Wowpedia talk:Village pump/Archive03

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Comment out extra boilerplate?

Oh, I hope this is the right spot to ask this question. When using a boilerplate as a basis for article information, is it best to delete all the sections that you don't use, or comment them out so that someone else can add info there if needed? Hrm.. asked that way, I think I just answered myself. I'm just not sure how concerned we are in general with page file sizes and things like that. Also, is there a completed guide someplace for help on procedures for editing things correctly? Or someplace to ask newbie questions? I've been fumbling around a bit, and it seems like the help files are kind of all over the place...and half of them are stubs. :)

I really want to help with this whole project, but I don't want to screw it up. Gilly DH 12:37, 28 May 2006 (EDT)

If you just don't know what the information should be then just leave it blanks (i.e. level of something). If you know a certain field doesn't apply to the article then delete it, (i.e the DPS of armor..) and if there may or may not be information then you can delete it or comment it out. I don't think page size as far as KBs is as much of a concern as page size in the terms of a really long article no one wants to read or edit. As far as getting help it can sorta be a pain to figure out where to ask where someone will actually see it. Help:Editing will be your best choice for finding up to date, wowWiki specific, editing information. If you have questions about a certain article you should ask on that articles talk page. If you just have a question that you want to be sure someone sees and answers you can ask on my talk page and I will answer it the best I can as will almost anyone who is active here. :)--Ralthor 23:48, 28 May 2006 (EDT)
Category:Help has useful info, as has Wowpedia:Community portal. But, yeah, a lot is stubs :-(   - I'm actually working on trying to improve the situation right now (and have been for the past week or so). Feel free to contribute ;)
But, yeah, here's definitely a good place to ask questions, and Ralthor's pointer is the reference for how wiki markup actually works. --Mikk 04:30, 29 May 2006 (EDT)
Thankee much, gentlefolk. I've already been using Help:Editing heavily and now I've bookmarked Category:Help too. I had been starting on the Community Portal page, but got frustrated when articles that seemed to have the exact info I wanted were stubs. And I can't contribute to something I don't know about. ;)
However, I don't have a problem with the code. More like: What categories should I use for this widget? (don't want to contribute to the problem of incorrect categorization). And something else, but I forget what it was now. Anyway, I'll ask the category questions on the article talk pages. Thanks again. Gilly DH 09:17, 29 May 2006 (EDT)
You're in a pretty unique situation right now, though.
  • You're new to editing WoWWiki
  • You care about your pages; categorization, editability, etc..
  • You communicate :-)
If you were to do something simple like keeping a tally of problems you run into, it could help immensely. For people long used to WoWWiki, it's hard to guess where the problem areas lie - they know everything too well already. (Well, ok, blank stubs = bad. But the problem is what should actually go in them :-))
--Mikk 10:50, 29 May 2006 (EDT)
Heh, you could probably say I'm in the same position. Btw, it's a very good idea to check where the main page links actually go - I flagged up the problem with the Quests link earlier - it doesn't really go anywhere of interest :-O
Mikk, you're doing a great job btw!
-- Kirkburn 10:58, 29 May 2006 (EDT)

Use of Javascript and HTML events in MediaWiki?

If I haven't completely misinterpreted the results of the current Template:Delete/Vote/Content/Dev – specifically this version – it seems that we can't use onmouseover or onmouseout or onmouseclick. I extend that to mean that we probably can't use any HTML events to call functions. If anyone can think of a way to make a banner expand to display a policy abbreviation, so that we can have smaller banners, please let me know here or on a more relevant talk page (and of course let me know where it is). Thanks. Schmidt 14:17, 30 May 2006 (EDT)

