MP3 versus OGG

I'm raising this issue because it's come up on Talk:Yesterday's Enterprise. The problem is which format to use for sound bytes that are stored on Memory Alpha. The MP3 format is much more common, but it is encumbered by patent issues that make it a non-free format. The Ogg Vorbis (OGG) format, on the other hand, is completely open and free, but it's much less well known.

Personally, I couldn't care less about patent issues. Although it would be nice to be able to stick to the OGG format and remain a truly "free" reference source, I believe it's impractical at the present time to force everyone to use that format, especially considering the state of browser support for it (or the complete lack thereof). Using MP3's would be much more straightforward, IMO. -- Dan Carlson 14:59, 11 Jun 2004 (CEST)

There's also the matter of size constraints. The clip I uploaded yesterday, I also have in MP3 format. It is twice the size for about the same quality level. I went with OGG because that was the format agreed to on Wikipedia, and their arguments made sense. But, if you want, I can go back and put them in as MP3s. -- Michael Warren 16:26, 11 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Well, don't change it just yet. Let's get some input first. (Also, I didn't realize that OGG had such good compression rates!) -- Dan Carlson 16:34, 11 Jun 2004 (CEST)

I can't open .OGG files with either Real One Player or Windows Media Player. Ottens 17:26, 11 Jun 2004 (CEST)

There are some plugins available for the OGG format — for WMP, use [1], and for QuickTime, use [2]. -- Dan Carlson 17:58, 11 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Perhaps I could/should do a better job summarizing the opposing viewpoints as they've been expressed on Wikipedia. The supporters of Ogg Vorbis point out that the MP3 encoder is patented and someone has to pay for the license to use that encoder or decoder. That means that any content contained in MP3 format is essentially NOT free, and therefore contradicts the purest sense of Wikipedia as a free (open-content) encyclopedia. The same could be argued to apply to Memory Alpha as an open-content Trek reference source. Supporters of the MP3 format argue that OGG is still so obscure that it makes listening to OGG-encoded sounds difficult at best. They claim that the MP3 format is so widespread that it's essentially free for individual use anyway.

So, on top of the issue of ease of listening to clips, we're also stuck with the question of whether sounds in MP3 format are actually free or not. Despite the official policy, it seems that even Wikipedia hasn't quite answered this question yet. -- Dan Carlson 18:27, 11 Jun 2004 (CEST)

What I'd like to now is who holds the patent on MP3. Microsoft? -- Redge 16:37, 12 Jun 2004 (CEST)

No, Microsoft holds the copyright on the WMA/WMV file formats for their Windows Media Player. I forget who holds the patents for MP3... the Wikipedia:MP3 article states both Thompson Institute and something called Fraunhofer. -- Dan Carlson 19:21, 12 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Some german Fraunhofer Institute invented MP3 during mid 1990's. Regarding the licensing, this only affects software which converts to MP3 or plays MP3. Simple storing MP3 won't be licensed – at least not to Thomson or Fraunhofer. Besides this I would rather give OGG a chance because it's better in important key features. -- Florian K 00:00, 17 Jun 2004 (CEST)

Any other questions/arguments can be given here.

Final Vote MP3 vs. OGG

  • Support OGG -- Redge 20:49, 21 Jul 2004 (CEST)

Memory Alpha Skin

For some reason, the old skin I was using - I am using a public computer now, though - is not available anymore. It was the one that looked quite like Star Trek Minutiae's layout. Is it just this computer or a general error/change? Ottens 10:52, 1 Sep 2004 (CEST)

