Wiki Templates

  • Pitcrew

    Comments in a less constructive thread got me thinking about how to properly credit wiki page layouts when the original creator isn't known or doesn't play on any given game where said layout might be used. I have done a lot of wiki work based off of layouts that other people have made across a number of games and while it's never my intention to "steal" someone else's work, I do find myself wondering the best way to credit someone if I don't know who they are and/or where they've gone. What do you folks think the best way to handle this might be? Would it be helpful, perhaps, for wiki creators to link to an example of a layout they made here so proper attribution can be made?

    edited to replace the word 'template' with 'layout' so as not to confuse two different wiki concepts.

  • Pitcrew

    Find a place where you would put the normal credit of someone you know, and then you just add:

    'Template acquired from [place you acquired it]. If this is yours, please contact [you] so I can credit you properly.'

  • There's a real easy way to do it that doesn't even show up on the page, really.

    <!-- Layout design adapted from X@Game's Wiki. (link) -->


    <div style="display: none;">Layout design adapted from X@Game's Wiki. (link)</div>

  • Pitcrew

    You could put it on the template page itself inside noinclude tags. (Like how people often do to categorize their templates into a Template category without including that category on pages that use the template.)

  • I think people are using 'templates' in a different way than what Mediawiki means, @Roz. You can put these standard player pages in under the Tempate: namespace, but I think it's more that people are copying a layout they like from a different location and filling in their own information. That is a template, of a kind.

    But yeah, if these are Mediawiki Templates, then the credit can be given there.

  • Pitcrew

    @Thenomain Ah, I see.

  • @Thenomain said:

    I think people are using 'templates' in a different way than what Mediawiki means, @Roz.

    ^ That, indeed. It's why I go with 'layout' instead, since what people use for character pages is not the same thing as a template.

    Proper templates could arguably be made from any given layout, but that would involve a considerable amount of work in many cases, and some limitations in others that most folks would rather not deal with.

  • Pitcrew

    @surreality said:

    @Thenomain said:

    I think people are using 'templates' in a different way than what Mediawiki means, @Roz.

    ^ That, indeed. It's why I go with 'layout' instead, since what people use for character pages is not the same thing as a template.

    Proper templates could arguably be made from any given layout, but that would involve a considerable amount of work in many cases, and some limitations in others that most folks would rather not deal with.

    It's not really that much work. It's just building the layout you already built without content. I guess I also don't really know the kind of crazy layouts folks might be making on other games, but definitely most 'character page with an infobox and several header sections' are super simple.

  • @Roz Uhm... no.

    That's a blank preload of a layout. It works off of an entirely different method of 'fill in the blanks' than an actual template.

    These are templates. They work with parameters and parser functions are required to make them work properly if the data it's looking for isn't present. They are considerably more complex when it comes to make the data appear correctly on the page.

    If you want all pages to look relatively uniform, you use an actual template. That template then has a preload you hook up to an inputbox, or people can cut and paste the preformatted list of parameters onto their page from the template page and fill it out.

    You can hybridize the two, but people sadly tend to look at that and get woefully confused nine times out of ten; wiki code itself is difficult for a lot of people and the hybrids are especially confusing. Proper templates, conversely, are so extraordinarily simple to fill out as it is literally a case of 'fill in the blanks' since they're a list like this:

    {{ Data
    | title = display title
    | type = Category
    | text = text
    | hr = no
    | custom = no

    To sum up: sorry, but you're factually wrong on this one. Templates and blank layouts are not the same animal, even if people use the template namespace often enough for preloads constructed in this fashion. That's actually not really what it's for or what a template is in wiki terms.

  • Pitcrew

    @surreality Yeah, I'm -- aware of all of that. I too build for-real templates (and then forms on top of templates for the easiest user input). They are full of parser functions, yes, but there are varying levels of complexity you can actually set up templates to have. I still maintain that it doesn't have to be a considerable amount of work, it just depends on what kind of template you're working with. And that people who are making fancy layouts anyways probably have the skill level to learn a few more basics of MediaWiki templates and turn one into the other.

  • @Roz I was wondering where that confusion was coming from, since you were talking about wanting to keep the data uniform.

    A lot of the layouts people do that are 'fancy' cannot work the same way without a useless excess of code to display properly.

    'Fancy' means you know CSS, and that's the long and short of it. That's twenty miles from knowing how to deal with parser functions. It's the difference between being able to use ANSI and 256COLOR expertly on a MUX, and writing softcode.

    You can set up a blank preload for any of the fancy things -- but it's not a template, even if it lives in that namespace. It's the better option by far for anyone who wants to use that style of layout than an actual template would be.

