Wikification!

Need help testing contributed art or code or having trouble getting your newest additions into game compatible format? Confused by changes to data formats? Reading through source and wondering what the developers were thinking when they wrote something? Need "how-to" style guidance for messing with VS internals? This is probably the right forum.
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pyramid
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Wikification!

Post by pyramid »

It has been mentioned in the past and will be mentioned in the future. The VS Wiki must become an easily accessible place where information can be found intuitively.
I am intending to use this thread as a one-stop place for all questions and discussions related to VS Wiki organization and reorganization as well as a navigation guideline. Stickifying is appreciated.

After some rework, the following structure is (should/will be) available.

There are 4 main quadrants:
* Player's Planet - concerns the player including manual, quick start guide, faq, database, VS universe history and stories.
* Contributor's Station - As it says. Everybody willing to mess with data or code-side, VS or mods should find information here.
* Help Shipyard - pointing to Wiki-external communication channels.
* Wiki Trading Post - About MediaWiki usage, style guides, and administrative statistics.

At the same time, I was trying to make access to information easier from the main page. The Contributor's Station has been subdivided into small sections:
* Generic Contributor's Guide - mainly to provide an overview of existing information
* For Artists and Modders - all about "how to" do something, or what are the requirements to do so, be it make a planet background, create a model, convert a unit from blender to bfxm, or create a mission, and much more.
* Engine Reference - Hard core documentation: API's, c++ & python classes, config variables, universe.xml, and other reference.
* For Coders - code dependencies, svn layout, code style, network protocol, and other things concerning engine coding.
* Administrative - project management for VS, roadmaps, task lists, and such things
* Other - things I didn't know where to stick.

I have mentioned it before, and I want to mention it again. In order to enable contributors to participate on the project, it is imperative to document all and any accomplishment in the development of the engine or artistic workflow/pipeline. In my opinion, this is the responsibility of the developer as nobody is better apt to lay out the steps and implications of such a new step.
Worse, if the developing developer developed to disappear from the project. In such a case, I believe it to be fruitful to have an organized structure where empty placed might be filled by other willing contributors.
Those two ideas should be the beacon for the following discussions.
Last edited by loki1950 on Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Made sticky
pyramid
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Re: Wikification!

Post by pyramid »

Said this, I would like to keep the first post as an updateable guideline for new contributors to the Wiki.
Now, any proposals on how to further improve the current wiki organization or navigation are welcome. More so, any real contributions. (The season is open :twisted:).

*EDIT*
For example, there is reference to the old wiki on several pages. After the sf move to a new data center, the old wiki is not available anymore. Also, as far as I have seen, all(?) articles from the old wiki were moved to the new one. Is there still a need to have the references there or can they be simply removed?

**EDIT**
Another idea that I'm carrying along for some time is to actually make the Development page the main portal for contributors of all kind and at the same time transfer all references from HowTos to Development, where the original HowTos page can still remain as a catalog page listing all HowTos category articles automatically, similar to, for example, the Category:Vessels page.
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Re: Wikification!

Post by legine »

How about a box that has a quick reference to the Page you are looking at. Aim would be to give the reader a fast glance. Refering VS version, last edited, authors worked on there (or last author if a list is to difficult.) well basicly just some basic info. That would help to keep track of documentation ageing with not to much of a hassle dont you think? :mrgreen:
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Re: Wikification!

Post by pyramid »

Most of the things you are proposing are already available on the wiki pages, you just need to know where to look 8)
* reference -> a contents box exists in the beginning of each page and the first Introduction section has a short explanation of purpose and contents.
* last edited -> is an automatic field on the bottom of each page
* authors -> is available form page history
* VS version -> is not available as of today, and indeed it's not too much work to add this information
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Wikidestructination!

Post by Deus Siddis »

I am glad to see an effort to reorganize and clean the wiki. However, I think what is needed falls more clearly within the lines of demolition. :twisted:

It seems like the wiki was meant to be a large framework that breaks a huge quantity of information down into very small directories designed to meet the needs of different wiki user 'types'. That might have seemed like a good design earlier on but what it has turned into in actuallity is a huge labrynth of twisting and branching paths that lead to dead ends of blank or mostly blank pages, unnecessary and useless information pages, duplicated pages and pages not containing all of the information that their names would imply.

So I think it would be easiest to start by making cuts, with duplicate pages being the first to go, like this one:

http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/media ... ry:Vessels

Which is a duplicate of this better page:

http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/media ... tallations

. . .only the first one is missing entries on a number of vessels (the Lemma for instance) as well as information on "installations" (in simpler words, ships without engines). Obviously the first page needs to be erased or otherwise dropped into a volcano, the same goes for any other duplicates that may be on the wiki.