div style="hover { some attribute that makes the div go bigger };" perhaps? I suck a fair bit at CSS, unfortunately. This page might have a useful tip or two. Notice especially what goes on when you mouse over examples; the functionality for that is shown in the last example.
However, I'd personally be leery to hide away important information like that. It's a little bit like going back to those "Hey, find the right random place to click in this picture of (me|my cat|my car|my room|a smurf) here to get to where you want! But I'm not even gonna tell you that there's something clickable here!" games that were so popular in like 1995 to me. --Mikk 15:17, 30 May 2006 (EDT)
I know what you're talking about. Yeah, we wouldn't want to hide away the policy, but here's my rationale: For one thing, we wouldn't be hiding anything away really. We would be stowing it. See, we could have a note saying something like "Mouse over this banner to see an abbreviated policy." That way people that would actually read that would see it. And further, the full policy is on another page anyways. In any case, I don't see how this hover thing will work, but I'll see what I can do. Schmidt 15:25, 30 May 2006 (EDT)
Hey, something I know about! Yes, you could use css to do something like this, however :hover doesn't work in Internet Explorer, except for links. If you make it a link to the full policy though, you wouldn't have a problem. Gilly DH 18:08, 30 May 2006 (EDT)
MSIE just sucks. I wouldn't mind excluding all the MSIE users. No, just kidding. I know that I used to work at Comfort Inn where they didn't have Firefox which I prefer, so by what I said at the beginning of this paragraph would be something of a double standard. Anyways, yes, we would link to the policy anyways. But unless I'm mistaken, I can't use :hover anyways because I can't write any CSS formatting for :hover. Where would I put it? SCRIPT doesn't work, so I can't do <SCRIPT type="css/text">, which is what I would normally use. Am I missing anything? Schmidt 18:21, 30 May 2006 (EDT)
Ah...hrm. Can you link to an external stylesheet? I don't know of a way to do inline styles for :hover. And.. I just realized that links don't really work the same way in Wikicode anyway. So actually, I'm out of my depth :(
However, I see there's a ton of stylesheets and javascript pages linked in the general page source. Is there a way to name things in WoWWiki? There should be... there's a specific style for image frames and toc boxes, right?, so can you add one for policy boxes? Then you might be able to do something in an external stylesheet. I'm just throwing ideas out here, hoping one of them will be slightly useful. 19:59, 30 May 2006 (EDT) -- didn't sign it right the first time, which reminds me to preview :P Gilly DH 20:24, 30 May 2006 (EDT)

I figured I was out of my depth too, which is mostly why I'm trying to recruit other people for perhaps one more tool than I had. I appreciate your effort. In any case, I know that I could apply a class to it, which would be better than an ID, but I can't access the CSS file that each page links to, so I can't make use of external sheets. That's the problem at hand. I'm trying to do this without having such access. Schmidt 20:27, 30 May 2006 (EDT)

I didn't realize you didn't have any access to the stylesheets. I'll see if I can think of anything. Meantime, hopefully someone else will have an idea. Gilly DH 20:41, 30 May 2006 (EDT)

A few things that I mentioned to Rustak

I just wrote Rustak mentioning some important things I've had in mind. This is to tell you that you don't need to contact him, and also to let you know when he returns with an answer.

The topics I discussed:

I'll let you all know when there's an answer, or maybe he'll respond right here. Schmidt 16:40, 30 May 2006 (EDT)

LOL. He already responded, like 15 minutes after I had written him. He said he'll take a look at it. Well, he said a lot more than that. I'm not sure how much he wants public.
  • As for the wiki icon, he doesn't like the image I used for the test, so maybe if we open up more options, that would be helpful.
  • He doesn't necessarily want to introduce new namespaces, but the discussion is still in progress.
  • On CSS formatting files, he's looking into alternatives to how it is right now, and may implement the use later.
I I'll let you know when he responds again. Schmidt 17:06, 30 May 2006 (EDT)
So he didn't like the image you used, which is pretty close the icon 3 which is winning the Proposed new sidebar vote, does he not like that icon either?--Ralthor 19:02, 31 May 2006 (EDT)

