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UESPWiki:Community Portal/Archive 20

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This is an archive of past UESPWiki:Community Portal discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page, except for maintenance such as updating links.

Sounds on the Wiki?

Hi, guys. I was just thinking about something as I was reading some of the pages. I noticed that there are direct quotes from the game's dialogs, and I was wondering if it might be possible to add links to sound files, at least in some cases. For instance, dialogs of the Daedra when you give them their offerings to start their quests, and their ending dialogs when you return for the rewards.

Just thought it would be VERY cool. I would suggest WAV, AU or MP3 formats...something very common so the majority could hear the sounds in their browsers.

BTW, I also wanted to thank you so VERY much for this site! I'm running a D&D game based in a slightly altered version of this world, and this wiki has been a wealth of information -- and I honestly don't think I could have created the world without this site. Again, thank you.

Kim — Unsigned comment by (talk) on 30 June 2010

I've been thinking about having sounds on the wiki too and am mostly in favor of it- one problem though is that it might take up too much space, at least with all the problems the servers have been having in the past moth or so. But I'll leave such concerns to our resident server experts. Once we find out about that though I'd say a formal vote would be good.--TheAlbinoOrcGot_a_question? 20:06, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Ogg files for the sounds would be better. Quite easy to get an ogg player extension for MediaWiki (which adds an embedded player, too), however - server space and bandwidth may be an issue. Most of the audio files can be found in the install directory anyway, and there's also the issue of copyright (would having all the audio files from the game constitute fair use?) RandomTime 20:12, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Oh btw - as a D&D player myself, an elder-scrolls setting for D&D sounds awesome. RandomTime 20:17, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Yeah it does- but how do you handle the leveling? The leveling system in D&D is a lot different than that in the ES universe.--TheAlbinoOrcGot_a_question? 20:31, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Sounds like a great idea, if the space, and by extention money, can be found to support it Corvus 23:30, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Randomtime & AlbinoOrc: We're old folks, been playing for...*gulp* 26 years or so in this group of people (more or less) and we've developed our own 1st edition variant. (Mostly developed by my DM & best friend for almost 30 years now, Maria.) There's no leveling like in the game; it's the flavor of the world, the history, the 'realness' that I'm using, not the game mechanics.  :-) if you're interested in it, or to use anything I've wrangled from the site (like the plot & alternate history), feel free to email me: blackwood13 at yahoo dot com.
Others: Will OGG files play in WinAmp or WMP? That's what I mean by 'common'.  :-) there is nothign more annoying than having to DL a special program to use a handful of files.  ;-) — Unsigned comment by (talk) on 1 July 2010

UESP Watch

I've seen several mentions of this across the site since I started editing, could someone explain what it is? Thanks Corvus 22:13, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

It is a blog run by "Tiber Septim" a editor on the site. It basically blogs, a rather biased and uncensored version of the happenings of UESP. UESPWiki has no affiliation with UESPWatch in any way.--Corevette789 22:27, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah I see, explains why the mentions of it haven't spoken too fondly of it. Thanks for helping again Corevette, haven't checked the patroller nomination but hope it works out OK :) Corvus 22:30, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Internal Links

Hey I'm still new, I was just wondering how to make your own links; say if I want to say "Xivilai" and attach a link to bring that to the Xivilai section of the Oblivion: Creatures page without having the [Oblivion:Creatures] default link?? help? Dayne 05:03, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

You put in [[OB:Daedra#Xivilai|Xivilai]] or the applicable section. For example you could use [[MW:Daedra#Dremora|Dremora]] or [[Daggerfall:Bestiary#Daedra|Daedra]]--TheAlbinoOrcGot_a_question? 06:14, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
THANK YOU SO MUCH! thats heaps better thanks Dayne 11:51, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Hey it worked perfectly for daedra but with places i type in OB:Fathis Aren's Tower and the OB still came up. same with the SI in SI:Sheogorath is there a way to avoid this?? Dayne 12:41, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
ya'll dont worry i fugured it out ;) Dayne 12:30, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Number of page views?

