Westeros: Updates

Westeros is the premiere fansite for George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Discuss the series on the forums, browse our resource collections, read about the TV series from HBO and play the MUSH, to name just a few of the things we offer.

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Wiki of Ice and Fire Updates

The Wiki of Ice and Fire is presently the largest English-language wiki dedicated to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, with hundreds of articles in some stage of development. There is, however, room for much more work! To help facilitate making it as useful as possible, we’ve returned to trying to stay on top of the MediaWiki release cycle by upgrading to the latest stable release (1.14). We have also enabled uploading of images, although these must be (at this time) under terms compatible with the GFDL license (this means images must be fair use, public domain, or explicitly licensed for any and all use, including commercial use; traditionally copyright-protected images are not valid).

As Wikipedia has recently determined it will be shifting to the Creative Commons license, we will be examining doing the same to ease migration of articles from Wikipedia to the wiki. We’re also examining keeping texts as GFDL/Creative Commons but allowing more scope for images that aren’t licensed for commercial use to be a part of the wiki. Finally, we’re examining available Mediawiki extensions to make the wiki more useful. Should fans of the series be interested in contributing to the wiki, all they need is a membership at the A Song of Ice and Fire forum. If you’ve ideas, suggestions, prior experience with wikis (especially template creation and management), or just some time and interest in helping provide and edit content, we’ll be happy to have you as a member of the community!

Board Down

The A Song of Ice and Fire forum was brought down earlier today by what we suspect is a flood of spam PM messages; certainly, the crash of the board seems to closely coincide with the sending out of these messages. We have contacted our server admin about it, but it may be some time before she’ll be free to get things up and running again. If the spam flood is the cause, I have to offer an apology, as I’ve delayed putting in a patch to prevent PM spam flooding out of some laziness on my part (my eternal failing). We’ll see about getting that in place when we’ve a bit of time to figure out how to do so.

Board Downtime

The board is now back up, with a major dent put into the total post count thanks to purges. I didn’t get as far as I wanted, but 12 hours of babysitting the purge was more than enough. Sparks also ran some upgrades which will hopefully further improve things.

Board Outtage

The board seems to have gone down at some point, and we suspect it is a server configuration error rather than anything inherent to the forum; all the files are still there, that we can see. However, given the time of night where our server admin is, it may be awhile before the board is back up. Thanks for your patience.

So Spake Martin Update

We have added a new podcast interview to the So Spake Martin collection, conducted during the recent COSine convention by the gamers at Thac0 Podcast. Focusing on the games and other products produced for Wild Cards and A Song of Ice and Fire, there’s a bit of discussion on GRRM’s level of involvement in various licenses and some interesting details regarding negotiations with HBO for the proposed series.

So Spake Martin Update

A new audio interview, conducted by Wisconsin Public Radio, has been entered into the So Spake Martin section. The topic under discussion is whether science fiction is the “literature of ideas”. Ursula K. LeGuin also features, in a separate segment.

Email Difficulties

Our e-mail has had some trouble of late, with messages not being delivered. If you’ve attempted to mail us over the last week and a half and haven’t received any kind of reply, it’s possible it was gobbled up in the mail problems. We’re trying to get that sorted out, and will post again when we believe our e-mail is again stable.

Occasional Outages

As some may have noticed, for the most part the A Song of Ice and Fire forum runs solidly with little downtime. However, downtime does happen, and at present the primary cause of downtime is floods of spam e-mails slamming the mailserver. These waves of spam take time to filter through, and on occasion it gets so bad that it throws the webserver through a loop as well, requiring manual intervention. We ask for your continued patience during these periods.

TV Series Forum

The A Song of Ice and Fire forum now has a sub-forum dedicated to discussion of the Game of Thrones HBO series, the pilot episode of which has been greenlit for production. A series of official casting threads are a major part of the forum presently, as the executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have expressed an interest in seeing serious casting suggestions from fans.

So Spake Martin Update

A Spanish-language impromptu interview (try Google Translator or Babelfish to make sense of it if you don’t read Spanish) and an interesting chat hosted by Asshai.com have been added. GRRM reveals the name of the eastern continent in the latter. These were from July, but I’ve only recently stumbled across them.

Also added is a new correspondence between GRRM and the fan (and Polish translator of the series) Bastard of Godsgrace, dating from June 2001. It covers a very wide range of topics, and provides an interesting story concerning Maege Mormont. As always, remember that until actually published in the series or some other canonical work, statements made in on-line chats, e-mails with fans, etc. are not canonical and may be changed, contradicted, or discarded.

Forum New Account Registrations

The recent cracking of Google’s captcha system (along with a number of other, similar systems) has led to an absolute flood of attempts by spam bots to sign up for the forum.

What does this mean for new registrants? For the time being, registration to the forum will require not just signing up via the sign-up page, but also sending an e-mail to us with the sign-up information you provided (user account name will be sufficient for identifying purpose) using the same e-mail account as you registered with.

It’s just impossible to wade through dozens of new sign ups (we’re getting a spam attempt approximately every ten minutes) and figure out which are legitimate and which are not at this time.

Important Webring Changes

After a long time of trying to get a new webring setup (since the existing, off-site solution has not been usable for several years), we have decided that we will have to settle for a much simplified version, since we just don’t have the skill to code something more complex. Effective immediately, this will be the webring code used on the site, and the webring account at RingSurf will be closed as soon as any active sites that we are aware of have moved over to the new system.

We will email all sites that we still have a contact email for, to send out the new webring code and new site ID. If you have a site in the old ring and you don’t get an email, you will need to sign up again. We will also be accepting new signups.

If there are any questions, just let us know.

Calendar Update

The calendar has been updated with dates for George R. R. Martin’s appearances in Spain. He says more dates may be added, and that dates for events in Portugal are forthcoming.

Forum Outage

The server hosting the forum appears to have gone down at some point, and all services (including the forum) were down. Now some of them have started up again, suggesting there was some sort of crash, but unfortunately the Apache server that allows web access seems to be down still. We’ve notified the system administrator, and with any luck the forum will be up soon.

So Spake Martin Update

A few more posts from the Center Stage event, as GRRM has snuck in a few last responses before officially closing out his participation. Of particular interest are his remarks on future books he might write in the setting, and a number of questions concerning Targaryen historical matters.