User talk:Sparkletwist

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Don't talk about me behind my back, talk about me here!


New Template

Do you suppose a template could be made that would allow GMs to post private notes that only they themselves could read? I don't really know what this would entail, I know that Admins can have admin-only notes (though I don't know how to do those either), maybe something along those lines? --Ish

I don't think so. The general "spirit" of Mediawiki is designed around anyone being able to read and edit pages, so most restrictions have only to do with administrative functions and other things. It'd also be based around the user "groups" in Mediawiki itself and probably not the sort of thing that would be easy to implement. I could come up with some kind of template that'd automatically put a warning or something else on a link, though. That's probably the best I can do since Mediawiki (understandably) doesn't let wiki editors add DHTML. --sparkletwist 23:28, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I've done something of that sort, using the {{LinkWarning}} template and the {{WL}} template to actually make the links. Check out Zombietopia. --sparkletwist 00:29, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I posted this on the Page Creation Information discussion page yesterday, didn't know if you had seen it yet.

I've noticed this on a few pages, most recently on Neubert's pages. The disambiguation template that is set to coincide w/ the L and Setting templates doesn't always do what it's supposed to do, so I was wondering if that's a user error thing (Setting isn't being typed properly), or just a glitch I don't know about? Neubert's "Magic (Wetra)" page doesn't show up on the Magic disambiguation page, which is what made me think of this, and I've seen peoples' "Races" pages not showing up their either, even though it looks like they have made proper use of the L and Setting templates - anyone know about this, or will we have to wait for sparkletwist to wake up? ;) --Ish 14:30, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, I have had and am still having some significant computer problems. I'll likely be offline for a little bit more. I'll get back to this and look into the template issues (as well as come back to the CC discussion if it's still raging) when I'm sorted out. --sparkletwist 17:35, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

As an update, I'm mostly back, though still needing to reinstall a lot of things. --sparkletwist 15:29, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

External Images not showing up

Hey sparky, Over on the review badges page, we used to have all the images of the review badges show up properly, but when we upgraded, they don't show up anymore. I googled, but couldn't find anything useful. Woot!!

Fixed! Ignore this message. :)

Setting Template

Hey Sparky, It may not even be the Setting, template, but that's the only one I don't know anything about and don't know how to work on it! ;) Apparently, there's a large amount of padding and/or margin in some template, that is making text begin very far below the title of the page. I checked the Location template and the TOC_Right template, and couldn't get them to fix the problem. The pages it is most notable on are 2 of Eladris' new pages: Aprati and Palanc. Think you could take a looky? Thanks! --Ish 15:37, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Hooray! Thanks for the template fix, Sparkle! --Eladris 21:40, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
It was a problem with the Location template and the somewhat braindead handling of whitespace by the wiki. Essentially, when there were two unfilled-in fields in a row, all that was being processed was the newline between them. For any text that is found inside a table but not actually defined as being somewhere in a row of the table, most browsers will just shove it on top of the table. Hence, those superfluous newlines were being prepended to the top of the table. I deleted all of the whitespace and created a {{TableRow}} template so the whole thing wasn't too much of an atrocity. (It's still kinda ugly...) --sparkletwist 21:42, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the fix, sparky. I'm going to add like 1em of padding at the top, because right now it runs right up against my header information. 1em shouldn't matter, right? --Ish 21:54, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I added 1em to the top margin of TOC_Right template and Location template, and it still looks good on Eladris' pages, so I think we're good now. Thanks again sparkletwist. --Ish 21:58, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Writer's Block

Even with the rash of spammers, there's something funny about you accidentally blocking yourself.--Phoenix 04:57, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Speaking of which, what kind of capcha can I install to block these guys? They're ignoring my old capcha. --Ish
I'm not sure. I don't really know that much about that kind of stuff... we might want to go for a non-visual one. It's more accessible, and as long as the questions are well-designed, it's harder to crack anyway. Most of the captchas nowadays have either been cracked by OCR or are hard for even a human to read.
Oh, is there some way to block all registrations that start with three numbers? That's what they all are. At least for now, anyway, if we block that, I'm sure they'll think of something else, so it's not that big of a deal. --sparkletwist 21:48, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Pages for campaigns

I don't know if this is the right place to ask, but between Ish, Ivar, and me we've got 2 or 3 campaigns on the wiki, that is, like, a current game running in a setting, as opposed to the setting itself. Are there enough things of that sort to warrant a new category or template thing? Would that be a useful thing at all? I pretty much don't look at the wiki except for what I'm using directly, but I figured you'd know.--Brainfacetalk 04:29, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't know, would it be useful? Like, without knowing anything about what is needed for those kinds of pages, I'd just stick each campaign in its own "Setting" category, because every project sort of goes in its own category anyway. That's what LC was doing with Jade Stage (fluff) and Jade FATE (crunch for the Jade Stage) too. I guess what you're really asking is, would it be useful if there was some means to connect two "Setting"s together in some way, and my answer would be-- would it? :) --sparkletwist 04:01, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, this method has worked very well for me, especially since the advent of the "S" variable within the {{L}} template. A campaign is not really a "setting", but it's not as if the disambiguator cares about semantics; I've been able to partition my two "settings" when I want and interconnect them when I want, without much problem (or, really, much actual effort.) --Luminous Crayon 18:21, 13 January 2010 (UTC)