How come the info about how many times a page has been viewed (that used to be at the bottom of the page) isn't there anymore. Is it because of a site upgrade? -- 15:20, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

The main namespace, and its use (or lack thereof)

I understand the purpose of having separate namespaces for the games, so to keep their respective information more easily organized. What I am wondering, though, is why do we not incorporate the main namespace more? Why do we not have more redirects and disambigs through the main namespace?
The status quo, whether explicitly or implicitly stated (I think there's an article here that says "the most popular pages"; I can't find it at the moment), dictates that the mainspace is only used for popular redirects. This fact, combined this, extends this dictation to "only the most broad, generic, popular terms." Prior to the removal of the page views, Oblivion:Unique Items had the fourth most page views, more views than Daggerfall:Daggerfall, and yet is not tied to the mainspace.
I ask, "Why shouldn't we use more redirects? Or for that matter, more disambigs?" I'd like to entertain those two questions.

Note: While I am highly in favor of using more mainspace redirects, I am not trying to push any plans through yet. This thread, at the moment, is purely for discussing the idea. --Riddle 06:54, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

My question is: Why is having more mainspace redirects necessary? What specifically does it do for the site? Also on a related note, wasn't there a decision made early on, somewhere about trying to keep disambigs to a minimum? I'm not sure about this though. It's four in the morning for me right now so I'm not too sure about anything beyond the fact that my hands, feet and head are still attached.— Unsigned comment by TheAlbinoOrc (talkcontribs) at 08:30 on 13 July 2010
There's no need for such redirects and they could cause serious confusion. As well as Oblivion:Unique Items we also have Bloodmoon:Unique Items and Tribunal:Unique Items. Why should Oblivion get the redirect just because it's more popular? There's no point even in creating a disambig. Searching for "Unique Items" brings up the three pages so why create a page to do the same? rpeh •TCE 09:06, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Not to forget that the search is context sensitive. If you search for Unique Items while at an article in the Oblivion namespace, Oblivion:Unique Items will automatically be selected. Creating redirects from the mainspace will disrupt this. --Timenn-<talk> 09:26, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
@AlbinoOrc: For two reasons: A) Convenience for the unfamiliar user (and, to a lesser degree, the familiar user) and B) Bandwidth. Since the unfamiliar UESP user will not know to search by namespace, the redirects from the mainspace would point to static page of what he or she was wanting to view, instead of having to generate a list. Though, if you do get the chance, I would like to see where this decision to not use many disambigs was made. (This extends to anybody who can find it)
@rpeh: I didn't say Oblivion:Unique Items should get the redirect. That very reason you pointed out why it shouldn't get the redirect is also why I proposed more disambigs. Again, disambigs are static and don't have to be generated each time someone searches for whatever term they may be wanting to find.
@Timenn, I did not know this. While this renders my disambig argument mostly dead in the water (I bring up searching beyond your current gamespace), I do wonder why shouldn't we redirect to game-exclusive terms, such as specific NPCs? --Riddle 19:05, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Oblivion Leveled Creature/Monster list

I am looking for a list or table of all animals/monsters/creatures/etc and the levels they start appearing at, in order of level. Something like "At level 1 - imps, rats, goblins, stunted scamp..." and so on for the levels where tougher monsters will start appearing. Is there something like that on this Wiki? --Julia 16:22, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

That would be Oblivion:Creatures--Corevette789 16:25, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I was hoping for something that also included humanoid enemies like Dremora, but I guess that works. Thanks!--Julia 16:46, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Then of you go to Oblivion:Dremora it will include the leveled list.--Corevette789 16:47, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

"Special" tips?

First, please forgive me because this isn't fully thought-through and I'm hoping the rest of the community can chip in with additions or requests to shut up before I go too far.

Take a look at this edit. None of it is wrong, but it adds nothing that isn't "well-known" from other NPCs. I've seen more of this kind of edit than I can remember, and imagine that other patrollers have seen the same. Usually, such edits get reverted or massively trimmed because it's just "standard behavior"... or some such edit summary. The trouble is that it happens again, and again, and again. Now I know that the necessary information is always only a couple of clicks away, but in the Ritalin generation, it seems that everything has got to be right here, right now.

So here's my suggestion: a page - game-specific - for "special" tips. And yes, I'm open to suggestions on the name. Each page would contain the non-negotiable, obvious tips - use calm and chameleon spells in the case I linked to earlier - and only such solutions that the community deems to be standard and re-usable. With such a page, the entire tranche of text between "Use either" and "receive training" could be replaced with something like "Use the [[Hostile Training Tip|usual method]] to receive training". It might even be worth creating a template so we can use something like {{tip|MW Training}}.

My reason for keeping this off the NS-specific tips pages is that they tend to be rubbish generated by people adding "teh best mehtod of klling Umbra" and suchlike rather than really useful tips, despite best efforts to keep them under control.