Probably has something to do with the apparent upgrade to mediawiki 1.3 -- Redge | Talk 13:41, 1 Sep 2004 (CEST)
Yes. If you want to keep the old skin, go to Preferences, and select the Classic skin. The new skin is called Monobook. It's nice, but still needs a few tweaks... -- Michael Warren | Talk
The new Monobook is quite neat, but I think I prefer the previous. The MonoBook looks better, but I think the classic MA skin is more functional. Unfortunately, when I select the "Classic" as skin, I get something different.... Ottens 15:10, 1 Sep 2004 (CEST)
MinutiaeMan is currently editing the Monobook file, I think we need to be patient... -- Kobi 15:19, 1 Sep 2004 (CEST)
Could we get some more contrast, please? The Monobook style looks great, but light-blue/white on medium grey is a little hard to read. Thanks... :) -- Cid Highwind 15:30, 1 Sep 2004 (CEST)
Yes, we just got upgraded to MediaWiki 1.3 last night, and with it comes a brand-new skin to accommodate all of the new features we've got. I'll be composing a new page to introduce everyone to the new changes and features, but that'll take a little while. Also, please direct all comments about the new skin to MediaWiki talk:Monobook.css. Currently, I'm trying to squash the various bugs and minor deviations in the stylesheet to ensure a consistent look across the entire site. After that, we can discuss changing or altering the style. :-) -- Dan Carlson 15:51, 1 Sep 2004 (CEST)


I've started a wiki of my own, and noted a feature in the MediaWiki software: Categories. Do we use those on Memory Alpha? And if not, why not? It seems to me a very usefull navigational feature. -- Redge | Talk 16:00, 29 Aug 2004 (CEST)

Categories were a feature implemented in MediaWiki 1.3, which MA does not (yet) run on. I don't like them. Personally, I see lists and reference tables as much easier and visually clear ways to organise articles. -- Michael Warren | Talk 19:24, Aug 29, 2004 (CEST)
Is this a MA-policy or just regional for MA/en? I'd like to see this feature with the german edition some time. -- Florian K 12:24, 12 Sep 2004 (CEST)

Well, now we do. I'm not saying we abandon the lists altogether, which would be s shame to all the work done on them, but I feel the category system is very functional in the sense that you don't have to manually add a new article to all kinds of tables, but simply insert one or more links [[Category:(Name)]], and the article is automatically added to the right pages. It's a lot less work and a very good way IMO to navigate. -- Redge | Talk 17:13, 1 Sep 2004 (CEST)

True! IMHO we should use Categories instead of "List of ...". It's an easy way of having episoded, characters, actors, planets and all kind of trek and meta-trek both listed and separated. As easy are sub-categories, let's say for "DS9-Episodes", "TNG-Episodes",... being a category within "Episodes". I'm looking forward to MediaWiki 1.3.x for MA-de. ;) (Please also notice the far more developed markup for images, btw!) -- Florian K 19:07, 1 Sep 2004 (CEST)


Currently, the categories system is disabled on Memory Alpha (at least on the English version, I haven't checked the others). We did this to allow everyone to discuss a category tree and have a firm plan before we enabled the system, in order to avoid creating a hodgepodge of categories like Wikipedia has. We've already got a basic outline present at Memory Alpha talk:Category tree, so I'd suggest that everyone drop by that discussion and add their own two cents on the issue! As soon as we've got a good idea of the basic makeup of the categories, we'll enable them and let everyone start categorizing the pages. -- Dan Carlson | Talk 13:46, Sep 12, 2004 (CEST)

Enterprise J

(copied from Talk: Enterprise J)

I am trying to find an image of the Enterprise J as shown on Enterprise. The Memory Apha listing has a box showing a place for the computer diagram but that is all. Is there any image references of this ship available? -- Richard Baker

No exterior shots were made for the episode. The only view we have of the ship is the one presented here, seen behind the characters as they looked out the corridor window --Captain Mike K. Bartel 05:30, 11 Aug 2004 (CEST)

There is now a very large color print available of the exterior of the Enterprise J. It is in the 'Ships of the Line' Calender for Feb 2004. The image is 12"x24" and I can scan it in sections and splice it in photoshop to send to Memory Alpha but I have no idea how to send it or what would be a maximum file size. The image is nice and I will be glad to send it if someone could just tell me where to upload in to. -- Richard Baker

I have tried to view the referenced image of the Enterprise J and it will not display anything. The only thing I get is a grey box with a text line mentioning that it is a computer graphic display from the show. I could also not get the images from E2 and Twilight to display. This is my first entry into Memory Alpha and I cannot get anything to show except artfully arranged text with a background. I am using WinXP/IE6 with all current patches. What is the trick to get the embedded images to display anything more than a grey box with a description?