Any thoughts on how these fuckers are getting past my (extremely clever) Sp4mB0tzSuck captcha? --Ish

My best guess is that they aren't actually bots. Many of the larger spammers (yes, "Internet direct marketing" is quite a large industry now, sadly enough) have people they pay a minimal wage to do nothing but register on sites and post their garbage. For all I know, doing this crap is exactly the "home-based business opportunity" that some of the very same spammers are always advertising. Anyway, I think it's doing its job, only letting humans register. It's just the the humans are up to no good. --sparkletwist 23:14, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
I wonder if changing the question to something that only long-time/dedicated members would know would be a better bet? Like "What kind of animal is Ishmayl likely to have hanging around his house?" since most of the people here know I like the terrapin variety? Of course, that would completely block random people with authentic goals from posting... --Ish
I dunno about that; we're an insular-enough cabal as it is. You'd have a new hurdle in place for new users who want to use the wiki (they'd have to ask a regular about Ishy's pets or do some detective work), and any dedicated enough spammer is going to be able to do the same investigation. I mean, yeah, that kind of question might discourage some spammers, but it also might discourage some legit new users, who are generally bashful enough as it is. I'm not sure it'd be worth it! --Luminous Crayon 23:24, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm also not sure. I agree with LC, and I'll also add that these kinds of questions might cause more unintended trouble than they're worth. If you're looking for "turtle", but a British person registers and puts in the perfectly reasonable "tortoise," the thing will reject it for no good reason. --sparkletwist 23:44, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Is our current captcha in place for creation of new user accounts, or just for creating new wiki pages? Because with the low level of wiki activity we've got, we might be able to get away with no captcha whatsoever-- just require new user accounts to be personally, individually activated by a sysop.
That would probably mean a small delay for new users (since they'd have to track down one of you before they could make any wiki edits), but should also cut our spamming down a lot (since each new account would be personally vetted-- sysops could have a "how did you find our website, what made you decide to join, what's your world project all about?" conversation that should weed out the spammers.) --Luminous Crayon 00:02, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Alternately, are we still resolved against using AuthorProtect? I know that many people (probably including me) would avoid using AuthorProtect even if we settled on a version that worked up to our collective standards, but it would thwart vandalism like today's li'l attack. --Luminous Crayon 00:58, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

The problem with AuthorProtect is that it kind of locks down the article, preventing even well-intentioned contributions and fixes, of which the vast majority are, around here. To the best of my knowledge, it even locks out sysops, unless said sysop goes in and removes the protection, which kind of defeats the point. I think that we have enough users who are vigilant enough that the cooperative nature of the wiki alone is enough to defeat what little (and, honestly, in the grand scale of how much some sites are spammed, it IS little) we suffer. --sparkletwist 21:49, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Very old stuff nobody cares about anymore

Test --sparkletwist 14:00, 17 May 2008 (EDT)

Hey man, I've installed ParserFunctions. However, StringFunctions is giving me a bunch of trouble. Whenever I try to install it, it messes up all the wiki pages. How important is SF?  Ishmayl  talk  contribs 
Nevermind, StringFunctions is working now (presumably - since I don't know what it is, I'll let you tell me if it's working ;) )  Ishmayl  talk  contribs 
It all works quite nicely! Thank you! --sparkletwist 01:40, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Awesome, then let me know what we need to do next and when you have a write-up ready :) -- Ishmayl  talk  contribs  22:00, 18 May 2008 (EDT)

It almost all works, anyway. For some reason I couldn't get #ifexist to work, but I managed to steal some code from Wikipedia that did about the same thing. Using parserfunctions I was able to build a self-disambiguating link: if you create a link with {{L|SettingName|Page|Link name (optional)}} (that is, a normal wiki link only encased in an L template with the setting name included), it will first try to find a page called "Page (Setting)" failing in that, it will go to "Page".

If we want to get really fancy, there's yet another extension to help out-- Variables Extension. That'll let you store the name of your setting once, and links will be able to automagically form themselves, without needing to explictly specify the settingname (because it'll be in a variable!)

