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RationalWiki talk:Logo brainstorm

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This discussion was moved here from Saloon Bar.

Should our logo have our name "RationalWiki" under it?[edit]

That's the question. tmtoulouse 19:03, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Indeed it is... We don't particularly have a logo with the name on it. It could be useful considering the idea that I've been wanting to start recently. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 19:06, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
I have a hard time believing it will look as good as it does now, but you fuckers have a tendency of surprising me. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:09, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
It seems to be the convention among wikis, and it should fit nicely. -- Nx / talk 19:10, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Time for a font war? Scarlet A.pngnarchist 19:17, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
How about this one? -- Nx / talk 19:21, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
I think the Wiki name should go in the logo. The proposed logo image is missing the exclamation point on "RationalWiki," but is otherwise good. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:25, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
If its worth doing, its worth over doing, and also abusing random extensions. A contest I say! With submissions and voting bars and everything! tmtoulouse 19:27, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
With essays and debates and multiple talk pages, too! — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:28, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Who the hell came up with "Hot. Science. RationalWiki" anyway? And I'm just pondering an idea for a 3D logo that would almost be straight out of the Brass Eye opening sequence... Scarlet A.pngnarchist 19:29, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Would you believe me if I said Andrew Schlaflyimg? tmtoulouse 19:30, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
and Ed poorimg. -- Nx / talk 19:31, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Holy carp... Scarlet A.pngnarchist 19:32, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
I think we've already got a H. S. RW! texted logo on the server somewhere. I know there's one on my hard drive... ħumanUser talk:Human 20:01, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Is that the one that Nx posted just above? Anyway, what about RW merchandise? I can't quite figure out how to make it turn a decent enough profit to fund the server, but I wouldn't mind the brain on a mug (complete with the phrase "you don't have to be rational to work here, but it helps") or t-shirt. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 20:02, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Print on demand store? Here is a random blog post looking at options. If someone with graphic design talents wants to donate some time for to do some stuff we could run a small business on the side to cover costs. - π 10:18, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it is. I also have the lemon party/tub girl version... ħumanUser talk:Human 20:03, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
(EC!!!!!) Yes, it's from User:Human/RW_logos -- Nx / talk 20:04, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
That's funny.... ħumanUser talk:Human 21:29, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
My vote is that we have a big R W seared across the two brain segments in a cattle-brand style. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:49, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I made a version of the one linked above with the exclamation point added, it's here and on my logo page. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:44, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

An SVG version might be good; I know there's one lying around somewhere... Cubic educated Hoover! 09:07, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
The original was an svg, Linus has it somewhere, but it was never on the wiki. For wiki-logo purposes it isn't necessary, but it sure would be nice to have a big hi-rez svg as the basis for t-shirts, coffee mugs, and blimps. Imagine if we sponsored the Super Bowl blimp! Or one of those big "test" things. ħumanUser talk:Human 18:26, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
It is on the wiki. The brain is from Wikimedia Commons -- Nx / talk 18:28, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
File:RW_Logo_vector.svg and wp:File:Hemispheres.png -- Nx / talk 18:31, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh, nice! ħumanUser talk:Human 18:41, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
This is actually a problem, I didn't realize where the brain came from. I don't want our logo under the CC-BY-SA or GFDL. tmtoulouse 18:47, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Good point. Any chance you could make a cool MRI scan as a basis for a new one that you could claim full copyright to? I realize anything you make at work, or using work toys, might not be copyrightable like that though... Do any of us have access to fresh brains we can photograph? ħumanUser talk:Human 19:51, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
This one is public domain. We could also give up the whole brain idea and go for something different, possibly an ancient Greek motif. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:02, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
I have got some PD MRI anat scans, let me generate a surface volume from those and see what you guys think. tmtoulouse 20:17, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

MRI scans[edit]

Brain samp.png

A samples of the two approaches to visualization I can do with MRI scans. The first is a rendering based on the whole volume, the second is a slice selection. They would obviously need some cleaning up/cropping to work but it is what I can do. I can also do any slice selection we want but I am thinking we should stay similar to what we have. tmtoulouse 01:16, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