-Richard Baker

Have you tried to click on it? The image should have a page with its own disclaimer and so forth, which also contains a direct link to the image file itself. otherwise, i'm stumped. The image has spread some, perhaps you can find a copy on a different server using 's image search. -- Captain Mike K. Bartel 21:37, 16 Aug 2004 (CEST)

For those who liked the old skin better...

This is either a bug or an oversight in the MediaWiki software, but for the time being, I can't restore the old appearance for the "Classic" skin. However, if you do decide that you like the old appearance better (with the blue background and all), then you can set it in your own personal preferences. Copy the contents of MediaWiki:Standard.css to [[User:USERNAME/standard.css]], and you'll be ready to go! -- Dan Carlson | Talk 15:45, Sep 5, 2004 (CEST)

Performance Memory-Alpha

Since Memory-Alpha is on version 1.3 its performance is 'a hell'. By this I mean it is very hard for me to reach Memory-Alpha at all, if I can reach it simply browsing through Memory-Alpha takes ages. (well for me 30> seconds or more per page but most of the time I get an time-out) Let alone if I try to edit some pages or want to upload an image. this kind of problems really takes the fun out of working with Memory-Alpha. When Memory-Alpha was on the previous version I never experienced the mentioned problems. (and no I don't have these problems with other sites) Changeing browser settings did not resolve my problems (Moz1.6 on Linux). One in while I can reach Memory-Alpha but for howlong I never know. Are there other people who are having the same problems (In the Netherlands where I am or elswhere ) ? -- Q 20:20, 12 Sep 2004 (CEST)

Part of the problem is likely to be the server, which is having some strains under the load as Memory Alpha grows. However, I've not been having consistent problems with the time it takes to load pages -- certainly not thirty seconds or more! I find this puzzling, especially because you're located closer to the server than I am (the server's in Germany, I believe). This sounds like it's mainly a problem with your ISP making connections to the site -- because Harry (who's also from the Netherlands) has been reporting the exact same problems you've just described.
Hope this helps... -- Dan Carlson | Talk 22:22, Sep 12, 2004 (CEST)
thanks, this indeed helps. I already asked someone who is also a subscriber to my ISP if they could reach Memory-Alpha and they could not. However an hour later I, and someone else could contact Memory-Alpha and I was able to edit some pages. I'll see if and can send an email to Harry to exchange info. (I now that Harry does not use the same ISP as I do). -- Q 18:19, 13 Sep 2004 (CEST)

Episode guides

The individual episode pages are mostly lacking, but there are a number of rich episode guides on the net. Why not try to persuade the authors of one of them to wikify it here?

It might be easier just to convince of these aforementioned authors to just license us the content and do some scripting to Wikify it. --D-sta-b 01:52, 20 Oct 2004 (CEST)

Image File Sizes

Folks, I urge any of you who have been uploading images to take a good look at the MA image list. Not counting the sound files (which can be expected to be larger), there are 32 images that are larger than 100 kilobytes. Some of them were over 200 kilobytes! (I've already gotten rid of those.)

When you're uploading files, please, please remember that Memory Alpha is not an image gallery -- it is not necessary to upload the largest or highest-quality image to our server. As long as the image is of decent size (say, between 400 and 600 pixels across), that's more than enough to show the subject of the image. There's a reason why the server complains when you try to upload an image that's larger than 100 KB -- we've got to conserve file space, because otherwise people will run rampant and upload anything they feel like, no matter the size.

Already, the images uploaded to Memory Alpha account for more than three times the file space that's consumed by our entire text database. I really hate to say this, but if we keep getting too-large and inappropriate images uploaded, we may have to consider disabling the upload service (at least temporarily). I say that not as a threat, but simply as a fact, the result of our need to make sure we don't consume too much file space. Because ultimately, it's Harry and I who are responsible for paying for this site.

I'm going to be keeping a much closer eye on the image uploads from now on. I urge you all to make sure that an image needs to be used to illustrate something -- think before you upload!

Thanks, Dan Carlson | Talk 18:29, Sep 13, 2004 (CEST)

Best Newbie Episodes

First, I hope this is an appropriate use of Ten Forward...

For some time now, I've been giving thought to what the best episodes would be to show to people who know nothing about Star Trek. In other words, which episodes are the most "accessible" and the least "obtuse"? Would this be an appropriate new article, or is this too much of a subjective and opinion driven idea?

