Project WSS Announcement

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Introduction

In January 2015, Kronoskaf had posted a survey to get your opinion on which period of warfare should be the target of our next project.

We promised to come back to you around mid-April. So here are the results of this survey. Before getting in the detailed results, we are pleased to announce that:

  1. the subject of our next wiki will be the War of the Spanish Succession and our project will be named “Project WSS”
  2. membership will be based on annual subscription of 20 $CAD
  3. the initial version of our wiki will be made available around mid-June and will contain more than 150 articles, mostly dedicated to the early campaigns of the war

We want to thank all those who have answered this survey. Now, let's look at your answers...

Your first reaction

First reaction

Question: “What’s your first reaction to the idea of adding a wiki on a new period of military history to Kronoskaf?”

Your preferred periods

Preferred periods

Question: “Which period(s) of military history would you like to see covered? (please choose no more than three periods)”

Your suggestions for improvement

Question “In your own words, what are the things that you would most like to see improved in this new wiki compared to Kronoskaf - Project Seven Years War?”

Answers Comments of Kronoskaf
Organization of the sites data, orders of battle and maps, uniform details, commander and generals personalities and abilities

Your SYW project is a great source of information! What I would like to see are OOB, uniform information and army structure.

The organisation and structure of our new wiki will be quite similar to those used for our “Project SYW”. However, the section on uniforms will be more standardized and orders of battle better isolated in their own articles making them easier to locate.
The wiki style of cms is dull and dreary so you really need to add some quality content to make things interesting. the syw wiki layout is bland

Not sure at this point, not a lot wrong with the current one. However I'm not a big fan of the presentation of wiki style websites.

As mentioned above, our new wiki will look much like our “Project SYW”. We are conscious that it might not be the most stylish presentation but our emphasis has always been on rich content and narrowly interconnected articles, two characteristics excessively well support by the Mediawiki Engine (the engine used by Wikipedia).
Perhaps to develop a style sheet for contributors to use, to promote consistency in the content, since contributors represent at least four different native languages, or maybe even more This is a good suggestion. With the experience acquired with our “Project SYW”, it would be easy to create standardized templates for all types of articles.
Foreign language input.

More than one language...

Two things here, concerning inputs we can assure your that, in addition to British and American sources, lots of French, German, Austrian, Russian, Swedish, Spanish and Portuguese sources have been translated, condensed and integrated into our articles of our “Project SYW”. We intend to do the same for the War of the Spanish Succession.

Concerning outputs (i.e. a multilingual wiki), with our current capacity this would be a clear overreach. We would need important sponsors to finance such an endeavour.

Increase the font size a couple points We will explore the functionality of the Mediawiki Engine allowing a user to personalize the display.
Higher quality images

Larger pictures of the colours and standards

Our new wiki being based on annual subscriptions, we'll be in a better position to pay for a larger bandwidth and thus support higher quality images when they are available.
Use true colours, not representative colours.

An Overview of the colours would be good.

Ah colours! There are so many factors influencing what should be the true colours of a uniform or flag: contemporary artists where sometime creating their plates from written descriptions, old sources where colours have faded, unstandardized dying techniques, rapid fading the colours of the cloth used...

So, although we can surely improved the way we use colour, in many cases we will never be able to guarantee that this was the true colour.

Expanding the database. This is incredibly useful. The new wiki on the War of the Spanish Succession will certainly the amount of information available from Kronoskaf's databases, but these will be two distinct databases.
Keep it updated That's what we have tried to do with “Project SYW” and what we intend to do with “Project WSS”.
Better cross referencing Good point! Cross referencing is an ongoing process where adding a single article might require to add more than a hundred links to it from already existing articles. We try to gradually increase cross-referencing by gradually reviewing old articles and adding links to newly created one.
Ability of individuals to attach or upload pictures Our approach for managing pictures is that they have to be submitted to our editor through email, specifying the sources. We'll try to do a better job, informing subscribers of this approach.
More contemporary pictures and documents as PDF or other downloads Be assured that we give priority to contemporary pictures and documents.

For pictures, copyright laws widely vary from one country to another. Some museums encourage use of their material while some other are very restrictive in their use.

For document, have you looked at our section entitled EBooks? It contains quite a lot of freely downloadable books, many of them contemporary to the SYW. We intend to do the same for the War of the Spanish Succession.