In terms of visuals I like that whole better, overall the both make me feel a little queezy. - π 01:19, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
We certainly don't need to go down this approach, just merely presenting it as an option. tmtoulouse 01:21, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
So the deal is if we start with a PD image, and then add the brackets, we can copyright it? PS, I prefer the one on the left. But it's still weird. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:45, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
ListenerX's suggestion is better than those two, and the current version, put together.-- Antifly Merged with Infinity 04:11, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
You think? I think it's a worse picture, and the low rez is kinda sad. It's a "start", of course. But those MRIs above are actually Trent's brain "thinking about RationalWiki". How much better can you get, all he has to do is get his layers piled up better! ħumanUser talk:Human 04:18, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I can certainly play with the rendering of it, I can run some spatial smoothing on the brain to make it look more like the one in the logo, and other manipulations. I just don't want to devote time to it if we are not interested in going down this path. tmtoulouse 06:14, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Let's just get a good PD sulcussy image that looks like what we used way back, slap some brackets on it, and call it copyright. But if you can come up with some sick version of some MRI or whatever for us to use, I think the mob might like it. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:53, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Blender brain.png
Trent, can you export a 3d model into some file format I can read with Blender? I have a brain model that looks similar enough, but I don't know what its copyright is (I think I got it off a forum thread, and it's from an MRI) -- Nx / talk 08:42, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I found the source of the 3d model, it's from the first tutorial for 3DSlicer. I can generate the 3d model using slicer, but I don't know what the license of the files in the tutorial is. -- Nx / talk 10:31, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
And based on this I made a prototype logo and set it up at RationalBeta -- Nx / talk 11:01, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
It's nice, but the levels on the final 2D image will need tweaked a little, and then smoothed out as it looks a lot darker and harsher than the current one. The 3D is cool, though. Get it spinning and we can start putting out RW videos! Goatsmiley2.gif Scarlet A.pngnarchist 13:11, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
The current logo looks a bit too smudgy IMHO. In any case, we're probably not going to use this model. -- Nx / talk 16:03, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Allow me to look at the logo we have now, and the one at RationalBeta. Said simply... ugh, I perfer the old one. O_o ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ Who said anything about fair?! 14:52, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Why? -- Nx / talk 16:03, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
But we still don't know the copyright status of this right? 3D rendering of brain volumes has never been something I have focused much on and there are other/better tools out there than what I have installed currently. I am heading into the lab now, going to see about getting some other tools installed and see what I can generate. I will try and get something "blender" compatible. tmtoulouse 15:56, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, they're probably not PD, the page says "For questions about the materials on this page, please send an e-mail to Sonia Pujol, Ph.D. (spujol at". This 3D Slicer tool can create a 3d polygon model out of MRIs, but I don't know exactly what files it needs. The .dcm files are not enough, it needs an NRRD file to create the model. -- Nx / talk 16:03, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I will give 3d Slicer a shot and see what I can do with my data. tmtoulouse 16:30, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
So the 3d Slicer reads in the dicom images fine, and can construct 3d volume renders from it, however in order to separate out the structures you have to "label" them. Basically color in the "brain" and not the skull, and render only the labeled portions. The problem is I have never been good about "coloring within the lines." But I will keep playing. tmtoulouse 18:26, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I suspected that would be the case. How did you get the rendering on the left side of your sample pic? -- Nx / talk 18:30, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Generated off of Surface Mapper on an AFNI BRIK file from their tutorial. tmtoulouse 18:49, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I still vote for this one. It's free, it looks like a brain, and it's aesthetically pleasing (it has an organic feel to it).
The current version has copyright problems.
The right MRI is ugly, and has a bit too much of a "medical" feel to it.
The left MRI is the most aesthetically pleasing of the lot, but it doesn't look like a brain to the untrained eye.
The only real problem with the low res version is that it's low res. So it can't be scaled up to put on mugs, t-shirts or bath towels. But realistically, who cares. There are only three actual people on this site, none of whom drink coffee, wear clothing or take baths.-- Antifly Merged with Infinity 21:47, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

So I got the 3d slicer working with data from freesurfer:

Brain samp 0.png

This brain was generated with sample data, I am working on trying to get my data into a similar form as we speak. But we are getting closer, yes? tmtoulouse 21:40, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that looks pretty good. I don't have access to freesurfer, so I tried AFNI and 3dslicer. AFNI's skullstrip works nicely, but I can't generate a good enough mesh with 3dslicer. The ridges don't go deep enough, and are kind of smudged on the surface. -- Nx / talk 21:48, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I managed to create an acceptable looking brain model from the MRI images, unfortunately the source data is still unknown copyright and I couldn't find any public domain MRIs. If you send me some I can give it a try. -- Nx / talk 00:04, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Dicom format is fine right? Also, I am making good progress with it on my end as well but mine is taking a while to process the data. Let me pick out the best anat scan I have and send it your way. tmtoulouse 00:07, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
While real MRI scans are awesome, if you're having trouble with either getting them into a regular format like .OBJ or having difficulties sourcing copyright it might work okay to make one from scratch - make the rough shape in a polygon modeler and add the ridges and folds in ZBrush or Mudbox. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 10:22, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
I think we are making pretty good progress with my data, Nx has a version up on my user page and here is one I just finished generating:

Whole samp 0.png

tmtoulouse 16:19, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

That looks pretty spot on to me. Are you planning on rendering out the final thing in Blender? Scarlet A.pngnarchist 16:38, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Probably, I have never used Blender and can't install it at the lab. I will see about it when I get home tonight. 18:57, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
New logo.png
First mockup based on that brain. -- Nx / talk 03:06, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
3d effect [[]]s = fiddly, scales badly, messy
"RationalWiki" = great
brain = too bright, too big (current logo proportions are perfect) -- =w= 03:09, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
If there are still copyright issues with these new brain images, this one appears to be a higher resolution version of the one I linked to before. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:03, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Mei makes good points (see, Mei is useful). Also, the words at the top make it look unbalanced. They should be rendered as "Hot. Science." with exactly one space between them, and centred over the image.-- Antifly Merged with Infinity 14:49, 18 November 2009 (UTC)


Late to the conversation, but might we investigate a sans serif font? They scale better if the image is resized: no worry of thin lines disappearing. Sterile queen 00:26, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I know nothing of fonts, I have a collection of free fonts and I scrolled through till I found something. If anyone has specific suggestions for better free fonts please by all means bring them up. tmtoulouse 00:40, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
The large PNGs I uploaded (File:New logo large.png and File:New logo large no ao.png) have a transparent background, so anyone who wishes to experiment with fonts and placement can do so. -- Nx / talk 00:48, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

I'll save them and play a bit. I have a lot of free fonts, and a bookmark of some site with thousands of them. And, yes, whatever we use should scale elegantly to 135x135. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:00, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

For fun, follow this link. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:21, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Choice time[edit]

I think we have made some good progress, I would like to get the logo updated. I think we should just use a simple text under the image and avoid the slogans, at least for the main logo. Feel free to play around with slogan versions on your own. Here is an example of what I mean:

Rw logo text.png

tmtoulouse 19:44, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

I really like the above logo and I think witty slogans are not witty. AceMcWicked 19:47, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. Just make sure the font is free too. -- Nx / talk 19:48, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the slogans should not be on the logo. The above image looks good. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:50, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Yup, I like this one too. No slogans. --PsygremlinKhuluma! 19:53, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, pretty good. I like the font and the lack of slogan. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 20:15, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I will go ahead and drop it on the site logo and see how it looks. tmtoulouse 20:20, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Compromise, happy with new logo as long as we don't have the slogan. ĴαʊΆʃÇä₰ bruragh rurgh bruragh hrugh bruh! 20:39, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

(undent) I happen to like this logo quite a bit. Frummidge 20:46, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

The font looks a bit aliased in the 125x125 pixel version. Also the skin expects a 135x135px file. -- Nx / talk 20:48, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I'd prefer the font to be stolen. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:56, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I missed most of the discussion above about redesigning the logo completely. I like the text (although maybe it should be a little bolder?) but prefered the old version of the brain graphic. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:03, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
The biggest issue with the existing brain is that we can not maintain copyright of our logo, which is really something we should do. I think the old brain was kinda smudgy and lacked details and resolution. The new brain is actually a brain, constructed from an MRI. tmtoulouse 21:31, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
That's too bold IMHO. I really liked the previous one -- Nx / talk 21:35, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, was just playing. tmtoulouse 21:40, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
EC-Current logo has nice shadows around the edge. Can we copy that? It makes the logo that much better. -- =w= 21:42, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
The old logo looked more edible. Also more like a medical scan. The new one looks more like a metal sculpture. Why is copyright status suddenly an issue after two years? WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:52, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
IIUC, the gist was having copyright wasn't necessary but was desirable (based on what tmt was saying). Maybe we should vote on whether we actually need it, though. -- =w= 21:56, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
The issue is that we have been claiming copyright on our logo for 2 years when it turns out that we can't. No one tracked down the source for the original logo till recently. Turns out it is copyleft. So we either have to release our logo as CC-BY-SA or redo it with a copyrightable image. I just don't see any good coming from having our logo CC-BY-SA. Our site is growing in terms of its external prestige/prominence, we are becoming a trusted site for references certain kinds terms and ideas. I can see them in the server logs growing every month. This is a good thing, it is what we have been building towards. To have credibility and a "brand name" that people can turn to. Those elements of the site that define who we are, that serve as our "brand" should be under our control, namely our logo and our name. tmtoulouse 21:57, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
It's not "our control" if its your decision. -- =w= 22:01, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes because I have such a history of dictatorial decision making on the wiki.tmtoulouse 22:03, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
One is enough. But hey lighten up, it is your server. :) -- =w= 22:06, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Two quick comments - one, the grey text should probably be black. Also, text should be slightly bolder - it washes out a bit at the "logo" size. Otherwise, excellent! ħumanUser talk:Human 21:55, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Weaseloid has a point about the new brain looking too shiny. Is it possible to tone down the specular highlight? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:58, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
In the new version just uploaded, the half with no specularity looks much better. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:05, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