Is this worth it? Are there enough cases? I can think of a couple but it might not be worth doing unless there are enough. Lemme know what you think. rpeh •TCE 22:42, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

'Must Have' and Mods

I think it might be adventitious to at least look at policy with regard to what mod based contact belongs on the site. I think there's a few areas that would merit clarification. Firstly, I would like to propose the utter removal f the phrase 'must have' from the site. There are no mods that are 'must have'. otherwise you could not play the game on an X-Box. There are just popular mods, and unpopular ones. And I think that's probably a far more concrete marker than some arbitrary 'must have' criteria. (To be clear on this, by all means I do find that there are some I find it inconceivable to play oblivion without, but none of them are on our list however). Secondly, the policy with regards to adding pages about mods seems to overly favour big content mods, with Tamriel Rebuilt, having multiple pages dedicated to not only the main Morrowind Tamriel Rebuilt but also the lesser known Stirk for Oblivion. Now I personally am inclusionist [1] by nature, so I approve of this - but if you allow those then similar large scale content mods such as, Elsweyr the Deserts of Anequina [2] and the like should be allowed as well, and not just allowed but allowed under an easily understandable criteria. I think there is a consensus that simply adding everyone of the thousands of mods out their would be a mistake, and that simply allowing people to add their favourites would lead to that mistake. However, at the moment we seem to just have a list of people's favourites anyway. Without easy to understand, verifiable criteria, we do not present a common front to new users about what belongs on the site. Jadrax 08:35, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

I take the point about "must have" mods, but it's difficult to come up with a better term. Most of the mods on that page are popular and extremely useful, so maybe "Popular" mods would be a better term. On the other hand, such a phrase almost invites people to add more and more items until the page is unusable. I don't have a good suggestion here, but I think the current length of that page is about right.
On the subject of documenting mods, the policy is described here, and you can see a big debate on the talk page. The gist is that you can document any mod you want as long as you do it in the same high-quality style as the rest of the site. The first example was Midas Magic and then came the two Tamriel Rebuilt mods (Stirk was originally a part of TR). At some point, Kvatch Rebuilt is likely to be added, but there's lots of other work to be done before there's time for that one. There's another mod called AFK_Weye that I really like, and I keep meaning to finish off the pages I've got written offline and upload them.
The second policy is working fine - it's just the first one that might need a tweak. rpeh •TCE 09:59, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Morrowind NPC Redesign Project

This is something I have wanted to bring up for a while now, but haven't had time for it. The Morriwind NPC documentation could really use a makeover and general improvement. The reason for this is simple: most pages for Morrowind NPCs are stubs at best and there seems to be no overall guide of style for writing them. Here are a few generic examples:

  • Many articles are basically stubs, being barely more than a sentence long even if there is more information to provide. ("X is a race in the town of Y. He/she may be involved in murder...")
  • Containing generic information that would apply to any NPC: "Make sure you wear your uniform if you are in the legion, or he/she will refuse to speak with you", something that applies to any Imperial Legion member. Rpeh made the same observation above.
  • Far too often, the page will simply say "he/she is not involved in any quests and does not provide any unique information." Not only is this sentence extremely redundant, it is quite often incorrect. Skimming through the construction set will show that many of the NPCs that supposedly "does not provide any unique information" do indeed have unique dialogue.

These are just generic examples, but quite a lot of Morrowind NPC articles are like this and therefore not very helpful. Now I'm not complaining at the users who wrote them, because I understand that they were written when the site was fairly new and it would have been an overwhelming task to look up information and write elaborate articles for each and every one of Morrowinds NPCs. The problem is though; they have remained stubs ever since they were written. Now that the groundwork is mostly done and the site is much more stable, I think that we can start concentrating on expanding and improving the existing content.

As for the solution, I have a proposal. Looking at page history for Oblivion NPC articles, I see that many of them used to be just like the Morrowind ones. But then the Oblivion NPC Redesign Project was created, and now the NPC articles for Oblivion are very informative and elaborate, even for minor NPCs. So my proposal is this: creating a Morrowind NPC Redesign Project. The pointers can be basically the same as the ones for ONPCRP:

  • Quest Involvement: Same as in Oblivion, a short summary of their involvement in quests. This is pretty well covered for most of them, but there are still some that doesn't have it (there are still a few quest-NPCs that don't even have articles), and it would still be good to double-check the existing information and see if there is anything missing.
  • Schedule: Since Morrowind NPCs don't have schedules, this one can be disregarded.
  • Services: This is actually very well documented already, so there wouldn't be much more to say. Could still be double-checked though.
  • Personal Inventory: personal inventory is not covered at all right now, and I think it would be very useful. Even if the NPC is otherwise uninteresting, they may actually have interesting, rare or useful items in their inventories.
  • House Contents: As I have already proposed here, we could merge the content of the Morrowind:Houses pages into the pages of their respective owners, same as for Oblivion.
  • Unique Dialogue: Any unique dialogue or uncommon dialogue the NPCs may have. Unique dialogue is more uncommon in Morrowind than Oblivion, but that does not mean there isn't any. In fact there are more NPCs with unique dialogue in Morrowind than one might think, but it's so much easier to miss since it's all in text and you're likely just skimming through it. Many pages say that the NPC does not have unique dialogue even when they in fact do. I also think using the Oblivion style of quoting the dialogue rather than attempting to reinterpret it into prose (as I have been doing so far) would be better. The amount of dialogue listed should be dependent on how many lines the NPC in question has. If they only have a small amount of unique dialogue it can all be listed. If they have a substantial amount of dialogue only we should only pick out a few important, interesting or unusual lines for them.
  • Rumors: Rumors work differently in Morrowind than Oblivion, but this section would still be used for anything said or written about an NPC by anyone else, for example from latest rumors, someone in particular and services. I think this should also include notes and books. It should be written in flowing quote form like the unique dialogue.
  • Faction Changes: I don't think this is needed. The faction system is much simpler in Morrowind than in Oblivion. An NPC will only ever be part of one faction (if at all) and the faction will never change.
  • Spells: Same as Oblivion. Undetermined. We can either mention a few important spells the NPC may use in combat, or we could disregard this section altogether.

I think starting a MNPCRP would be very beneficial for the site. It would create consistency in style and format not just for the Morrowind pages, but for the site as a whole as the Morrowind and Oblivion pages would have the same overall style of writing. It would help to make the Morrowind NPC pages much more informative and make it easy to check what needs to be done on each page. As an extension of the project, I would also like to discard the "relevant/non-relevant NPC" criteria and create articles for every Morrowind NPC. Now I know that this issue has been brought up in the past, but that was a different time and there were different standards. Back then, it was said that it would be too much work, no one would bother to create them and that there would be nothing to say about most of them. While I agree that it is true that there is generally a lot less to say about Morrowind NPCs compared to the ones in Oblivion, their lack of schedules for example, I do think that by including all of the information in the sections above for each NPC then there would be things to say about every one of them. Even if an NPC is not involved in any quests, they may have some generic but unique dialogue or be mentioned by someone, and that may still be interesting to read about. Even if they are not relevant themselves, they may own a house and their house may have interesting properties. Even still, every NPC has an inventory (I can only think of four exceptions), and it is almost never randomized. For example, I do think it would be very useful to include information about the inventories of hostile NPCs since this can be quite relevant to how challenging they may be in a fight. It makes quite a difference if a hostile smuggler wears Chitin armor or Ebony armor for instance. Overall, I think that these sections would give us something useful to say about every NPC in the game. I don't think this is absolutely necessary to do, but I do think it would be a natural extension of the project. As for no one being willing to do them, I would certainly be willing to write them. Not all of them at once of course, but I am certainly be willing to write them from time to time, as I have been doing sporadically.

Now I understand that improving the Morrowind NPC documentation is not considered an issue of high priority, but like the ONPCRP it would be a long-term project. It would be a lot of work and I don't expect it to be done any time soon. But I think that in the long run, it would be very beneficial for the site. While there are many, many more NPCs in Morrowind than Oblivion, there is still less work to do for each of them individually since they don't have schedules or other things that need a lot of in-game testing. Most of the information can be gathered from the construction set and/or some quick in-game testing. I guess I could just keep doing this on my own, but I do think it feels better to have some back-up from the community on this and the creation of a project would make it so much easier to see what needs doing and what has not been written yet.