Categorizing templates

(Aye, I'm obviously taking a break in my WoW playing :-)) I'm going over all the templates in "Template:" and categorizing them. Take a look at Category:Templates to see what I'm doing and shout here if you have any input. I've done A through D at the moment. Unfortunately I managed to introduce newlines in some places where there really shouldn't be any. I'll be going back over everything and fixing it tomorrow morning. Right now I seriously need some Zzzzz. --Mikk 15:58, 30 May 2006 (EDT)

Fleshed out the texts in the categories a lot more, which should help explain what the heck I'm actually doing. Yes, the texts are fairly huge now, which kind of goes against policy, but I figure they're pages by editors for editors so perhaps it matters less? --Mikk 02:39, 31 May 2006 (EDT)
Schmidt and I started swinging our handbags at eachother about Category:Templates that should have been local. I started a vote about it. Please help us stop :-) → Discussion page.   --Mikk 15:32, 2 June 2006 (EDT)
Yes, please help him stop. :-P Schmidt 16:27, 2 June 2006 (EDT)
Oi! *swings*   --Mikk 02:11, 3 June 2006 (EDT)

Phew, I've gone over them all and done an initial categorization. Of course, I might be wrong about some classifications, but now at least the brunt of the work is done. It also earned me the dubios honor of a 2500club membership >.<   --Mikk 07:37, 7 June 2006 (EDT)

Style and substance

The Wiki is too complicated. There, I've said it.

It has expanded massively recently, and needs some serious work sorting out pages. The kind of stuff I have problems with are pages with nearly identical names serving different purposes, or wildly varying pages that are almost identical. For example:

  • Quest and Quests ... should be one page
  • Trainer and Trainers ... I have merged (Trainer redirects to Trainers)
  • The professions-related pages are all over the shop

... and similar stuff.

Now, I'm not really complaining, but I think there should be more of an emphasis on sorting the existing pages rather than adding more and more all the time. There are database sites out there that can do directory listings much better than a wiki - but what a wiki can do better is the background, the explanations, the commentary ... which is what I reckon should be concentrated on. Giant lists of minor quests are of little use if they're infrequently updated and they can get more info on thottbot or suchlike - sticking to the big stuff, the useful stuff will help much more.

I guess I'm saying that too many pages = contributions spread too thinly. The wiki has something like 10,000 active pages, and there aren't nearly enough people working on it to police them all (Mikk is doing a great job of clearing up stuff at the moment though, I must say - a lot of pages need deletion - which would probably speed up the wiki, too).

I hope this doesn't step on anyone's toes :) -- Kirkburn 12:35, 1 June 2006 (EDT)

Fwiw, I'm not getting involved in this discussion. I came here to fiddle with API pages and I haven't even gotten started with that :-) (But I do agree with Kirkburn's general notions.) --Mikk 14:46, 1 June 2006 (EDT)
Heh, I'm not trying to drag you into this :P Heck, it might make you stop ;) ... anyways, I'm not advocating radical changes, just suggesting we try and concentrate on what we already have a little more. -- Kirkburn 16:17, 1 June 2006 (EDT)

Two new policy proposals

I just thought I'd draw your attention to two new policy proposals I put up:

Comments and flames go in their respective talk pages :-) --Mikk 16:39, 1 June 2006 (EDT)

Since we are drawing attention to things I will draw attention to the two votes I put up on Help:Contents. ;)--Ralthor 17:59, 1 June 2006 (EDT)


I started looking at the Orphanage and noticed that a lot of the items are similar. First of all, do we care if there are items in the orphanage? Should we have a goal that most pages should be linked into the main wiki?

There's a lot of items that are put in Categories but since they are not directly linked, they show up as orphans. Some examples are:

  • News items like 1-Year Anniversary Celebration Giveaway
  • Player pages like Aarawn
  • Abbreviations like BRB

I'd be willing to clean up items out of the orphanage, but I'm just curious if anyone else thinks this would be a good idea. - ClydeJr 17:08, 3 June 2006 (EDT)