a saucerful of Mei[edit]

New logo large.png

The left (light grey) has specularity, but it is soft, the right (dark grey) has no specularity. I've added shadows too. -- Nx / talk 22:08, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

The right half is perfect. JMO. -- =w= 22:09, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I can make it lighter gray btw. Hold on, new version coming in a moment -- Nx / talk 22:17, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
(haven't seen new version yet) I like the dark grey if its a choice. -- =w= 22:20, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
(seen it now) NX! Any chance you could upload one thats much darker? -- =w= 22:24, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
JMO: the one thing I like about the old logo was the less-pronounced shadows. That is all. Tetronian you're clueless 22:27, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Mei also likes the less heavy contour shadows - if that's what you meant? -- =w= 22:29, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
New logo large no ao.png
I prefer the more pronounced shadows, but here you are. -- Nx / talk 22:31, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
If we aren't going to have that fetching green and purple one, I like the top one of the two next to this section as I can see it now. - π 22:45, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I really like the lower one. -- =w= 22:47, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I prefer the upper one. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 23:44, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I really hate the top one. ĴαʊΆʃÇä₰ A sig not even he can predict! 23:48, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I really really like the one that is loaded now. Can we keep it, please? - π 00:51, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I like the top one. As far as Pi's comment - I do too. But can teh text be bolder, and the grey at least "less gray"? Right now it sort of seems to be fading off into the mediawiki background. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:54, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I like it, it is understated, say compared to this. - π 00:59, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I encourage people to produce there own attempts at fonts, just make sure they are "free" fonts. tmtoulouse 00:55, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Copyright discussion[edit]

Lets pull it out into its own subgroup if people really have a problem with this. My argument is simple, as our site increases in prominence and prestige we develop a "brand" associated with our content. That "brand" is our reputation, several elements of the site define that brand, our logo and our name being the most prominent. If we release our logo as CC-BY-SA we are releasing a great deal of control over our brand to the internet at large. By keeping a copyright on it we have tools needed to better protect what amounts to our global reputation. Copyrighting our logo isn't going to effect our dedication to disseminating free information, it is not making us a commercial entity. An analogy for me is our policy to rename users that sign up with nearly identical names of existing users. It is to protect the reputation and respectability of the established user. tmtoulouse 22:09, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Are you going to register the RationalWiki trademark? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:14, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
It is worth considering, though that's an extra-step from what we are talking about. Copyrighting a logo is as easy as saying "this is copyright." Trademarks take filing a form and paying money. We have a level of protection on our name just from having an established entity with that name for a period of several years. Ultimately my goal would be to establish an entity that is RationalWiki above and beyond me as a person, both in terms of growth and community aspects, as well as legal protection. But baby steps. tmtoulouse 22:16, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
That is a compelling and nice argument. But it isn't a mob. -- =w= 22:17, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Another point, copyrigting the logo is nothing new, we have always maintained copyright on our logo, just turns out we could not legally do so. tmtoulouse 22:18, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Concerning the question of copyrighting the logo, the purpose of a trademark (whether enforced by copyright or as a trademark) is entirely separate from the usual purpose of a copyright. It is the latter purpose that copylefts and free licenses are intended to counteract, and the former purpose that we are invoking in keeping our logo under copyright. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:20, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Is there any way of adapting the existing logo which would render it sufficiently different from the source to be regarded as ours, while still having its distinctive look? WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:25, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
^ Mei votes for this. -- =w= 22:26, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Copyleft is pretty strong about derivative works. tmtoulouse 22:38, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Copyleft is viral. Any derivative work, no matter how little it derives, must be made available under a copyleft license. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 23:45, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Why now?[edit]

Asked earlier, and while the short answer is because we just discovered the copyright issue, there is a longer broader answer I thought I would touch on.