Anyway, this is just a proposal. Let me know what you think. Kalrot 12:52, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. Probably the best start would be to pick a couple of NPCs and work on a sandbox so people can see exactly how it would look in practice and spot any potential pit falls. Jadrax 14:11, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I'll help out with this when I can. My schedule is kinda hectic right now though.--TheAlbinoOrcany_questions? 19:05, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I like the basic idea but I have concerns over the dialogue. There is much more dialogue in MW than in OB because 99% of it is text-only. If we're not careful, some NPCs would have thousands and thousands of characters of dialogue and it would take over the page. Spells would be a bit different to OB, because NPCs are given lists of spells based on class, level and race (I think) whereas in OB they tend to come from one leveled list. Without reverse-engineering the formulae we'd have to list all spells individually.
Otherwise, it's a good plan. rpeh •TCE 07:48, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Those are very good points Rpeh. You are absolutely right about the dialogue. Discretion is vital here or else every page for NPCs with substantial amount of dialogue will become flooded with text. I think the best way to tackle this is to write proportionately according to how much dialogue the NPC in question has. If the NPC has only a few lines of unique dialogue all of it can be listed, but for those with any substantial amount of dialogue only a few interesting or unusual lines should be picked out.
You are also right about the spells; they seem to be predetermined according to class, level and race. I'm not sure how we should handle this. I suppose we could just disregard this section, but I think listing maybe a few spells they are likely to use in combat could be useful information. Any thoughts on this?
Jadrax: That's a good idea, I'll try to write one soon. My basic goal would be for them to follow the style of an Oblivion NPC article with all ONPCRP-sections finished. If anyone has any other thought or opinions please bring them up and we might be able to work out some official project guidelines. Thanks. Kalrot 12:54, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Just wanted to chime in with some dialogue experiences and suggestions. I don't know too much about MW NPCs, but on the ONPCRP we tend to use two unwritten rules that might be relevant here. When we're writing dialogue, especially the quest-related dialogue, we aim to use lines that says something about the personality of the NPC. If it is strictly quest-related, we leave it out or add it to the quest pages. The other rule is this: It is easier to take things out than to put them in - meaning, if the MNPCRP launches, uneven dialogue bits can be removed in the final preview-stage - and it might be easier to check, if the whole thing is included. Like I said, we can always take it out again. --Krusty 13:50, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Also, if they have reams of dialogue that should all be put on the page, it might be possible to create something like [[MW:Fargoth/Unique Dialogue]] or [[MW:Arrile/Unique Dialogue]].--TheAlbinoOrcany_questions? 18:23, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Just for a comparison, I dug up a few OB NPC-pages with tons of dialogue. These are not the VIP-pages (like this) but are normal pages where the NPC happened to have a lot of dialogue (and different schedules): Velwyn Benirus, Dar-Ma and Quill-Weave. Now, you can think what you want about the size of these pages, but if you sit down and read the whole thing, every detail about the NPC (and his/her adventures) are covered step-by-step. I don't mind huge pages and I like the amount of information they provide - but if the MW NPCs have even more dialogue, maybe it is worth looking at the technique used for the VIP NPCs. --Krusty 10:04, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Here is a test-version I have written for everyone's favorite Bosmer (thanks to TheAlbinoOrc for creating the template!). Tell me what you think. Thank you very much for your pointers Krusty, they were very helpful. Kalrot 15:06, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
As the project seems to have become semi-officially green lit (at least there are no objections to the creation of the project itself), I have now created a project page here. At the moment it's just a carbon-copy of the ONPCRP one with minor adjustments, but hopefully that can be improved. Kalrot 19:54, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

(u/d) Can we hold off on this for a couple of weeks? Yes, I think it would be a good idea, and Yes I agree with the rough suggestions that have been put forward, but I don't see a huge amount of enthusiasm for the project.

When I first mooted the OBNPCRP it was purely about schedules - to me these seemed the most important NPC characteristics to document because the times at which they were available for services, quests and so on were central to the game. Other aspects of the NPC got added over time and by the time we started talking on-wiki, everything was up for grabs. Schedules don't apply to Morrowind NPCs so are absent from this project.

There's an even more crucial point to this. Look at the dates on the OBNPCRP: a long time passed between the first stirrings of the project and the time when the template was written and applied. The gap was because it wasn't obvious whether or not the project should happen at all, then whether or not enough people were interested. I eventually went ahead because enough people seemed interested, but without the involvement of Krusty, SerCenKing and one or two others, the whole idea would have disappeared.

To cut out subtext: does this project have enough support to exist?

Compare and contrast the OBNPCRP and the OPRP: the former has moved forward gradually but the latter simply means we have hundreds of notices on pages and there's no clear idea of what's required to remove them. Unless there are enough people to help and a clear strategy of what is required then there's no point going ahead with this.