Allow a location on the site for anyone to publish short papers on the subject. Then let that paper receive a peer review-if rated high enough, allow it to be 'published' on the site under the author's name. We distinguished several cases
  1. contributors who write articles on very specific subject (for ex.: Ewan B. Carmichael's dissertation on the To what extent was Great Britain able to influence her strategy in the face of the events of the Seven Years' War?) which are wikified and published as is.
  2. contributors who submit an article on hitherto uncovered subject (for ex.: Mathias Kussmann's article on the Slavonisch-Brooder Grenzer) which form the base of our initial article but are then modified to integrate additional information when it is found.
  3. contributors who submit articles on already existing subject (for ex.: Harald Skala's contribution on the Los Rios Infantry) which are integrated into the existing article

So whenever an article on a specific subject exists we privilege integration over the multiplication of similar articles.

Opportunity for every visitor to contribute by editing pages (even if changes are reviewed before becoming publicly visible) We always start our collaboration with a new contributor by exchanging texts or articles through email. Our editor makes sure to integrate this material into the right articles of our wiki. Some contributors particularly familiar with wiki edition and with the structure of our wiki are later offered to update articles directly. Consider this as a quality assurance procedure.
Links to original sources - most of which are out of copyright and can be scanned in as free e-books and many of which are available as e-books, most of them free to download and read many from amazon as free to download or very cheap top download. One of my bugbears is 'wargaming experts' who believe what they read in modern books even when such books are at odds with historical sources !!!!!!! Especially by 'wargaming experts' who have walked battlefields without understanding how battlefield topography has changed and ignore first hand accounts which are becoming easier to access in the electronic age. As mentioned above, our section entitled EBooks contains quite a lot of freely downloadable books, many of them contemporary to the SYW. We intend to do the same for the War of the Spanish Succession.
A full bibliography. Maintaining a full centralized bibliography would be an enormous task. For the moment we prefer to state pertaining sources in our “References” sections (for ex. Michael Zahn's very comprehensive bibliography at the bottom of our article on the Prussian Army.
Original research. Not theft of already existing, published works, e.g. Robert Hall's work. Well this one is kind of rude. It suggests that we are stealing from existing works. In fact we are not ashamed to state that we copy entire paragraphs from old publications whose copyrights have expired. In such a case, we specify in the references section that text have been translated/copied/condensed form these sources.

Concerning works under copyright, we used them as sources but prefer whenever possible to base our articles on contemporary and out of copyright source. Those of you who have worked with us know how we are itchy about copyrights.

A member of our group mentions that the allusion to "theft" might concern the Nassau-Weilburg colour. If that is so, please note that we have reconstructed this colour based on a document of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France...

Real motivation of the wars Good suggestion! We'll try to write a specific article on the origins and causes of the War of the Spanish Succession.
Bigger orientation on North American and Caribbean theaters. Point taken! We'll try to publish more detailed articles on these theatres of operations. However, to manage expectations, it must be clear that they were secondary theatres of operation where less events occurred.
More on the Naval side of the war, including the role played by individual ships.

I wish the wiki focuses as much on navies in detail as much as armies, so far I haven't seen a single image,painting or plate of a ship of the line....unless of coarse the wiki prefers to focus on uniformology

More detailed navies

Addition/expansion of naval subject matter

I'm particilary interested in naval combats.

Very good point! We surely can do better for the naval aspect of the conflict.
More biographies of lower-ranked commanders. Of course, in the initial years, priority will be given to major personalities. However, as we are currently doing with “Project SYW” lower-ranking officers will eventually find their place in this new wiki.
More maps, even modern ones, to go with campaign articles (as opposed to battle articles).

Maps, specifically access to the marvelous maps in works such as the various German or Austrian General Staff official histories.

Better battle maps

Better quality maps.

When larger images of maps/images are available, please consider using them -it is the one (very mild) complaint that I have about the Seven Years War wiki.

Better maps,

Our new wiki being based on annual subscriptions, we'll be in a better position to pay for a larger bandwidth and thus support higher quality maps when they are available.
Battle reports first please.

More Battle details of each battle and skirmish.

More battles surveyed, with more maps. Especially at the level of the smaller engagements.