Some pages in the orphanage should obviously be linked into other pages since they're useful. But a lot of them.... uh, no, they're navigated via categories if at all. Glossary and abbreviation pages definitely strike me as such pages. I'm thinking that perhaps we should turn Orphanage into an actual page (with a well-visible link to specialpages at the top), and just have "Pages that aren't linked to but really aren't meant to:" below that and just dump meant-to-be-orphans there. It would make the specialpage useful again. Right now, trying to find something meaningful to do there is just ... meaningless.
If we go with that, finding meant-to-be-orphaned pages and linking to them from the Orphanage would indeed be a task worthy of praise :-)
--Mikk 04:42, 4 June 2006 (EDT)
Meh, this is a wiki. I just went ahead and set the page up to show you what I mean. If it is decided that this is a Bad Idea(tm), just revert it back to the redirect. I won't take offense :-) --Mikk 05:06, 4 June 2006 (EDT)

A "Things to do" category?

I was just considering setting up a "Things to do" category, which would contain pretty much everything that a bored contributor could browse through to find ... well... things to do :-)   All the stub categories... votes in progress... the categories for pages tagged for merging/moving/cleanup/etc... the orphanage ...

Note that I don't mean including the actual pages that need action in the category, but rather the pages that LIST things to do.

Anyone else think it's a good idea? Or a better name for the category?   I kind of want it to be obvious enough that contributors can go "ah-hah!" when just looking at the name, but yet short and to-the-point. --Mikk 10:16, 4 June 2006 (EDT)

Well there is Wowpedia:Community_Portal/To Do, which could probably be reorganized to have all that information. Do the same thing we were doing to Help:Content/Dev, where the ToDo information that is included is an abbreviated list of the most populat ones (or all of them if they will fit) with short descriptions and on the actual page you could have a much larger list with maybe a little more information about what exactly to do with the categories... Yea I like that idea, just need to make sure the more link is include ;)--Ralthor 10:28, 4 June 2006 (EDT)
Yeah, the portal todo list is more or less the same idea, but I was thinking it'd be a good thing for new contributors to see a "Things to do" link at the bottom of something they stumble over, and immediately get referenced to even more things to do! :-)   --Mikk 12:31, 4 June 2006 (EDT)

Call me restless. I went ahead and did it after realizing that there are so many categories containing useful things to do that simply do not get linked to from anywhere meaningful. Now they are. Check out Category:Things to do. (There's also a link to the category from the community portal todo list.)

Axeing Stub/Section and Stub/Section2

Shamelessly plugging my vote to axe these two templates. I've already rewritten all the existing stub tags to say "article or section", which seems much more useful to me.


So I created a new collaboration of the week for people to check out. On the talk page there are some suggestions and ideas for how to make the COTW something useful. --Ralthor 12:50, 4 June 2006 (EDT)

Nice one! And I wouldn't worry too much about the process if I were you; don't fix what isn't broken imo. If people actually start warring about what should be the COTW at some point in the future, you could start implementing lengthy procedures then :-)   --Mikk 16:26, 4 June 2006 (EDT)
(This is really nit picking :-)) I think your writing style in the COTW is a bit too .. well.. "official". If it had been me, I think I'd have gone with something a bit more colloquial. After all, it's meant to be something along the lines of "hey mates! let's run off and do this together now!". --Mikk 07:08, 5 June 2006 (EDT)
Oh and another thing... What that bit about "subst in some random template that doesn't exist"? I don't get it :-) --Mikk 07:08, 5 June 2006 (EDT)
oh i figured I would make a template at some point and the when you created a new nomination you would substitute it (like vote/talk) and that would place the description, support, and comment section there. So once that was made it would read {{Subst:COTW/Nomination}} or something like that.--Ralthor 07:56, 5 June 2006 (EDT)

Open plea to Rustak for more RAM for the poor server

First, I have to say: I think I can speak for everyone when I say "We love you for putting up this machine and giving us the opportunity to work with this great project!".

But now to .. erm.. some constructive criticism?