I'm sorry this is such a downer, but unless there are enough people willing to make an attempt - and I can't commit myself at this time - then I think a full-blown project is doomed to failure. rpeh •TCE 20:31, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Archiving Process

With all respect to Vesna, who recently went through the Admin Noticeboard, Community Portal, and other archives :), I'd like to suggest that we abandon our current archive process in favour of just standard chronological archives. The main reason for this is that I believe the current process is overly-cumbersome in that you have to not only archive chronologically, but also archive discussions separately, categorize them, do some noinclude tagging so the header and such don't get transcluded, and then transclude the new page into the original archive. I can't speak for any of the other archivers, but the whole process involved here very much discourages me from ever archiving any of these pages.

I think a simpler approach, if we need more than a chronological one, would be to create an "important discussion" template that would add a box to the top of an existing discussion and, if desired, add the page to a category. There aren't so many important discussions in any given archive that multiple important discussions, even if they're in the same category, would be terribly difficult to find.

If we adopt something like this, I would suggest that existing archives be left as they are and just move to the new process, though if some zealous user feels the need to re-convert them to whatever new process we decide on, I suspect it wouldn't be all that hard.

Any thoughts from anyone else? Robin Hoodtalk 20:01, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

I disagree. Archiving by date is only useful if you have some idea when things happened, and for new users, users who have taken breaks, and users who find that time seems to pass more and more quickly these days... it's not helpful. I think the categories should be more granular, not less. rpeh •TCE 21:41, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Categories could still be used to organize and find information in the archives; they would just link to an entire archive page and then you could find the specific entry from there. If more granularity is desired, you can still refine the categories further. Robin Hoodtalk 02:09, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

"Photo" Category

Following a recent request, it seems as if there's a desire to create categories for purely decorative screenshots. I've uploaded several (give your eyeballs a treat at this page!) and I know Timenn has uploaded several of his own. A category would let us keep all such images together, but I'm not 100% sure what it should be called.

I uploaded an image in Category:Oblivion-Photographic Screenshots and Category:Oblivion-Photographic Screenshots-rpeh but held back from creating the categories because I wanted to see if anybody had a better idea for category names. So... ideas? rpeh •TCE 00:39, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

I think that'd be great, considering I just made my own page of that, but I fear it'd quickly turn into another Must Have Mods page. By the way, what's UL? --Arch-Mage MattTalk 00:57, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, the category wouldn't be a page of it's own, but a way of sorting user photos. Actually, I think "Category:User-Photos" would be a decent category name for images mainly only used for user pages. -- Jplatinum16 04:24, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Or perhaps "Category:OB-Decorative-Photos"? I can think of at least one in Rpeh's Photo Album that could go on a city page. Also AMM UL is Unique Landscapes.--TheAlbinoOrcany_questions? 04:41, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Let's just make it Oblivion-Photos. I'd prefer to keep the game prefix so it keeps shots from different games in different categories. rpeh •TCE 10:25, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
That sounds good to me.--TheAlbinoOrcany_questions? 15:28, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Roleplaying to Userspace

This suggestion was originally put to everyone here and got initial support - but then nothing happened. I think that it should be put to a vote here whether this is actually implemented or not.

So what are your thoughts on the following?

M(ove)T(o)U(serspace): Do you agree with the move in the first place?

Adoption: Should we allow adoption of existing sub-articles or should we start over?

Begin Now: Do you think that there should be a waiting period before this is implemented or should we simply begin adoption/creation?

Improvement Period: If we choose to allow adoption should there be a waiting period of a week or two if something is not adopted to allow it to be improved? If so what should the waiting period afterwards be to allow people to see that the article has been improved? Should this expire on it's own or should it begin after the first improvement is made?

Adoption Period: Assuming we choose to allow adoption how long should the period be before something is declared unadopted and deleted?

Anyway this is just my thoughts on the matter. If anyone thinks that I added too many sections or left something out put it here. Also if anyone has an alternative proposal suggest it. I'm not set on this one.--TheAlbinoOrcany_questions? 17:40, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

