Licensing and legality

The current Wikia license is Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0), requiring that all original authors be credited for their work and forbidding us to change it. By copying page history to the new wiki, this ensures that all original authors are given credit, and so conforms to the license.

Donations

We welcome you to make donations to the cost of the wiki's hosting. We will make available a donation button in the future for this.

Because the new wiki will not have any advertisements, donations will be the sole source of money to keep the wiki running. Yeah, freedom comes with a price.

Klow and Bramblepath for Combine OverWiki.

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