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I'll get the ball rolling on this, since other articles were changed to reflect the changes to the year articles, including the current AOTW. While I haven't looked over every change that was made, the changes from 2375 to 2376 seemed reasonable; thoughts everyone? - Archduk3:talk 16:20, October 22, 2009 (UTC)

Yep, several...
First, I think Shran was right to finally put a stop to even more date changes without any central discussion about it. Widespread changes like these need to be discussed, or else they might end up in some big edit war.
Second, these changes were made by one contributor - I'm not trying to single him out, but the list of contributions still show some unreverted changes. We need to make sure that the database is in a consistent state, so the other changes will need to be reverted, too, or the revert already done need to be rolled back. List of contributions: [1], [2].
Third, there has been some initial discussion on Talk:2376 already.
Fourth, and to the point. The 2375/2376 changes seem to make sense, as indicated on that talk page. However, as was correctly pointed out, in many cases there's just one speculation being replaced with another one - we should find something that isn't speculation at all, instead. Also, several of the other changes haven't been discussed at all, yet, and some of them were already criticized (for example the change from a chronological episode listing to one separating different series). -- Cid Highwind 17:08, October 22, 2009 (UTC)

I don't disagree with any point you made, and I don't have any issue with changing back the dates on any article I changed to remain consistent with the date articles. This forum was created to have a central discussion on this, since this covers multiple pages (I thought a forum would be better than having multiple discussions on the talk pages). I don't really mind where the year breaks are, I just want some date agreed upon for the episodes so I can get back to my own "pet projects" (which cause enough trouble as is). - Archduk3:talk 17:39, October 22, 2009 (UTC)

I agree with leaving the date changes, they DO make sense, actually more sense then the old ones. --Nero210 20:24, October 22, 2009 (UTC)
For the record, if the decision is to keep the changes made by Nero210, they can all be easily reverted. So, Nero, don't get angry, mate. :) As for my own input, if the community decides to keep the changes, then I'm all for it, but it's a big change that needs to be discussed by a good amount of people first. So, for now, the dates are back to the way they were. --From Andoria with Love 20:27, October 22, 2009 (UTC)
I started undoing or reverting some of the changes, but I can't do all of them, and I don't think we should unless we decide we don't like the changes. So, all of the remaining edits I'll leave for now. --From Andoria with Love 20:44, October 22, 2009 (UTC)
As I said elsewhere, we shouldn't put years on every single episode, they're simply not needed. What we should do is only put years on items that are specifically set in a year or specifically stated to be a specific time frame from another episode that was specifically stated. For instance, 315 year anniversary of First Contact Day, there we know the specific date of the episode based on the knowledge of first contact. — Morder (talk) 20:49, October 22, 2009 (UTC)

edit conflict - So back on topic, the 2375 to 2376 changes are based on speculation, but the dates before the change were also speculation, so barring any solid mention of dates for the episodes in question, I'm for the new dates, as they seem more consistent with what little evidence there is. Of course I haven't heard why the dates were what they were before, but it seems like the season break = year break to me. As for what Morder said, it seems like a good idea, except that, like I said elsewhere, there are other article that require dates, like the current AOTW and the casualties pages, among others. - Archduk3:talk 21:00, October 22, 2009 (UTC)

You can't replace one speculation for another just because they seem more right. It can only be based on the episodes. No, we can't keep the dates just because someone thinks they're right but only if they're right. — Morder (talk) 21:07, October 22, 2009 (UTC)

I agree, but that's where it gets tricky. We know episode "A" is this date "1" and episode "G" is date "2", and we know episodes "B"-"F" happen in between "A" and "G", so if thouse episode are in the same year as each other, no conflict. What we have now is a conflict because the episode with hard dates aren't in the same year and there isn't a tidy marker in an episode letting us know where the year break is (I know no one really drinks in the future, but why stop having New Years parties?), and since no one knows how stardates work really, they don't count. There is some evidence in dialog that the new dates are correct, but that's only really only speculation. Without any hard dates given, I think we're force to make a (hopefully) educated guess at the year break. Of course, scraping the timeline articles altogether works too. :) - Archduk3:talk 21:22, October 22, 2009 (UTC)