My thoughts:
  • MOU – Yes, certainty. The roleplaying pages create clutter and disagreements Plus they're mostly user-centric, un-encyclopedic, and somewhat messy.
  • Adoption – Yes, we should allow adoption in order to preserve the work of past users. A sudden disappearance of these pages may cause confusion and / or anger.
  • Begin Now – No, I believe that there should be a waiting period in order to collect opinions and to allow users collaborating on the roleplaying pages to plan and prepare.
  • Improvement Period – Yes, I believe that there should be a two-week waiting period for improvement, following by a one-week period of peer evaluation in order for experienced users to help inexperienced users.
  • Adoption Period – There should be a two-week adoption period. After that period ends, we assume that there isn't anyone who cares about those page.
  • Overall plan – Users will be given two weeks in order decide whether they wish to adopt an abandoned roleplaying page. After those two weeks end, any unadapted pages without any recent revisions will be deleted. After those deletions are complete, the adopters would be given two additional weeks in order to improve the articles. This would be followed by a one-week peer review period in which users would collaborate with experienced users in order to make further improvements. If the roleplaying page is significantly improved, we'll consider the improvement a success and move it to the userspace of the adopter. If the adopter doesn't significantly improve the article (the meaning of "significant" is up to a peer reviewer), we assume that the adopter doesn't actually care about contributing to the page, and the page is deleted. After five weeks, there shouldn't be any roleplaying pages in any namespace other than the userspace.
That's all for now. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 14:59, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
What are your thoughts on the Improvement Period? Also I'm adding a new category I didn't think of at the time.--TheAlbinoOrcany_questions? 18:05, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Whoops. Didn't realized I missed that. I've added them in. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 14:48, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
I think that something should be done about the Roleplaying articles, they are horrible right now. I'd like to get the horn to 'attack' the roleplaying pages. Meaning, edit without mercy. Really, though, they are by far the worst thing on the wiki right now. --Arch-Mage MattTalk 04:41, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Just a reminder in case this got lost in the recent changes - only three people have commented on this (and only one of them actually voted on the proposal) so we don't really have any consensus on what to do. If you have thoughts on this now's the time.--TheAlbinoOrcany_questions? 17:27, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
It tends to discourage people when the answer isn't just a yes/no, which is probably why you haven't gotten a lot of feedback. (Not that I'm one to talk about over-complicating posts.) Here's my feedback:
  • MTU: Unqualified Support!
  • Adoption: Support. It's certainly nice to keep the existing work, but starting over would have the benefit of trimming out the cruft. In the end, though, I don't want to deprive anybody of maintaining ideas that they're really attached to (and ultimately, users could just cut & paste to user-space at any time anyway), so I think adoption is probably the way to go in the end. Users also have the option to multiply adopt, taking the same initial article in multiple directions according to each user's preferences.
  • Begin Now: Support. Why wait?
  • Improvement Period: Oppose. If someone wants to take the time to improve something, they should probably be the one to adopt it, so I don't see that this would necessarily be useful. If someone adopts something and then decides they don't want it, they can Prod it. Anybody else who was attached to it can always move it to their own space if they disagree with the prod (or ask for it to be undeleted and then moved to their space, if it goes that far).
  • Adoption Period: 2-4 weeks. This seems like plenty of time for people to realize what's going on and copy out anything they like. If I recall correctly, we also have the possibility of using site banners now, so perhaps we can do that to maximize the focus on it and make sure that the Admins don't get flooded with undelete requests later on.
Robin Hoodtalk 18:12, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
I'll support anything that gets Roleplaying to a less-prominent place on the site. rpeh •TCE 08:23, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Bot Request - HotnBOThered

I'm not quite sure how to go about this, as the Bots policy is ages old and in limbo, and we've only ever had two bots running on the site, both of which are more than two years old at this point. So I figure I'll ask here and take it from there.

As some of you are aware, I've been running HotnBOThered for some time now, entirely as a read-only bot with absolutely no editing capability whatsoever. In the next few days, I hope to change that, albeit only in the most minor of ways: keeping a log of its otherwise read-only activities. Eventually, this will lead to other read-write capabilities as I get more familiar with how to use it that way.

While I'm willing to patrol all of HotnBOThered's edits if that's the community's decision, I'd rather apply for bot status sooner rather than later, so that I hopefully won't have to (and others won't have to if I miss some). As has been the case all along, HotnBOThered should not be making edits outside its user space for now. Does anybody have any objections if I ask for bot status so that those edits are auto-patrolled? Robin Hoodtalk 04:10, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

I'd be fine with adding it to the bot group, as long as you sign the unofficial bot-runner's pledge: "I solemnly swear that since it's my bot, I'll fix things when it screws up" :) I've had to make good on that once or twice when RoBoT disregarded my instructions I messed up the coding. rpeh •TCE 23:32, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
I trust that RobinHood will be careful enough with the implementation of his bot, taking it a step at the time (as shown by his long testing period of read-only actions). I agree with rpeh on the cleaning up bit, but I've seen RH working on cleaning up his testing work whenever he was in the works on optimizing currently running articles (templates). --Timenn-<talk> 11:10, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Ditto. I have no concerns with RH maintaining a bot-account. --GKtalk2me 19:13, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Could an Admin ask Dave to make the change then, please? There's no rush, I'm definitely not doing any programming today (4.5 hours sleep), and don't really have any firm plans to do so in the immediate future. Robin Hoodtalk 23:34, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Would it have to be an admin? There aren't that many of them, and it seems like anybody could link to the discussion here.--TheAlbinoOrcany_questions? 16:33, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
I've given the account bot rights. Also, I fixed this issue with bot patrolling. --NepheleTalk 17:11, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

() Albino: Technically, no. I or anybody else could have done so. Historically, though, rights changes have normally been requested by Admins to Bureaucrats, so I figured an Admin should do that here as well.