This box is in sore need of some more RAM for the poor MySQL database. This is what I'm seeing now (and I do have a page load timer):

  • Regular page view times of 10--30 seconds. Sometimes more, but that's the norm.
  • Page submit times of 30--300(!) seconds. If I post a few pages after eachother (in different tabs), I nearly always go and grab a smoke right after. Sometimes the pages have finished submitting when I get back. Sometimes, not. (Yep, I've been smoking way too much the past couple of weeks >.<).

Perhaps it's possible to tweak the memory usage settings of the mysql db somehow to avoid the upgrade, but when I've had mysql databases go ultraslow on me in the past, I've just thrown a few more ram chips on the problem and they've generally been happy; it's faster than spending days trying to tweak them :-)

(On a sidenote, page previews are generally much much faster, so it does smell like a database problem to me.)

--Mikk 07:17, 7 June 2006 (EDT)

Ah, good, so it's not just me with the problem. Perhaps a good idea would be to try and clear out some of the stuff needing deletion (@ all admins) - that should help alleviate load, as less links would need evaluating, etc... There's just so many pages that need to disappear! (and it would be cheaper!) -- Kirkburn 09:23, 7 June 2006 (EDT)
That's a few hundred pages out of 27,599 pages. While I agree that they should be deleted already, I wouldn't count on it helping the server load a lot :-(   --Mikk 12:41, 7 June 2006 (EDT)
Meh, I broke my own record --Mikk 02:03, 12 June 2006 (EDT) File:Wikiloadtime.png
The last couple of days I've been double checking the theory that the DB is to blame. During multi-minute page load lags, I've opened the picture of Mr Friendly Orc in the top left corner in a separate window and reloaded him a couple of times. I've been getting OLTs (Orc Load Times :-)) of 0.3--2 seconds. (Then again, there's a cache somewhere in front of the actual wiki server so I might just be talking to that even though I'm requesting refreshes. Hard to tell from my end.) --Mikk 08:31, 12 June 2006 (EDT)

Is it still a problem? I've made a few tweaks that should help quite a bit; the server has 2GB of ram which is more than plenty to hold the entire working set in memory. Most of the wait is mediawiki cpu hogging, and I'm going to be doing some more stuff to alleviate that. Rustak 10:31, 12 June 2006 (EDT)

Wow. It's way faster now. Thanks. Schmidt 11:30, 12 June 2006 (EDT)
Woot! Damn, HUGE difference. Thanks! --Mikk 13:53, 12 June 2006 (EDT)
/cheer for Rustak! -- Kirkburn 17:15, 12 June 2006 (EDT)
Okay, now that's I've been testing it more .... triple /cheer and a /beer! Such a difference, hope it stays like this :D

AddOns Section revamp?

I was just looking at the addons section, and noticed it's incredibly messy. The following could probably be reduced to just two pages:

Suggestions? -- Kirkburn 10:29, 10 June 2006 (EDT)

In my humble opinion, WoWWiki shouldn't even have generic addon lists. To be quite frank, they're totally pathetic compared to any addon database site. WoWWiki could certainly provide space (imo) for addons that wants to use it as the main doco site for their addon, or addons where contributors are providing useful input, but the vast majority of what's listed is mostly "go download at ...." and not updated for well over a year. Heck, it wouldn't surprise me if most of them have been abandoned and no longer even function. --Mikk 14:07, 10 June 2006 (EDT)
To be honest, I agree ... the wiki never will be a repository for addons, so we may as well cut it down to:
  • Explaining what an addon/mod is
  • Link to any addon pages that exist on the wiki and are updated

All on one page, since there won't be enough for more than that. -- Kirkburn 17:24, 10 June 2006 (EDT)

Village pump summary in Community portal

I got a bit creative with awk and curl, and whoopie, there's now a summary of the Village pump in the "About WoWWiki" box in the Community portal. It'll work approximately until my linux box keels over, which may be any day or a year from now (the hard drive is making very funny noises and I haven't gotten around to replacing it yet.)

The only gotcha is that it sorts topics according to user signatures, so if you don't sign correctly (~~~~), the post won't appear. Consequently, I won't sign THIS one correctly because it doesn't need to appear there :-) --Mikk