Agreed about scraping it. It's unnecessary and might be better served by having 1k stardate ranges like 50000, 51000, 52000 and so forth. Even then some episodes are screwed up with those ranges, as well. But we're not forced at all to make educated guesses because it's unnecessary. We don't need to have every single episode take place in a year. If we don't know then we just don't know. Such is the nature of the beast. We should just have whatever information is actually there, leave it at that and ignore that which we don't know. For instance, one thing that screws up every single date is a comment made by Kirk that places TOS in the 26th century...which means all years posted are wrong. :) — Morder (talk) 21:34, October 22, 2009 (UTC)

Well, that also has a problem, in that eventually we would have to use negative numbers, and I don't think any stardate has been used with negatives, or before a certain point in the timeline. Picard even used a "date" over a "stardate" in Star Trek: First Contact, and ENT: was still using gregorian dates for the starlogs through most of the show, so at some point after ENT there must be a switchover. - Archduk3:talk 01:56, October 23, 2009 (UTC)

Using negative numbers would never happen as it also goes against what I've been saying all along: we can't speculate. Obviously it only works for the stardates we know. Just like years work for the years we know. It's just two systems instead of one - I never meant that we should replace it, just that we mainly use only what we know instead of speculating which is not allowed per memory-alpha guidelines. — Morder (talk) 02:19, October 23, 2009 (UTC)
Since I missed this before: No, archduk3, you do not need dates on the casualties page. Any date that we don't know we just don't know and the page should be designed in such a way if we don't know such as "unknown". — Morder (talk) 02:28, October 23, 2009 (UTC)
It probably would be a good idea to only use years when they are referenced (i.e. 2063 in First Contact, 2378 in "Homestead"), otherwise we should only use the stardates without listing a year. As it is, most pages place certain episodes within a specific year based on the assumption that the season takes place within that year. In other words, we're speculating when these episodes take place, and speculation is something we're supposed to keep out of Memory Alpha. So, not specifying a year when no year is specified might be a good idea. --From Andoria with Love 02:35, October 23, 2009 (UTC)

Morder, when you said you agreed with scraping the timeline articles altogether, I though you wanted to replace the whole thing, but I get what you're saying now. My only question on the timeline pages would be what would happen to the episodes that don't have any (star)date in them?

(Begin rant) As for the other pages, there are ways around not using a date, but it's going to get messy. For example, a casualties page: A episode where no date is given mentions someone who died 5 years ago, without a date for episode, listing the death from 5 years ago becomes troublesome, and we're back to speculation. The only way I see to remove a date completely is to not list deaths chronologically, in which case the page is no longer in the correct POV, since the only other option that makes the page still usable to the average user is to list the death by episode (also, it would be a major pain to rework just the casualties pages, let alone the hundreds of others).