I think it is time to start taking a broader look at certain aspects of the wiki that need shoring up. The reason is simple, we can no longer really count on getting away with things because we are a small site. As of this month our hourly traffic equivalent to our daily traffic when we first started. We exceed each month the traffic we got in our first year of operation. When this wiki was 30 people with an idea hanging out we could get away with ignoring little details. That is no longer the case. Beyond just traffic something really interesting is starting to happen. For most of our existence our traffic has been driven by what I call "active linking." These are links that people specifically point to our site or articles and say "hey go look at this." It is the kind of traffic that drives most of the internet. A great example of this is the CBP over at CP. But there is another kind of linking that I call "passive linking." This is where someone links a word or a phrase to a site in passing, not as a the point. These are reference links, like someone would be talking about something totally not related to RW or CP or anything, and mention Poe's Law linking it to our article. These kinds of links are a different beast all together, they are the kind of links that drove Wikipedia for example. They are the kind of link that Ken is so desperate to get.

For a while now we have been getting a few such passive links to some of our flag ship articles. But we are starting to get more and more, to random articles that aren't what you would call flag ship. Some of this has to do with a high google ranking for a term, but sometimes it just some random person in a forum that links to us on a topic and everyone else starts using that link. I am sure there are other patterns, but whatever the cause, this kind of increase in passive linking to me is a sign of success. It is what I think many of us want. RationalWiki to become a "reference" not just an entity site.

Passive linking implies a level of respect, and presence that active linking often doesn't. It is a sign that in certain circles we are becoming a worthwhile source of information. I think this is great and worth really cultivating. The way you cultivate it is two fold: 1) protect our reputation as site by having some level of control over our "brand", and to make sure that little details such as various legal language is correct and where it should be 2) the presentation of our site and the information in as professional a way as possible, this means going back and revisiting things like site layout, or the logo, to see if we can do anything to improve our presentation.

Another thing I am worried about is becoming a victim of success. We take a very hard line against a lot of topics that people feel very strongly about. More than that, a lot of people make a living capitalizing on woo. When we attack promoters and ideas we are often attacking the "livelihoods" of people. As we grow in prominence these people will be more likely to counter-attack us. Dembski's little tirade is just the beginning. One day someone we piss off will sue us. I am pretty sure it is a case of "when" not "if". We need to make sure that all our ts are crossed and is are dotted across the site. We can't use obscurity as a defense for much longer.

There are of course a lot of other issues that have to be dealt with in as we grow. Things like network infrastructure that several of us are always working hard and keeping up with. There are also social aspects that will develop. Right now you can log onto RW after coming home from work and see every single thing that was done on the site for the day. What happens when recent changes goes by too fast to monitor everything? What happens when people start running into users that they have never met before? We are a ways yet from some of these issues, and may never reach them. But they I think its worth keeping this stuff in mind before it happens rather than always being reactive. tmtoulouse 00:34, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Damn straight. Not only do I agree and think you have really thought this out but it also gave me a touch of pride regarding our efforts. AceMcWicked 00:41, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
What are you talking about on RC can see a whole day? I can't even see back to when I left home just over an hour ago with 100 edits. - π 00:49, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
RC can show up to 500 edits. tmtoulouse 00:50, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Which normally covers our daily edits...or maybe I am all ready behind the times. tmtoulouse 00:54, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I have it set to 100 with the folding thing, which is awesome by the way. - π 00:56, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
On the last point (RC<500) one thing that really mucks with it (and I'm not complaining, just saying) is that sometimes a substantial part of RC (ok, my watchlist, anyway) is people blocking for fun. One addition to Trent's "cleanup" concept we might want to get tighter on is using copyrighted images. I know we've got a few we really can't use, it's been something that has only been "semi" enforced. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:58, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
That is why you should use the javascript enhanced version. - π 01:09, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I totally agree with the "branding" ideas, that's just good sense. Although I'm wondering how serious you think the threat of legal action against the site actually could be. There are a lot of articles that are far less neutral in tone than Wikipedia and very uncompromising in calling people as charlatans and shams. From what I can gather, wording is very important in these cases; P&T's Bullshit for example, can use asshole and bullshit, but can't call people frauds, and the whole Simon Singh case rested on one line that applied fraud on behalf of the BCA. This may require us to start a manual of style and enforce it to prevent us using stuff that could lead the wiki (and by extension Trent specifically) coming under negative attention. There's already been some cases where people who are unhappy with the tone of articles have lashed out at them (Removing the snark from the Gary Null article is one that sticks in my mind). There's only so far we can hide under disclaimers saying "the articles are the opinions of the contributing authors" or something that could try to protect the wiki as the wider entity that it is becoming. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 12:21, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, I think if the site owner or their representatives were prompt in removing genuine libel/slander when pointed out, we'd be fine. The reality is that "management" can't check every diff to prevent mistakes, all they can responsibly do is react appropriately when a serious issue is pointed out. Which is not to say "let's be careless", but just to say that before a suit ever gets filed, there will be correspondence and opportunity to comply. PS, IANAL of course. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:35, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's the nature of the project and anyone with a modicum of common sense will realise that slips can happen. If someone points to a revision that was reverted and tries to claim "look! that's what this website thinks!!" then (hopefully) no-one will take them seriously. But hte problem with the "management" is that, besides Trent who only really has the server rather than any real authority, there isn't one. Unless we want to give 'crats actual responsibility. It may not be necessary for a while to think about this seriously, Trent was very "when, not if" about it but I doubt it'll be the next year or so. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 10:42, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Background image[edit]