However, I think it's nice the way it is, too. ;)

--sparkletwist 02:23, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Okay, so you seem to have everything together for the most part. If you think you need that extension, I'll install it, but if we can do without, that's good for me. :) So are you ready to get to work on it? We could hopefully talk a few other people into being part of the "Disambiguation Crew" as well. -- Ishmayl  talk  contribs  12:32, 19 May 2008 (EDT)

I've given this some thought, and, if it's not too much trouble for you, I would really like to have it. The ability to declare variables will save a lot of typing, and solve some other template/parserfunction problems that I'll explain if you really want to be bored. LordVreeg's comment was what I feared-- for the "end user", this is all a little imposing, and I think that could help. --sparkletwist 17:51, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Glad to be heard from. I am not used to being 'unknowledgable' about my chosen career, I am considered one of the 'go-tos' for the whole industry. It is frustrating to barely be able navigate the basics. I'll gladly help in any way I can, as a member of the Wikicrew. But the underlying structures of the site are something I barely understand.
I see why it would be useful to be able link all pages under a catagory-umbrella, without having to type it into every link. How does that look when linking from outside the catagory? Or am I misunderstanding again? --LordVreeg 19:33, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, don't feel bad. Get used to it, in fact, relish it! The day you think you know everything is the day you stop learning anything, and that's a sad day. :) Anyway, when linking from outside the category, even if we had variables, you'd have to type the setting's name in by hand. Other than that, it should still disambiguate automatically. --sparkletwist 22:34, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I'll install the extension, and I'll allow Shadowfell to be the first guinea pig. I'll let you know when it's installed (probably tonight). -- Ishmayl  talk  contribs 
Shadowfell was protected, so I used Eclipse because Phoenix also volunteered. The good news is that the pages look prettier, the alphabetical order in the category page is much more organized, there's less typing when creating new links... and nothing seems to have exploded! --sparkletwist 19:56, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay, that didn't take long at all. Variables installed, and (presumably) working. -- Ishmayl  talk  contribs 
Oh right, I protected Shadowfell when I was testing out the new AuthorProtect extension. Anyway, glad everything's working. I'll start working on Shadowfell. Now, should we delete old pages? -- Ishmayl  talk  contribs 
Delete? Unless I'm misunderstanding you, don't delete anything! Just move the old page to the new name, like, "Shadowfell:Khandia" to just "Khandia", or whatever. --sparkletwist 20:33, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
So, don't delete the original page "Shadowfell:Khandia" ? Because it will still leave that page, I believe? Also, can you explain exactly how and when to use the {{L}} template? -- Ishmayl  talk  contribs 
Right. When you move a page, the wiki will automatically create a redirect link for you. The L template is what you use to create links: instead of linking [[Shadowfell:Khandia]] you can just {{L|Khandia}}. Strictly speaking, you could also just do [[Khandia]] and nothing bad would happen, considering the term is likely to remain unambiguous. The nice thing about the L template is that it will automatically resolve all of that stuff for you :) For something that may be ambiguous, it will save typing: {{L|History}} will automatically link you to "History (Shadowfell)". --sparkletwist 21:28, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay, sorry, but I still don't understand how to use the {{setting}},{{L}} and the other templates you've created. :( Pretend I'm a moron (I am!) and have never played with a wiki before - how would I use these things? Do I use L everytime I have a link? Do all my pages need to have the "Setting" template on them? Anything you can tell me would be great! :) -- Ishmayl  talk  contribs 

Question: Hey Sparkletwist, I was wondering if you could help me with a couple issues I'm having. Prior to the upgrade, I was using images as links (you can check it out at my homepage). I had it worked so that if a person clicked on the image, the image information page would redirect to the page I wanted them to go to. Now the redirect function is invalid, so clicking on my redirected images just goes to the image information page. Is there a way we can get the redirect function back? Also, on my Rilausia page, the map at the bottom no longer shows up; it's just a link. It used to work that if I had an uncoded link to an image, the image would automatically show up. This also is no longer the case. If you could help, that'd be awesome! Thanks. (Jharviss 16:29, 21 May 2008 (UTC))

Using images as links isn't really a "Wiki" thing to do. So, it's non-standard and not likely to do what you want. I'm surprised it ever worked. :) Of course, there are some extensions we could install. (Whee! More extensions!) So, if Ishmayl is willing, we could get that working again. As for the map, that's probably beause you just typed in a URL. The fact that it ever worked was probably a bug in Mediawiki. I bet I can fix that one, though. --sparkletwist 19:06, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, let me add, the simplest solution is probably to just upload the images to the wiki and use [[Image:]] tags. Is there a reason why that's not good? --sparkletwist 19:09, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
The maps I use greatly exceed the recommended size limits, so I upload them on my own server and then link them here. There is an alternative, yeah? I can use it, I was just curious. (Jharviss 19:44, 21 May 2008 (UTC))
Hey Jharviss, I believe that the problem is not the new extensions we're using, but the new upgrade to MediaWiki I did this past weekend. One thing that may work as far as the image redirects go is to set up in-page templates for each of the images, and then have those templates redirect to certain pages. So, you would create a template called, for instance, {{TephraHome}} that consists of a graphic for "Home" and a redirect to your main page. Then, instead of using image links in your header template, you'll have several separate templates within. At least, I think this would work... sparkletwist may know better. -- Ishmayl  talk  contribs 
Much to my surprise, actually, doing a redirect in a template will make the entire page it's redirecting to appear. I placed my image:home.gif in template:home and added a redirect to that template, but then my entire navigation bar had my entire home page put inside it. I'm not sure where to go from here. (Jharviss 19:44, 21 May 2008 (UTC))