While I agree we shouldn't speculate, I think we're at the point where we're walking around the Mississippi instead of building a bridge. This is a series of TV shows, and I don't really think it's speculation to think episodes in a season are all within a reasonable timeframe from each other. Taking each one as a universe onto itself means the TOS episode where Kirk places the date in the 26th century is in the 26th century, unless there is any other evidence in that episode that contradicts that statement (I really don't know). We're trying to make something here that can be used by the average person, and the first question I ask when I read an article is when did this happen. If we can't answer that, I think we stop being accessible. To paraphrase Willie from Talk:Chakotay, let's not end up with something that fulfills the letter of the policy, but may not fulfill the spirit. (End rant) - Archduk3:talk 04:04, October 23, 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, sorry about that. Basically the issue is that it's not necessary to have a date for everything. Sure the casualties page might have to undergo some changes but that's not that big of a deal. You could just as easily put a list of unknown date deaths in their own table or just put them between the episodes that we know the death occurred. Let the user make up their own mind as to what year it possibly was. My major problem with adding speculation (if we're going to add any) is that different people have different ideas for how the arrived at the dates specified and now you have a situation where one person says one thing while another says another and both think they're right. The dates here have been here for a long time and then a new user came and though that his method for calculation was better and changed them all. Now in a while some other user will come along and say "no that's not right" and change them to what he/she thinks it should be. Years just aren't necessary for a majority of the pages and the few pages that might need them could be altered enough to not require them. — Morder (talk) 04:15, October 23, 2009 (UTC)
Sorry for screwing up the little system that you guys had, to be perfectly honest if I had known editing would have caused this big a stir I probably would have never started in the first any case I stand by my changes and my reasoning can be seen in the 2376 talk page. Thats all I got to say about this further. --Nero210 07:43, October 23, 2009 (UTC)
Regarding what Archduk3 said about letter vs. spirit of the law - as I see it, speculating about a year just to have a year to put somewhere would be against not only the letter but also the spirit of the law we've given ourself here. Not all is lost, though. We have (and always had) ways to deal with that. They may mean some more work, but just throwing the hands in the air and exclaiming "but that's too much work" isn't really the correct way for a self-claimed "canon encyclopedia" to deal with something, right? :) So, what are those ways?
  1. Identify which dates really are first-order facts (means, were directly given in an episode). Cite those, so that we will never have to do that part of the work again.
  2. Identify which dates follow from that without speculation. I think chronological episode ordering is not an assumption, but fact (TOS might be an exception to that), so if, as was stated before, episodes A and G take place in the same year, then so do episodes B..F. Also, dialog like "4 weeks ago, X happened" can help if we know that X happened in May that year - though not if it happened in December. Use these derived dates, but again, clarify why this must be the correct date, for example on the episode talk page.
  3. That "just" leaves episodes where the nearest preceding date (given or derived) is X and the nearest following date is X+1. I don't know for how many episodes this really will be the case, and without starting the work outlined above, no one else does, either. In any case, we shouldn't assume that it's one or the other, but there are ways out:
    • Give both possible dates ("2375/2376") with an additional background note stating that we don't know exactly.
    • For lists, don't give any dates at all - just keep chronological ordering.
    • If it helps, use both gregorian date and stardate at the same time ("12345.6 (2145)") and leave one blank if it isn't known.
    • If all else fails, make the article a real world article and order by episode. Information is not lost just because it is presented in the other POV we're allowed to use.
In any case, being very explicit about what we know, and why, is the key to not having this discussion again in two or five years. So, please, give reasons for everything you do or change on a relevant talk page. -- Cid Highwind 09:36, October 23, 2009 (UTC)

Well, I think we're making progress. Cid's plan seems the best way forward from here, since either way we need to know what dates are facts. I don't have any idea how to create a "project page", but it seems like we're going to need one, as a central source for what dates are what (and as something to point back to if this comes up again). Also, a good number of episodes are going to have to be watched again, which doesn't sound like work to me. :) I don't know if I'm ready to give up dates altogether on lists, as ways around this issue have been used before (Patricia O'Malley on Starfleet casualties (22nd century)), I'm just hoping there aren't large blocks of unknowns. - Archduk3:talk 15:17, October 23, 2009 (UTC)