Then I would eliminate mostly empty and/or mostly useless directories like the entire "Wiki Trading Post", which seems to have sparse information of sparse uses. One example of this being "Village Pump" since if we used that for its one purpose of discussing major wiki changes, we wouldn't be discussing major wiki changes here on the forum. :D

With the junk directories toast, the next thing to do would be to move useful information on sparse or overly specialized pages into old or new pages where that information makes sense and then erase those old pages. Like the misleading "Model Artstyle Guides" which is in fact only really "Faction Arstyle Guides" and thus has little or nothing to do with the artsyles of individual models- to find that information, you have to go all the way out of "Contributors Station" on the main page, into "Player's Planet" (would one think that a player would want to know the artstyle of a particular model while a contributor does not?) > Database > VS Tech > Vessels & Installations and finally pick a particular unit, to find a visual description of it, along with all the other information about it on its page.

Finally, and this part would be a big step, the whole hierarchy of the wiki should be rebuilt to something that is clean, simple and with few directories, based more on the structure of the game. I would suggest the game side in one supercategory, that covers all things the VS universe and the other mod universes (including style guides, unit lists, universe vision statements, terminology definitions, etc.) and another supercategory for technical or engine related stuff (code structure docs, model and texture budgets, supported features, etc.) and the final supercategory being the links section.
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Re: Wikification!

Post by loki1950 »

Need a match for the explosives :wink: Sounds like a clear plan which is better than the current situation of looks like it might fit here with a shoehorn.

Enjoy the Choice :)
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Re: Wikification!

Post by programmerandrew »

I have time tomorrow, with an admin approval, I'll go ahead with Deus Siddeus Plan, But I think I'll go ahead and deleting duplicate pages. (It can be undone anyways if I screw Up)
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Re: Wikification!

Post by pyramid »

Deus Siddis wrote:http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/media ... ry:Vessels
Which is a duplicate of this better page:
http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/media ... tallations
. . .only the first one is missing entries on a number of vessels (the Lemma for instance) as well as information on "installations" (in simpler words, ships without engines).
A category page automatically collects all pages that have the corresponding category tag included. It would be easier to erase the second manually maintained page and update missing tags in the Lemma and other missing units.
Deus Siddis wrote:Then I would eliminate mostly empty and/or mostly useless directories like the entire "Wiki Trading Post", which seems to have sparse information of sparse uses.
Yeah, Village Pump is useless. As for the rest, it is a reference for wiki usage, though I have never used it personally.
Deus Siddis wrote:...misleading "Model Artstyle Guides" ...
This is luckily not the page name but the link name, which can be easily changed.
Deus Siddis wrote:to find that information, you have to go all the way out of "Contributors Station" on the main page, into "Player's Planet" (would one think that a player would want to know the artstyle of a particular model while a contributor does not?)
Actually it's linked directly from the main page under Contributor's Station/For Artists and Modders.
Deus Siddis wrote:supercategory for technical or engine related stuff
I was trying to achieve that with the "Development" category and by moving many HowTos to this category. The move is still not complete.

Another supercategory I would like to keep is "Vegastrike" for pages like Project.
FAQ might go into the "VSGame" category. And there is a handful of other lost pages which may be attributed accordingly.

All in all, the direction is right.
Before deleting/renaming any pages, please make sure that you link any pages that point to the page you want to remove to the new/renamed page.
You can do this by selecting "What links here" from the toolbox on the left side.

Too bad that the current style after the move to a new MediWiki version makes things even harder to read and find than it was before. I hope ace will soonish find a solution.
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Re: Wikification!

Post by Deus Siddis »

pyramid wrote:A category page automatically collects all pages that have the corresponding category tag included. It would be easier to erase the second manually maintained page and update missing tags in the Lemma and other missing units.
Is the category page the better way of organizing this information though? I appreciate the fact that it doesn't have to be updated everytime a new vessel might be added or removed, but it seems like there is no way to edit it, to control its layout or the categories that it displays.

For instance, it says above the heading "Subcategories" that "This category has the following 12 subcategories, out of 41 total" and what this seems to mean is it is only displaying 12 of the 41 pages in this subcategory, and then when you hit "(next 200)" it displays the remaining 29 pages. How would we tell it to just display all 41 pages? Because when I try to edit the page, I see no information besides one little link, nothing at all that might control this layout and display stuff.