Isn't it time we came up with own background instead of using Wikipedia's "book" thing?

Also, let's copy this over to the talk page, there are no "new section" creation things here. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:00, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't really think the book background is much of an issue. Uncyclopedia and a few other larger wikis utilise the background, so I don't forsee us having any particular problems. ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ the horse of all lollipops! 01:10, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind taking a loot at changing this, and better to figure it out now while we are still figuring out things like logo font choice. We can certainly use it, but some people might be interested in seeing something different? tmtoulouse 01:11, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Mei definitely votes for seeing something different. -- =w= 01:12, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
EC-Mei votes for something purple. Could we have an across-the-board skin change like CP did? -- =w= 01:12, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I once had my monobook.css done up in a timecube theme, I don't recommend it. - π 01:13, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Just one request: keep it different than CP and ASK. It gets confusing if all your open wikis have the same background. Sterile queen 01:17, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I once started working on a customized monobook for rationalwiki, but stopped because we don't really have our own look (except for the purple, and I think that looks silly). Monobook is going to be replaced by vector soon (possibly in MW 1.16), so it's not worth creating a custom skin based on monobook IMHO. -- Nx / talk 01:19, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I would imagine this should actually be ported back to the bar? tmtoulouse 01:18, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, you're probably right. Oh, and I suggest this not because it's a "problem", just that it would be nice to have more of our own "look and feel". Also the background mucks with the gray text in the new logo ;) PS, thanks for moving this all to the talk page whoever did it. I like what is now on the project page itself. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:56, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
By vector I'm assuming you mean what Wikipedia's Beta option looks like? Either way, if you think there'll be a visual update in Media Wiki it'll be worth holding off for now. I can't think of much to change the backdrop to. The default is nice and subtle and I don't think we can really improve on those aspects. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 12:06, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I would actually suggest using no background image. The one we are using does nothing for teh site, and it does mess with our new logo, IMO, on my screen. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:31, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Dropped the image to see what people think. tmtoulouse 20:40, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
An improvement, but perhaps a slight color-tint would be in order, if we can get some sort of agreement on the color? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:45, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Certainly easy enough, but better to come up with a short list for colors before I start randomly mucking around with it. tmtoulouse 20:46, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Some suggestions: #f0f0c8, #c8f0f0, #b8e0f0, #c0ffa0.
If someone wants to test a color privately they should add the following code to their monobook.css file: body { background-color: [color] } Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:02, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't miss the background. I agree, a nice muted color might work very well. Lighter than the examples above, though. I guess people will post screenshots of things they like on the project page? Oh, another way to play is to take a screenshot, paste into image program, and dump colors into the "background" space. Everything else has boxes around it so the paint shouldn't leak. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:26, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

I posted an example of one I like. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:36, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Could we choose a selection of colours &/or patterns we like, & set it up to change every month or so? WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:11, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
That could probably be done with enough JavaScript. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 23:14, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Play around with your monobook.css first, if you want we can put a few together and people can pick and choose which ones they like. Javascript won't be needed for this. - π 08:35, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

As a thought for what the BG image could be, can you render the logo from a different angle and then desaturate and fade it so that it is similar to the book image. It means we're not overusing the flat image but it's something more unique than the default. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 11:08, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Damning Hypocrisy[edit]


This discussion was moved to RationalWiki:Saloon bar.

Clockwork Colour Device[edit]

In response to the issue of a background colour, I have constructed a Clockwork Colour Device, which creates a different combination each day throughout the year, fading gradually from one colour to another. We are currently in the purple phase of year, hitherto known as late autumn (in the northern hemisphere).