And it goes on, this time moving an event from 2378 to 2379: [3]. Again, it seems as if the former dating was based on stardate, whereas the new dating is based on... what exactly? We can't be sure, because the anonymous who changed didn't bother to tell us. No edit summary, no comment on any talk page - just changes, slowly but surely turning our timeline into some inconsistent mess. This has to stop. -- Cid Highwind 10:01, October 26, 2009 (UTC)
Project page to get this going: Memory Alpha:User projects/Timeline project. -- Cid Highwind 12:31, October 26, 2009 (UTC)
Kes's statement that she had moved back a total of "six years" from 2373. 2373 + 6 is......2379! It's called math. I hate it but it does have some usefulness. The stardate also changed dramatically in the same timeline if you watch the episode (Harry gives a 56xxx stardate and a few minutes later in the same timeline Chakotay gives a 55xxx). Also I'm not turning the timeline into an "inconsistent mess" as Cid so colorfully put it, the changes I made actually make more sense if you really think about it, and Shran himself even said that the system we've been using all this time before my changes has had some speculation based on it to determine the timeline. --Nero210 20:22, October 26, 2009 (UTC)
Ah, math, I heard about that. I think the same guy who invented math also invented "language", some strange concept allowing people to actually exchange their thoughts! Crazy stuff, I know, but maybe it works if we try really, really hard! -- Cid Highwind 20:50, October 26, 2009 (UTC)
In any case I started filling in the little "Timeline Project" page. The timeline is impossible to figure out without SOME speculation, and the system that has been in use for all this time has been based on some speculation as well, I'm just trying to correct where necessary and actually REDUCE the speculation that we've been using here, or at the very least make it more reasonable. That project page has it outlined where anyone can take a look and see. --Nero210 00:52, October 27, 2009 (UTC)
There's no need for speculation as we don't need dates for everything. — Morder (talk) 00:54, October 27, 2009 (UTC)
But none the less we've had them on the site for a while and they give a sense of thoroughness. I don't recall anybody having a problem having the dates on here when the general assumption was XX000.0 = Jan. 1st. And I certainly don't see anything in the talk pages about people crying "speculation" like whats happening now, even though that's all it was. I've noticed somebody else also edited the date in a Voyager episode based on my evidence so this must be making sense to other people here. --Nero210 03:04, October 27, 2009 (UTC)
Regardless, that's not how things are done here. We have a lot of things on this site that haven't been taken care of yet. For instance only recently background notes have been started being cleaned of speculation. Policies were made after long discussions and what not after a lot of work on this site has been done. So please just learn our policies and do not include speculation. Anything that is considered speculation will be removed per site policy. — Morder (talk) 03:07, October 27, 2009 (UTC)
Well regardless of that if there are people that agree with my date changes and want them on the site then with all due respect who are you to say no? I'm not trying to fill this site with speculation or vandalism or anything like that, I'm just in amazement that once an idea is brought up even with strong evidence all of a sudden the admin's are crying foul. --Nero210 03:16, October 27, 2009 (UTC)
I am not saying not at all, it's the site's policies that say "no". If you wish to change our policy on speculation that's your right to bring it up but that doesn't change the fact that current policy prohibits speculation regardless of how many users think it's "right". Now, you just happen to touch on a subject that nobody else has brought up and it's bringing up issues that nobody has considered before. Nobody is crying foul and nobody says your evidence is "wrong" only that you need to base your evidence on facts and not presume anything to be true unless canon makes it true. You're new to this community and it would do you well to learn how things are done here before you start making radical changes just because you think you're right. — Morder (talk) 03:21, October 27, 2009 (UTC)
I've added more evidence to the Timeline Project page to further support my changes. --Nero210 03:38, October 27, 2009 (UTC)
I have an extreme amount of mixed feelings over this, because of the fact stardates have never been consistent (as previously mentioned) throughout the franchise, let alone between each of the series and films that were concurrent with each other. We even have examples of it not being consistent within the same series. The reluctance I have towards this stems mostly from this fact, what might show as 2378 in Voyager for instance, might full well have meant to be 2377 or at the very least meant to be that in an episode of DS9 that's more or less concurrent (such as the finale for instance). In either case, despite my general reluctance and opposition, I would suppose that if there's hard facts to the general setting because of the inconsistency, perhaps it should be changed (even though inside, I am really screaming *Kirk in TWoK* "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!"). On a somewhat sidenote/off topic/not so off topic, anyone consider that perhaps this is why the production staff of Star Trek used the format seen in the film for the stardate? --Terran Officer 20:39, October 28, 2009 (UTC)

This is exactly why the new stardates are the year, because it's user friendly. As for your mixed feelings, you're not alone. But this should ease your fears, the Memory Alpha:User projects/Timeline project isn't about changing our policies, it's about being able to cite every single date. The canon policy already allows for secondary/background sources to be used to date episodes that can't be dated any other way, we just need to confirm what episodes can be dated directly from canon/episodes and movies; and then have a lengthy discussion containing many impassioned speeches and backhanded remarks, also known as a congress, on which background source to use for the rest. :) - Archduk3:talk 01:27, October 29, 2009 (UTC)

Continuing date editsEdit

Ok, until we settle the project and finish the stuff in there, can people STOP editing years back and forth on the wiki? From this point on, if I see years edited before the project is settled, I'll be rolling them back arbitrarily. -- sulfur 18:45, October 27, 2009 (UTC)