  • Pitcrew

    I guess my point is that I just don't really find learning CSS twenty miles from learning parser functions. I find it a similar foundation of "I've learned some code in one language, which makes it easier to pick up some basics in another." It's reading up on some helpfiles and learning some basics. It might be that I'm wrong and other people could do a bunch with CSS but could never ever learn MediaWiki parser functions, but I suspect that's not the case for a lot of people if they were to read a helpfile or two on the MediaWiki wiki.

  • I only know of about... 4-5 people, I think? that have even dipped their toes there much if at all, and that's including you and me in that total, believe it or not. I know of folks who have done mux/wiki sql things more often than digging into the parser foo, which is weird to me, but true enough in my experience. (Weird to me because I use templates for everything to an almost absurd degree for the speed factor and dpl potential and both of those things seem completely worth the time to set it up and do the whole day or so of reading to handle making a super basic template like the one above.)

    I've also seen the cavalcade of WTF that the hybrid template/wiki code layout preloads generate in players, even if the functionality is neat. It was a lot of WTF. :/ Bingo@Reno made a really neat page hybrid setup, and a lot of people have just grabbed their old ones from elsewhere and pasted them over because they were having trouble understanding how to work with it -- which is sad, because wow a lot of work went into that thing, and it's very neat.

    BTW -- which forms setup or extension do you use? Because oh ye gods and little fishes, I know no matter how many instructions I include in-template, it's not going to help after a point. :|

  • Pitcrew

    @surreality We use Semantic Forms and Semantic Forms Inputs in conjunction with Semantic MediaWiki. You can take a look here and here for the two games I staff on/do wiki stuff on. The vast majority of the original thought and setup on a lot of the stuff actually belongs to one of my X-Factor co-staffers, who has continually honed stuff over a few game wikis. (Lost & Found's wiki I built all myself! Just very much inspired from her work.)

    I will 100% believe that people just haven't really tried digging into templates at all, but certainly people who can do SQL shit would find it easy if they glanced at the page.

  • @Roz I was so hoping there was a viable answer other than SMW, that's why I've been curious! :neutral_face: (A lot of the template/dpl tools I'm working on I keep hoping to share with other places that want to snag them if they prove useful, and I know a lot of people are gunshy about setting SMW up, me included. Looks like it's time to bite that particular bullet, though.)

    I was surprised to find that notation within the templates does actually work, provided there's none of the function symbols in the line; I'm surprised I haven't seen that done even just to break sections apart on longer templates. It's possible to get the help documentation right in the template to read along as someone fills it out, or edits it raw, but that's a two-edged sword: all the details for how-to can be there and include all the relevant info, but when it looks like a ton of text that can be massively daunting and make things appear more difficult rather than anything else.

    I have a wacky pipe dream regarding some method of being able to enter things like new powers/merits/whatever through wiki templates and shove them over to the MUX, but that... well, while it would be helpful it would apparently be nightmarish to set up. (Only slightly less nightmarish with forms to prevent typo errors in some cases for necessary category distinctions or attribute names that have to remain consistent.)

  • Pitcrew

    But SMW is SO WONDERFUL. But yeah, I get people being wary of the slog of setting it up. But it's SO WORTH IT. You can track so much stuff across different parts of your wiki.

  • @Roz In my dream world, there would be a way to set up a 'wiki in a box' similar to the way they used to have the Mux-in-a-minute sort of thing. A collection of settings appropriate for most games with info on how to tweak them, all the useful template bits set up for entering data easily... :heart:

    There's the creative foo foo, which we disagree about, but man... if everybody didn't more or less have to re-invent the wheel every time on the basic elements we all need? Serious time-saver. Having a wiki at all is a pretty huge leap forward from ye olden days of angelfire -- :confounded: -- but there's just so much more people could do so easily with them sometimes and I rarely see people using it much. Drives me crazy.

    Just thinking about one of the convos that spawned this thread -- the Lights Out idjits -- they like anyone else could grab a set of openly-contributed stuff to just run with and tweak as needed/desired. It doesn't strike me as being too impossible to create a base setup and then batches of specifics for whatever setting -- like a 'if you're running a nWoD game, here's what you need' pile of files, etc. to add to a basic pile of 'here's a glossary of standard <game server> commands', and similar resources, etc.

  • Pitcrew

    @surreality If you ever end up working on this project and want some help, let me know. I staff with @Roz and have spent a lot of time neck-deep in SMW and basic infobox templates. I've also recently moved most the back-end set-up stuff from our previous wiki to our current one as we swapped games.

    The big issue with this is probably version issues. Inevitably every time things upgrade, things break. There were only 2 and a halfish years between building one wiki and building another, and I still had to fix extension compatibility issues. I'm not entirely certain I've hashed them all out yet, even.

    But the basics of an infobox template and how to get that into a form ought to be pretty easy to do. So too should a list of really great extensions for M*s.

    I might be a little bit of a mediawiki nut. Little bit.

  • Pitcrew


  • Pitcrew

    Lol of COURSE wikis are the one thing that would get Tat on Soapbox.

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