I hope some regulars here have some thoughts! Thanks! User:Brad606 | Talk

Who knows what the Whorfin class ship is?

My name is Connor Ennis but while I'm here I'm Lt. Ennis of the USS Southwest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. I'm asking if anyone knows any information about the Whorfin class ship. I've seen pictures of them but I have zero information. I'm asking for help please.


I'd like to know more what the fund raising is about. What will we have with this 100 EUR? How fast do we need to get it? Has it something to do with the new server-hardware? And what are the benefits and changes about this server anyway? I like the concept of donating for a good idea, but a word or two concerning the site notice would be fine. If it is a secret birthday present for MA I'm now pushing to public, please do remove my posting as fast as possible! ;o) -- Florian K 01:05, 28 Sep 2004 (CEST)


Hello all. I've just come across this site and it looks very good. I did notice it looks very similar to Wikipedia, and I was wondering if there has ever been a discussion here about mergin Alpha into the Wikipedia? As WP's goal is basically to include all human knowledge, there's definitely a place for Star Trek articles as much as say Medicine articles. -- 15:56, 28 Sep 2004 (CEST)

Thanks for your appreciation! Memory Alpha (MA) will never merge with Wikipedia (WP) since WP covers a real-live encyclopedia. Nevertheless WP features an article about Star Trek and MA. Besides this problem of topics and relations to real-life / fiction there will be the problem of licences, since WP is totally "free and open" and MA restricts commercial use (for instance). Both MA and WP bases on the same software and philosophie, so you can see Memory Alpha as a spin-off, a daughter or an offspring of Wikipedia. -- Florian K 18:02, 28 Sep 2004 (CEST)
Ah right, so you are using this license then:, I was under the impression that MA was using a less restricted license. Maybe linking to this human-readable license at the bottom of articles would be more convenient than linking to the full lawyer-readable version? Best of luck. -- 20:18, 28 Sep 2004 (CEST)
If you are using the standard monobook-skin you can see at the botom of each page a little button in the left corner. There's were we keep the secret human readable "short" version. ;o) -- Florian K 17:46, 30 Sep 2004 (CEST)
So lawyers are not human? -- Redge | Talk 14:11, 15 Oct 2004 (CEST)

Copyright Line

Hello. I've begun managing my own Wiki, and would like to ask you a question. What file did you edit to add the Paramount Copyright Line to your copyright footer? Thanks.

  • You should ask DarHorizon. Post on this question on his talk page. -- Krevaner 00:43, 13 Oct 2004 (CEST)
    • I believe you'll find it in your system messages. If you look on your Recent Changes, it should be the first page to be edited. -- Redge | Talk 14:09, 15 Oct 2004 (CEST)


I have noticed a large amount of apocrypha being added to Memory Alpha in recent days and weeks. Since I am now at university every day, and lack the time have time to go through every article talk page, I make this point as a general note: I strongly oppose the addition of such information at this time. There are still vast swathes of canonical information, much of it essential, that need to be written and expanded upon. Such additions only lead to confusion and clutter in the article, and make it appear that such information is acceptable to be added in the general article space, when it is not. -- Michael Warren | Talk 16:57, Oct 21, 2004 (CEST)


This subject is at the moment IMHO not at all well organised in MA. Just now I tried to find out how Europe was geographically aligned in Star Trek. Hadn't I known to look at Earth, it would have taken me some time to find. There needs to come some sort of navigational reference to geography, both of Earth as well as other planets, such as Bajor. -- Redge | Talk 11:07, 2 Nov 2004 (CET)

More Episode Info

There is a post here about Episode Guides, and I'd just like to say I really enjoy this website, and with more definitive info of each episode, I'd probably like it more than Paramount's Star Trek website. I know it's time consuming, and I may add/edit info on a couple of episodes, but I'm wondering why more info has not been placed into this site concerning episode info. I'm sure there's plenty of intelligent people here who can creatively, and yet succintly give episode summaries without pirating info from Paramount or other websites or literature. 16:36, 5 Nov 2004 (CET)allstargeneral 9:33, 4 November 2004 (CST)

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