Talk:World of Warcraft API/Archive 2006 January Split Debate

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The all new WoWAPI-Page layout

Sorry to say this guys, but I hate the new layout. I don't even think it's less overwhelming, since the site's structure is just growing more complex. While splitting the data and arguments section onto its own page seems to be a good idea, the alphabetical division of the API-functions onto several pages slows down the whole process of looking up functions significantly. I tried out the new layout today and i must say that it simply decreases efficency of the site a lot. If you really want to add additional structure to this section (which i do not think is neccessary, since in the end, it is just a reference, not a textbook), i'd suggest you do it by anchoring the different subsections, but for god's sake, please do not split them up! -- DerGhulbus 23:05 17 Jan 2006 (EST)

You can still use World of Warcraft API/All. Did you not see the link at the top? I'll make it more obvious.
Also, I believe Schmidt is going to add many more links. If not, I will.
--Fandyllic 6:20 PM PST 17 Jan 2006
Keeping those two pages up-to-date at the same time isn't gonna be easy. But i guess i'll give it a try.
Oh, and thanks for making the link more obvious ;)
-- DerGhulbus 12:01 18 Jan 2006 (EST)
With page histories, someone can always merge changes from the All page to the sub-pages or vice-versa. Hopefully, Blizzard won't be changing stuff too frequently. Te expansion will be when it gets really tough.
--Fandyllic 10:34 AM PST 18 Jan 2006

While I appreciate what you community editors are trying to do, I gotta ask. Did you consider asking the people who use the API pages on a regular basis what they want and need?

--The Nerd Wonder 02:09, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)
I wasn't planning to add any more links until something was decided. First off, as The Nerd Wonder hit on, I'm not one that uses this page since I have little interest in writing API. I'd like to learn it sometime, but I don't exactly have time nor the capacity right now. As I figured it, the old format was just ugly. If everyone liked it the way it was, and everyone was able to contribute (I mean, if your browser had no issues with it), then I suspect it'd be fine. I've only used IE and Firefox, so I don't know if any other browser wouldn't be able to support at least reading a long page such as that. And I don't remember seeing any complaints about the length.
I don't see how any number of edits can make the full list (such as /All is now) look any better than it does now. Maybe it doesn't need to look any better. After all, geeks (no offense) don't need things to look pretty and fluffy or anything. Me, I don't care if it looks the way it does now or the way it was. If I was a little more interested in coding, however, I would prefer this layout for one major reason: It's more manageable to me. I can look through, and see "group functions" and say "Hey. I need to see what I can do with group functions because I'm trying to figure out how to do...." or "I wonder if I can write a mod that reads the quest log and does this and that with it."
If you're searching for a specific function, there are two things to be done:
  • Search through Special:Allpages, such as Special:Allpages/API, and it'll list all the pages in alpha order beginning with API.
  • Have a user-created alpha catalog of all the API functions (including red links, of course).
These two options cover the current complaints that you all have, right? Schmidt 02:40, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)
I created World of Warcraft API/Alpha for the alpha catalog, which is what some seem to want (which doesn't make sense to me). If the link belongs on the main page here, link it, but I for one wouldn't want it to be the main API listing. Schmidt 08:01, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)
Looks like we might as well just swap World of Warcraft API/All back to World of Warcraft API, since they are roughly the same size again... Maybe we can make a TOC-like page and put it at World of Warcraft API/TOC, but make it and its sub-pages deprected, since the large page thing isn't really an issue anymore and most devs wouldn't suffer such a limitation anyway in their browser.
--Fandyllic 2:37 PM PST 19 Jan 2006

The whole argument doesn't make sense at all. See, first off, no browser that anyone can name has said limitation, so there was no need to change it at that point, for the sake of that. However, for the sake of appearance, it might be nice to have it look a little cleaner. (It doesn't, right now.) Further, it doesn't make sense to have them grouped in alpha order, because any function may be called by any given command. Such as in BASIC, you have PRINT; in C, you have printf; but in Javascript, you have document.write. Each of these could be categorized under one logical umbrella, but the commands are completely different. My point is that the categories are necessary for any developer not 100% fluent in WoW's code (and no expert C developer would have any advantage over a beginning WoW developer in this instance). And now people don't want to click one more time. What's the big deal? One more freaking link to follow. You should already be able to see what category it would be set under, so you just click the appropriate link. And why do you need documentation anyways, you fluent coders? And if you're looking for a specific function, you can always type it in the friendly Google box and search for it. Furthermore, you could just bookmark each of those 6 (SIX!) pages. Whatever. I guess I'm just irritated at these petty (seems to me) arguments. And I'm sleepy, too, but I have a class in an hour and a half that I have to sleep through and after that I have an hour drive home, and then PT in the morning.

As I think about it now, it only makes sense to go with the developers on this, because they're the only ones who will look at the page. It is readable as it is, so making it more readable would only make it more readable. Schmidt 18:05, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)

First off I am enormously indebted to everyone who's contributed to the wiki, especially those that maintain and pay for it. I'll try to contribute more and certainly I'll go with the flow on whatever format is settled on. But to give a little more insight: groupings aren't clear cut. When you want to know the cooldown left on an item, the function you use depends on where the item sits. GetActionCooldown and GetContainerItemCooldown are in a different group than GetInventoryItemCooldown. It doesn't make the page unusable to break apart the functions into their arbitrary categories, but it does mean that many searches of functions require not one extra click but many: sometimes back and forth into every category and searching for the reference.
Experience and time don't reduce the use of the API page as a reference, either. I have done A LOT of work with GetItemInfo but I constantly come back to look up returns. There is just so much information that nobody could be expected to contain it all in their heads.
Also when using the API pages as a reference, it's often useful to refer to other functions that perform a similar task, which may be in a different group. It's not life-or-death but the categorizing doesn't improve its role as a reference of which the API page has performed flawlessly and elegantly in the flat/ugly style that it was.
The value of the API page as a reference can't be underestimated. The modding community would be crippled without it. Tutorials only serve their purpose until a person can no longer learn anything from them. This API page is used just as heavily, if not more, long after tutorials cease to teach.
I see it's back to the old style now which makes me very happy. I'll live if it goes back the other way but it will likely be in the depreciated listing. -- Gello 20:20, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)