To be honest, our initial exploration of the sources on the War of the Spanish Succession suggests that battle, to the exception of the most famous ones, will be tough to thoroughly document. Let's hope we are wrong and that we'll find sources allowing us to reach at least the level we have attained in “Project SYW”.
Perhaps a more intuitive format of the OOB for the battles with estimated/known field strength. Here we have to make a trade off between representativeness and maintainability. This is the reason why we have, when exact deployment is known, adopted the presentation in a tabular format. It allows us to illustrate the order in which units were deployed while allowing for easy modifications. In such a table, the front is simply shifted 90° counter-clockwise.
Take a look at the battle analysis of Obscure Battles- improved analysis We are big fans of Jeff Berry's Obscure Battles. In fact this blog has already been cited twice as our “Website of the month.” However, you should not expect battle report of this depth in our wiki because:
  1. we would produce a dozen articles per year, Jeff is the first to admit that his superb work might require a couple of month for a single battle
  2. we avoid analysing campaigns, sieges and battles; concentrating on a factual relation of events
Order of battles at the start of a campaign Very good point but not always possible. This is a thing that we try to do gradually as we go through sources. For the SYW, Pajol's books were excellent to get such orders of battles for the French and the Neues Generalstabswerk for Austrian and Prussian order of battles. For the War of the Spanish Succession, Vault provides a lot of orders of battle for the French but it is too early to know how easily feasible it will be to systematically list the orders of battle at the beginning of each campaign.
More things on tactics used.

La même chose mais avec un peu plus d'informations au sujet des formations des unités (ligne, ligne déployée, colonne, etc) et leurs formations de combats.

Technical side of manouvering and fighting. E.G the Seven Years War was the first war where most protaganists used the cadenced step. Why was this better? Did the Russians use the cadenced step. Etc

More nuts and bolts: How they manoeuvred, methods of firing, rates of fire, tactics etc

Point well taken, we'll try to improve this aspect.
More information about development of the armed forces of each nation outside the campaigns.

More information on the belligerent powers

Good suggestion, we'll try to improve this aspect too.
Would like more information regarding color schemes used in equipment, i.e. artillery, wagons, etc. Good suggestion once more, we'll do our best to give more emphasis to this aspect.
Command structure and officers uniform. Officers duty. Good suggestion, another area where we'll try to improve.
Maybe a little more standardization. I notice some info is available for some units, but not even mentioned (not even as unknown) on others. Minor thing overall though.

More information on the units.

More details about the origin and history of military units.

The experience gained with “Project SYW” will allow us to have more standardized presentations. For the units, information will grow gradually as new sources are integrated into our wiki.
Perhaps inclusion of relevant reenactors of the period Very good suggestion! If you know of groups of reenactors for the War of the Spanish Succession, we'd like to list them and to contact them as well.
More uniform pictures

More uniforms plates

More uniform guides

I suggest to improve contemporary images of the period from libraries and museums, specially about uniforms.

Uniforms

Uniform images

Real life information on what soldiers wore on campaign.

We thought that we already had a lot of uniforms available but we understand that you would like more and will try to do so.

As mentioned before about contemporary illustrations, copyright laws widely vary from one country to another. Some museums encourage use of their material while some other are very restrictive in their use.

Include undress (i.e work) uniforms, rank insignia Good suggestion but it will not be among our top priorities. In fact, this aspect will be covered only when the coverage of most uniforms will be done.
Rotational 3d view or front back and each side of a uniform, horse harness and artillery pieces Great idea but difficult to implement unless you know a 3D modeler who would be ready to volunteer for the task. Even then we would have to integrate a 3D add-on into our wiki and would have to look at the feasibility of it.
I love the Saudelli illustrations. Think you can get him to do all the armies in the SYW or the new period?

I do like Saudelli's illustrations

Franco Saudelli is truly a great artist. He has been of an incredible generosity for “Project SYW” but he is also a vey busy person. If you have an interest in the French Revolutionary Wars, you must find a way to get his latest album La Battaglia di Marengo a fumetti (comic book) using the mezzotint technique.
Earlier uniforms Uniforms presented in one of our wiki are strictly limited to the period covered by this wiki. It is already a huge task even within these boundaries.
I dont think it realy needs an awful lot, it is of great use to me giving uniform details etc for painting my minatures with some consist info - ~but perhaps a bit more flag detail ?

More flags/standards

Description of flags and standards often lacks their size.

All good points. We will pay attention to document and illustrate flags in more detail whenever our sources will allow for it.
Links to where one can learn more about individuals in the regiments who were in the war.