Another example is the subcategories themselves, as it only seems to have just one of these, which is the role or function of the listed vessels. But it does not also display vessels by the subcategory of the factions that builds or uses them like on the competing "Vessels and Installations" page. How would we add this other subcategory? By changing some mysterious part of each ship page?

If there are solutions to these problems then I'd agree with repairing and keeping the category page and junking the other, but if there is no way to actually manage it then we might want to retire the category page and keep the other.
Yeah, Village Pump is useless. As for the rest, it is a reference for wiki usage, though I have never used it personally.
I don't think it's just you though, I don't think anyone uses any of the pages under "Wiki Trading Post", which is why I think the very little information these pages actually contains could be put into one page underneath "Help Shipyard". If for no other reason, because the Main Page is the last place you want clutter, and collapsing the Wiki Trading Post section into just one page would do alot of good towards this end, imo.
This is luckily not the page name but the link name, which can be easily changed.
Done.
I was trying to achieve that with the "Development" category and by moving many HowTos to this category. The move is still not complete.
Very good then, separating out most everything into a Game and an Engine section on the Main Page will make a world of difference. When this is done though it would make alot more sense if we changed the names of these sections to "Game" and "Engine" or "Content" and "Technical" or something else really obvious and accurate. "Player's Planet" and "Contributor's Station" don't really tell you to much about what those sections contain and can be misleading, as about half or more of what a content contributor needs to know and reference is found under "Player's Planet".
All in all, the direction is right.
Before deleting/renaming any pages, please make sure that you link any pages that point to the page you want to remove to the new/renamed page.
You can do this by selecting "What links here" from the toolbox on the left side.
Good advice. How do you actually delete a page though?
Too bad that the current style after the move to a new MediWiki version makes things even harder to read and find than it was before. I hope ace will soonish find a solution.
I throw in my hopes for this as well.
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Re: Wikification!

Post by pyramid »

Deus Siddis wrote:How would we tell it to just display all 41 (subcategory) pages?
Dunno. Maybe you just need to have different listing pages for categories and subcategories. Maybe MediWiki documentation might help further.
Deus Siddis wrote:it does not also display vessels by the subcategory of the factions that builds or uses them like on the competing "Vessels and Installations" page. How would we add this other subcategory? By changing some mysterious part of each ship page?
Actually the different "views" of the categories are linked from the Database page. E.g. Vessels produced by Aerans.
The way you assign a page to different categories is indeed that mysetrious :) by putting the category references in each vessel page:

Code: Select all

[[Category:Vessels:Military|Areus]] [[Category:Vessels:Assault|Areus]][[Category:Used By:Aera|Areus]][[Category:Vessels:Fighter|Areus]]
My view is that it is still more useful than editing things by hand.
Deus Siddis wrote:I don't think anyone uses any of the pages under "Wiki Trading Post", which is why I think the very little information these pages actually contains could be put into one page underneath "Help Shipyard".
Indeed, like "Pages that need attention" or "Special:Specialpages". The rest seems useless.
Deus Siddis wrote:If for no other reason, because the Main Page is the last place you want clutter, and collapsing the Wiki Trading Post section into just one page would do alot of good towards this end, imo.
Same page.
I was trying to achieve that with the "Development" category and by moving many HowTos to this category. The move is still not complete.
Deus Siddis wrote:Very good then, separating out most everything into a Game and an Engine section on the Main Page will make a world of difference. When this is done though it would make alot more sense if we changed the names of these sections to "Game" and "Engine" or "Content" and "Technical" or something else really obvious and accurate.
As there are already two big sections "Manual" and "Development" why not keep it like that and just join the remainders? You could avoid a lot of work with that. Besides many of those pages are linked from the forum. But if you are very keen on spending weeks with just renaming, please feel free to do so.
Deus Siddis wrote:"Player's Planet" and "Contributor's Station" don't really tell you to much about what those sections contain and can be misleading.
Have better titles? Please use them. :D
Deus Siddis wrote:About half or more of what a content contributor needs to know and reference is found under "Player's Planet".
Proper sorting is recommended and desired. 8)
Deus Siddis wrote:Good advice. How do you actually delete a page though?
:?: Delete all content and save :?:
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Re: Wikification!