Thank you very much for returning to the one large page instead of splitting this into several pieces. I'm sure there were excellent reasons for splitting it, but it made the page quite a bit harder for me to use. It's not always clear under which topic I should look for a particular function, and when you split it into several pages, it was no longer possible to simply search the page for what I wanted. Yes, there is the google search box over there on the left, but it isn't always searching the latest version of the page =) --Larina 06:10, 22 Jan 2006 (EST)

Yeah, that Google search has got to go, but its existence is related to the faults of the current version of the software we're using. We're on 1.3, and we should be on at least 1.5. One day, perhaps. Sorry about being so stupid earlier. As I said before, I wasn't thinking rationally even though I thought I was. But Gello, couldn't you look under the category that makes most sense? I'm not sure, because I don't have any experience really with this, and all told, it doesn't matter anyways. But anyways, some stuff could probably appear under two categories, like a general "Countdown" category and also appear under "Actions" and "Items", according to what kind of countdown it is. Just brainstorming here. I would like this page to look neater, and it could still be flat as it is now, but I don't really know how. Maybe make it have columns? Schmidt 00:24, 25 Jan 2006 (EST)

I made the main page more of a TOC for sub-pages, but created a new World of Warcraft API/All for those who like the master page. Other people are workin on it to make it better (lots of links).

--Fandyllic 10:38 AM PST 18 Jan 2006

Please revert the layout

Please revert the API page to the way it was before, if you want to make a new sectioned page then by all means do so, but THIS page should be ALL of the core API functions. There doesn't appear to have been much discussion on doing this change before it happened, and, well, it's horrible. -- Flickering 21:49, 18 Jan 2006 (EST)

Revert how far back, you mean? Before I added the group names to what Fandyllic did? Or before what Fandyllic did? I, as well as Fandyllic, think that was horrible (before Fandyllic's change), and now it's more manageable. At least I added the listing of groups so that you can see what you're doing. If you like the old layout, it isn't hard to get to it. It's at World of Warcraft API/All. You can use that. Sure it may not be the best change, but it beats the old layout and the enormity of that page (120 kB).
How about using templates, or calling the sub pages as template pages. It wouldn't be that hard to set up.
As for Gello, he (assuming) said on Talk:World of Warcraft API/All that the flatness of the old format was great because you could search for a specific function and there it is. Well, for one, you could just go to API SpecificFunctionYouWant and there you go. But if that's not enough, how about listing them alpha rather than grouping them–but for this having a separate page–so you don't even have to bother so much as to press ctrl-F. Schmidt 22:38, 18 Jan 2006 (EST)
Revert as far back as before Fandyllic's changes, I suspect you'll find the dissenters of the old format are a MINORITY of the users of the page. I have no problem with ANOTHER page that categorizes the functions differently, but THIS page was a flat list of API functions, so we could find it all in one place. -- Flickering 15:01, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)
I am in favour of reverting the page to one flat list as well. Those of us who do actually use this page regularly, got most utility out of it by having one big flat list, so you could ctrl+F. == Lego 15:12, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)
If you guys want to use the OLD layout, then just click the link to World of Warcraft API/All.. it is the same thing! There is no need to revert the page when the old version still exists. --Anticrash 15:26, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)
We have documents, bookmarks, forum postings, and memory, all around THIS page, there's no reason why THIS page had to change - a brave new format should have been created as an ALTERNATE PAGE, and this one left alone. I fear that this is a problem where the "non-UI community" users of the wiki have crossed over into the area that's used by the UI community without a good historical understanding of why things are the way they are. We were already here using this page, if others want a World of Warcraft API/Subdivided, then by all means make one, but dont make us move OUR links to suit that. We dont have a problem with someone trying to add value by a more browsable page (Assuming they're going to take the burden to keep them in sync), we DO have a problem with making changes to our reference source, without consultation or understanding. -- Flickering 15:46, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)
I for one see no reason for the change, as apparently many others do as well. No one is going to want to update two pages when something changes in the API, regardless of the difficulty (or ease). This coupled with the fact that most users (yes I said most) tend to look for functions using search in their browser, kind of supercedes the "don't want to scroll" argument that was used for the change in the first place. Please change it back, as this goes against what most of us feel makes this site usable and friendly. I for one refuse to update the alpha list --Beladona 15:27, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)
If you guys need it reverted so badly I don't see why you are relying on someone else to revert it for you.. --Anticrash 15:54, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)
Protocol -- We dont want to get into an edit war with the other community folks, while we're not happy with their changes, I have complete faith that their intent was sound and good, and I'd rather reach agreement with them over the format it remains (and have them undo their own changes) than act unilaterally to force an issue. -- Flickering 17:03, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)
As long as there is an open vein of communication, there shouldn't be any issues with users conflicting over a change. As long as you have a valid reason and state that reason in the edit summary, feel free to make any edits you feel necessary. In this case, several users were simply asking for a revert without giving a practical reason to do so, which is why we were reluctant to follow through. But through the discussion that's taken place above, we can see how the revert is justified. It makes sense (to me, at least) that it would be more convenient for the developer community to keep the page intact as is, considering how members of the more casual community (myself included) do not really involve themselves with API related articles and really should not have any concerns as to the navigability of the page. --Anticrash 10:28, 20 Jan 2006 (EST)