Even more focus on units

I would like to see clearer listings of the lineage of some of the minor German states, ie Von "X" 1756, became Von "Y" 1760, became Von "Z" 1762. Served in AWI as Von "W"

Good suggestion but not always feasible. It really depends on sources available. In some cases, we can produce quite comprehensive article on specific units (for ex.: Harald Skala's contribution on the Los Rios Infantry).
I love the 7YW project and would love to see the same for War of Austrian Succession and then the War of Polish Succession Unfortunately, our readers have spoken and the War of the Spanish Succession will be our next project. The War of the Austrian Succession who came as close second would have made a great subject too.
I will take this opportunity to beg you to - when the Napoleonic wars and the American Revolutionary war seize the top spots of this survey - consider, firstly, that both of these periods have extensive and very accessible literature in English already, and secondly, they are accordingly in the least need of a wiki. I must add that I make this admonishment with the deepest humility, and am looking forward with great excitement and joy to your next Project, whatever period it will treat. No need to worry, these two periods came among the least popular in our survey. You'll soon see a new wiki on the War of the Spanish Succession.
Nothing

I think it is virtually perfect!

I think the current format is spot on.

Actually - nothing. It is tremendous.

Nothing, Project Seven years war is great!

Doesn't need improvement

I think Project SYW is great, so I have no suggested improvements. I use it all the time.

Very little

I have none

All is fine

Thought Project Seven Years War worked really well. That is the reason I support it financially.

I like the current format as is

Happy with Project Seven Years War as is.

I suggest the above are under-served and a wiki similar to your current would be sufficient.

Love your existing site. Not sure it need any format changes or content changes at this time.

Like it as is

No improvement necessary.

Not a lot. The current format is very good.

Not much. You made a very good job of Project SYW. Good luck.

Nothing. Project Seven Years War is great.

I think the Project SYW is awesome.

I find it an impressive and very useful site. I can't think of a way to improve. Outstanding work!

I would be happy if it is the same quality as Kronoskaf

Keep same format and range of items

I'd like to see you do it exactly the same as the current site

I like everything you are doing now.

The SYW project is very good. Not sure you can improve on it.

It is all very useful like it is

Tel quel!

Only to make it as thorough as Project SYW.

Pretty happy with the way the SYW page works. Such a wealth of information!

Tough call - Kronoskaf is great!

Absolutely nothing, I think it's very well done like this

Project Seven Years War is excellent I cannot think of any significant improvements.

Nothing, I have always found the site to be excellent

All is perfect

Just more of the same please

Not sure it can be improved!

Nothing to improve

Nothings, the seven years war project is perfect!

Very happy with the way the present SYW Wiki works.

I like it as it is.

Nothing - great the way it is

Nothing on my mind.

Nothing, the SYW-project is perfect!

It is very nice already!

Kronoskaf is very very good. Make it the same way.

All fine

Nothing from what I can see

Think it's already good

I like the format the way that it is. Keep up the good work.

Keep it as close as possible. Love the site.

Actually, I love the existing wiki. I can't think of any major improvements.

I just discovered Project SYW and Kronoskaf, but I love it.

SYW is fine - another period is what I would like :-)

Please no improvements, it is perfect as it is

Keep the format. It is superb!

Nothing, your project is superb in all it's facets

Nothing. I like the balance of content in the cyrrent form. Army composition, Campaign, battles all in detail

Hard to imagine any improvements as site is so comprehensive and easy to navigate

Nothing it is very good as it is!

Kronoskaf is the best site of any period, the periods I have chosen are less known, similar information on these periods would be invaluable.

I like it for the uniforms

A similar balance of articles would be fine.

just do it s you did SYW!

I would build it exactly as the SYW project is constructed. I think that is the best developed wiki I've ever seen!!!

I can think of nothing that needs improving!

Can't think of anything, really.

everything's perfect!

If it is that good as the SYW Project, there is nothing to do better

Just do it the same way, it works really well.

It looks fine by me.

If it's not broken, don't "fix" it.

We've been very pleased by the high rate of satisfaction reflected by your comments. However, “Project SYW” has been a giant collaborative work, throughout the years, more than 100 peoples have generously contributed material to this wiki.

It's probably the right moment to stress the importance of collaboration in such an endeavour. Even though “Project WSS” will be financed by annual subscriptions, we will still need inputs from our readers, many of them becoming regular collaborators.

The minimal revenue derived from subscriptions will barely cover the time involved researching, and editing articles or illustrations. Your collaboration will still be vital to the continuous improvement of this wiki.

How much you are ready to pay for the subscription

Price for an annual subscription

Question: “During the first years, while your chosen wiki would get populated, how much would you expect to pay annually to get access to it?”

N.B.: those of you (37%) who are not ready to pay to get access to our new wiki on the War of the Spanish Succession are excluded from this chart.