Post by Deus Siddis »

pyramid wrote:
Deus Siddis wrote:How would we tell it to just display all 41 (subcategory) pages?
Dunno. Maybe you just need to have different listing pages for categories and subcategories. Maybe MediWiki documentation might help further.
Deus Siddis wrote:it does not also display vessels by the subcategory of the factions that builds or uses them like on the competing "Vessels and Installations" page. How would we add this other subcategory? By changing some mysterious part of each ship page?
Actually the different "views" of the categories are linked from the Database page. E.g. Vessels produced by Aerans.
The way you assign a page to different categories is indeed that mysetrious :) by putting the category references in each vessel page:

Code: Select all

[[Category:Vessels:Military|Areus]] [[Category:Vessels:Assault|Areus]][[Category:Used By:Aera|Areus]][[Category:Vessels:Fighter|Areus]]
Looks like I'll need to look at all of this more closely then, especially on the technical side- mediawiki's syntax and supported organization techniques.
Deus Siddis wrote:I don't think anyone uses any of the pages under "Wiki Trading Post", which is why I think the very little information these pages actually contains could be put into one page underneath "Help Shipyard".
Indeed, like "Pages that need attention" or "Special:Specialpages". The rest seems useless.
Alright then.
I was trying to achieve that with the "Development" category and by moving many HowTos to this category. The move is still not complete.
Deus Siddis wrote:Very good then, separating out most everything into a Game and an Engine section on the Main Page will make a world of difference. When this is done though it would make alot more sense if we changed the names of these sections to "Game" and "Engine" or "Content" and "Technical" or something else really obvious and accurate.
As there are already two big sections "Manual" and "Development" why not keep it like that and just join the remainders? You could avoid a lot of work with that. Besides many of those pages are linked from the forum. But if you are very keen on spending weeks with just renaming, please feel free to do so.
I'm not sure what you mean, changing the names of "Players Planet" and "Contributors Station" wouldn't affect anything else would it?
Deus Siddis wrote:"Player's Planet" and "Contributor's Station" don't really tell you to much about what those sections contain and can be misleading.
Have better titles? Please use them. :D
Deus Siddis wrote:About half or more of what a content contributor needs to know and reference is found under "Player's Planet".
Proper sorting is recommended and desired. 8)
The better titles depend on where you want to draw the line between these two sections.

Should it be all vega strike universe information versus all technical information from engine specs and code standards to project official maximum polycounts and textures sizes and howtos and content inventory logs?

Or should it be all game content and content creation related information versus code and engine information?
Deus Siddis wrote:Good advice. How do you actually delete a page though?
:?: Delete all content and save :?:
Hmm, that's an interesting idea, it doesn't mention it in the mediawiki docs but if you deleted the content and the title, it would just be a blank page that nothing linked to, in theory.

Anyway I guess only admins can truly kill evil pages:

http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Deleting_a_page
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Re: Wikification!

Post by pyramid »

Deus Siddis wrote:I'm not sure what you mean, changing the names of "Players Planet" and "Contributors Station" wouldn't affect anything else would it?
I thought you mentioned that the titles are misleading. As such I think you can change them without any further impact on any other pages.
Deus Siddis wrote:Should it be all vega strike universe information versus all technical information from engine specs and code standards to project official maximum polycounts and textures sizes and howtos and content inventory logs?
Or should it be all game content and content creation related information versus code and engine information?
I am more for the first proposal, i.e. clear distinction between what's for players and what's for all kinds of contributors from artists to coders including artstyle guides.
Deus Siddis wrote:Anyway I guess only admins can truly kill evil pages: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Deleting_a_page
There seems to be some other options like moving (renaming), redirecting, deleting content which we can opt to utilize. In some extreme cases, we can request a delete but should consider if this is really necessary.
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Re: Wikification!

Post by MC707 »

Request/idea to 'map' certain areas of the wiki:
I have realized lots of pages that have direction arrows (see snapshot) Imageare extremely disorganized and do not keep a linear fashion. It would be a good idea to organize most of those pages to be linear and in order, and have a some sort of 'site map'. I think the HowTos button would be the 'map'. For instance, these pages have a sequence issue.

cygwin compiling <====> compile from SVN ====> compile on OSX

I clicked on the right arrow on 'cygwin compiling' and 'compile from SVN', but once you reach the page 'compile on OSX', the left arrow doesn't take you to 'compile from SVN'. I hope you understand what I mean (tried my best, ask if u didn't understand :P ).

If ya got any ideas/criticisms/support, comment please. As the first post says, we must keep the wiki clean and 'intuitive'.
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Re: Wikification!

Post by Turbo »

"Intuitive" is going to be different from everyone, but the more ways to link the pages, the more people will be able to find stuff. So I suggest you link whatever you can in a way that makes sense for you, and if it doesn't make sense to someone else they can add their own links. :P
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