For a chart of how it would appear throughout the year, see here. (For explanatory notes, see here.

WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:21, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Can't it run through the entire rainbow? Or, rather, please make it to do so. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:27, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
It does! I was thinking in terms of cold colours representing winter & hot colours for the summer (OK, so there are some editors in the southern hemisphere, & they'll get the reverse) so it runs through the spectrum in the purple to red direction rather than more conventional red to purple. It's at its bluest on 1st of January, most yellow on 1st of July, reddest on 1st September, & right now is some kind of violet colour. I could set it up in the reverse if there's a real demand to see it go from red to orange to yellow etc. in that order, but let's see what some other editors think. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:49, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
It is very nice, but how do we get it into the background colour majig? - π 12:41, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't really know my way around the central workings of the site. Was hoping for one you more technical guys to help me out on that. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:50, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
It can't be used like this for the skin background, but it can be used on the Saloon bar sign for example. -- Nx / talk 14:29, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
There's potential for using it in places like on welcome templates, maybe in the boxes on the main page. I've now expanded it to include optional filtering for particular colours. See Template:Daycolor/Notes. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:46, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Interesting, I like the idea of the main page, perhaps you should put the idea forward their. CSS has very limited calc capabilities. - π 01:15, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

If it is used, I think the cycle should run about 4 weeks or so. Otherwise the changes will be too subtle? And the northern hemisphere weather thing is a bit off-putting. How about 28 x 4 = 100 and something shades (that are lighter than what I see above) that change to the next one every six hours? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:02, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Ooh, how about a thing that uses the user prefs time zone to display a rising and setting sun, and likewise the moon, with accurate moon phases? And the current sun sign moving along with the moon? Pi, you figured Easter out, this should be a piece of cake ;) ħumanUser talk:Human 03:04, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

The change is intended to be subtle. But if you need it to go through a full cycle during one month, try {{#expr:({{CURRENTDAY}}/3)+1}}|{{#expr:{{CURRENTHOUR}}}}+1}} }}. This is rather imperfect but has a similar effect. I may expand it into a more effective template if it seems useful.
I have also set up an offsetting feature for Daycolor, so the cycle can begin at any point. For example, if we use these three colours on the front page . . .

. . . then in three months' time they'll look like this, this & this, and in seven months' time like this, this & this. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:28, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

So, what happened to this?[edit]

Nimbus Roman, 135x135
Batang, 143x135px (text )

Did we make a final decision?

Also, the current logo is 143px wide. I don't know if this is a problem, MW says it should be 135x135px, so I made a 135px version (I don't know what font Trent used, I used Liberation Serif which is licensed under the GPL but does not require derivative works that only embed the font to be licensed under it... though I don't know if this counts as embedding) -- Nx / talk 23:59, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

I know Trent said somewhere what the font was, but I can't find it. The 135x135 thing is good, since it will look better if it isn't being resized to view. I'd say go ahead and paste it in... ħumanUser talk:Human 01:11, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I found it, it's Batang. But according to this it doesn't matter which font we use, it won't affect the copyright, in the US at least. As for the size, it's not getting resized, on the monobook skin there's space for a 155x155px logo, and on Vector it's 160x160. You could say it's extending into the margin.
I've replace the font in my version with Nimbus Roman, it looks a lot like Batang, but is completely free. -- Nx / talk 19:27, 5 December 2009 (UTC)


New logo purple.png
New logo purple fun.png

I made this the site logo for funspace. Good idea or bad? -- Nx / talk 17:35, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Nice idea. Less sure about the green though. I didn't know you could have different colours for different namespaces though. –SuspectedReplicantretire me 17:38, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Nice! ħumanUser talk:Human 21:04, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Purple is nice, but not the green to be honest. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 21:12, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Better? It's the same green Human uses in his sig. -- Nx / talk 21:19, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
How about adding fun! in a nice italic scripty font under the RW text, or above the brains? With or without the "!"... ħumanUser talk:Human 21:47, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
You'll need gimp, but you can experiment with this file: File:New logo.xcf -- Nx / talk 21:51, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Ouch, I used to have gimp for about five minutes. I tried saving the .png and it failed epically. Layer problems I suspect. Any chance you can pop up a gif or png with a plain white background (ie no layers) for me to play with? Tx, ħumanUser talk:Human 22:01, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Never mind, I screencapped it. Uploaded quick example of what I meant. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:07, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
This has a transparent background and has no text. Alternatively, this has the text too (and is already 135x135px). -- Nx / talk 22:09, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
(EC) The "f" on the image above looks like a long "s". Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:11, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
It's supposed to. That's what script "f"s look like. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:32, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Nx - you're really going to use Human's sig as an example of good colour selection??? :p –SuspectedReplicantretire me 21:49, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
No, I'm using it as an example of bad color selection. -- Nx / talk 21:51, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
this one amused me. Shame it's probably copyrighted, but I'm sure I can make something similar enough. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 16:49, 13 December 2009 (UTC)


Cheers Nx for sending me the file. I need to work on when the two halves collide (maybe a splat or some particle FX) and I might turn on some incidence shading to get the contrast up like the site's current logo. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 21:45, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Wow, that's cool. Where would/could we use it? Saloon bartop? ħumanUser talk:Human 21:49, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't know really. I just thought after seeing some of the stills of the brain that I could animate it. Perhaps if we started RWTV it might be nice. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 21:59, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Can you toss in the actual site name in there? Maybe add some sound? Very cool so far, I will think about some interesting applications for it. tmtoulouse 22:01, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I can try some sound, never really tried mixing it in before properly. The name is on the cards next, but I'm experimenting with how to make it flash into the frame the way I want. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 13:23, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
How about the two "halves" ("Rational" and "Wiki") come in from the sides and clang together at the same time as the brackets? ħumanUser talk:Human 19:57, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
It should finish with a goat noise. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:23, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not hot on the stretch/skew of the clashing halves. Pretty bad-ass in general, though. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:25, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
There is a bit of streching and skewing when they crash (if you look very carefully just after the two parts slam together, you can see they're a bit thinner), but I think the spin and the jump hide it a little too much to be noticable, a "boing" sound would probably make people see it. If I work on some proper morphs or extend the collision a bit it may look a little clearer and much better (the current set up ain't brilliant), but I don't want it to last too long. I'm currently rendering out the first idea for some particle FX but I've never really worked any from scratch before (usually just taking the settings directly from tutorials) so it may take a few attempts to get right! Then it'll be onto getting the name in there and finally I'll tweak the brains colliding. But I welcome a few more ideas, there's no reason just to stick with one. I like the idea of finishing it with a goat noise, but if that happens, I think it would work well if one of the brackets "fell off" and started swinging and creaking while the goat bleated. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 15:47, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
That's very very cool. If you need some sound effects this is a sound effect search engine. (Though we'd need to think about copyright.) The search engine is good fun to play with anyway.--BobNot Jim 16:24, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

(undent) My first attempt at the FX is here. Probably needs more sparks. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:39, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

My lame attempt at animation[edit]

File:Mri.ogv Blender 2.5's booleans still suck, but at least they don't take decades to render any more. -- Nx / talk 01:35, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Nice. I see what you mean about the booleans, but usually the problems arise if the object isn't full closed. You've got something with a massive polygon count, so it's likely that the flat face you create by the boolean will either be a huge n-gon or made of thousands of overlapping triangles that give the rendering engine a bit of a headache. I can try applying qemLOSS to the version I have to reduce the poly-count and clear the thing up a little - converting it to a NURBS object may also help for reducing its size and increasing the clarity, the "lobiness" of a brain makes it a perfect object for that. Alternatively, why not do it with a clip-map instead of a boolean? Scarlet A.pngnarchist 12:07, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I already ran it through a decimator and reduced the polycount to 10% the original, and that was starting to look blocky. Then I used "select non-manifold" to check for any holes or other problems, and there were none. The artifacts are the result of Blender's booleans sucking, they're useless even for simpler models, so it's no surprise they can't cope with this. In Blender 2.49, I was unable to render even a single frame because they are so slow. At least the speed has improved in 2.5
Anyway, I'm going to try the clipmap thing if I figure out how to do that. Thanks for the tip. -- Nx / talk 12:25, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
This is the tutorial I went through a month or two ago, although I haven't searched for a Blender equiverlent. It should cut through it more efficiently than a boolean, but you won't get the "flat" surface, it might work if you build up folds inside the main mesh that you can see as the clip moves through it. I think that effect would be really nice. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 12:33, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, unfortunately I couldn't find anything like that in Blender. It would probably be possible to achieve the effect using z-transparency and compositing, but it would leave a hole.
Booleans would work, even if they are so god-damned slow, I think I tried rendering one with the original brain, not the decimated lowpoly version, and it did complete in a reasonable amount of time, so the animation would be rendered in a few hours, but the artifacts unfortunately ruin everything. -- Nx / talk 01:29, 17 December 2009 (UTC)