Nephele: Thanks on both counts! (And sorry for forgetting that you were a Bureaucrat! To quote the some-time image on my talk page: "I have the dumb.") Robin Hoodtalk 22:19, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Userbox Templates

Just to let everyone know, I'm about to start going through the various Userbox templates to standardize them. For the most part, things should appear the same, but there may be very minor variations. Here is a list of the changes I will make as I standardize (this may be added to as I go through them):

  • Add standard parameters wherever possible. (Note, I will add named parameters as well, since some UBs already make use of unnamed parameters 1 and 2.)
  • Remove any default-valued parameters.
  • Change [[Image:...]] to [[File:...]].
  • Set all picture sizes to 45x45px or smaller unless they're clearly intended to be a non-standard size.
  • Expand 3-character colours to 6-character colours. (I'm told a very few browsers don't support 3-character colors, so I figure we might as well.)
  • Use named colours where possible, for the simple reason that they're usually easier to understand.
  • Allow text to use the default justified alignment unless there's a good reason not to (i.e., not centered; left-aligned only if justified looks bad).
  • Adjust formatting issues (e.g., text wrapping and color selection) on any userboxes that clearly need it.
  • Verify categories.

If you disagree with any of these changes generally, please mention it here. If you believe a specific template looked better previously, feel free to revert my changes either partially (to address the specific issue) or fully. All templates that I change are watched automatically, so if your concern doesn't warrant a discussion, just let me know the problem in your edit summary — I'll see it and try to take your concern into account for any similarly-themed Userbox templates.

Unless a Userbox template is particularly complex (e.g., {{User Rank}}), I will not document individual Userboxes. Unlike most other templates, they really don't need to be documented individually, and if at any point it's felt that there's a need to provide documentation, we can always redirect to or transclude UESPWiki:Userboxes if necessary.

Also, on a tangentially-related note, I believe I've fixed the issues with having Userboxes inside tables (only in the main Userbox template for now; {{Userbox-r}} and {{Userbox-2}} will be re-written after confirmation that the main one is working all-around). Please let me know if you run across any problems. Robin Hoodtalk 22:28, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Also, does anybody think I should add universal things like allowing colour changes or "text" parameters to change the text in a standard UB (as has been done in {{User American}})? Or should I just let people use custom Userboxes if they want changes (leaving any existing parameters in place, of course)? Robin Hoodtalk 22:47, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
I'd be in favor of universal changes being possible.--TheAlbinoOrcany_questions? 22:49, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
The most common set of customizable parameters in the current userboxes are the box/logo borders (as one parameter), the background colour, the text of the box, and the colour of the text. If nobody's vehemently opposed to TheAlbinoOrc's vote, I can go back over the ones I've done to this point and add those parameters, following the same pattern as the existing ones as closely as possible, and continue that pattern in future ones. Robin Hoodtalk 23:51, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

UESP: subjective/opinion-based content?

(moved to UESPWiki:Community Portal/Subjective Content per previous policy on long discussions)

Maintaince Guidelines

(moved to UESPWiki:Community Portal/Maintenance Guidelines per previous policy on long discussions)

User Age Categories

Back in February, rpeh removed categories from the {{User current age}} userbox, and rightfully so. I really don't see the point in having a category for "Users born in January" or "Users born in 1982" or whatever. I've recently come up with a really elegant solution to have age-based categories like "Users in their Teens", "Users in their Twenties", etc., and it would completely ignore over-the-top answers like "Users in their 1500's". Do users want categories like these or no? I have absolutely no opinion on this at all, other than I'm really proud of my solution and want to show it off :) ... but I can do that on the talk page as an "In case anybody ever wants to implement this, here's the method I was thinking of" post if nobody feels the need to implement these categories.

If users do want it, are there any opinions on which groupings to use? My personal thoughts would be: "children" (or whatever diplomatic name we use these days for 0-12), "teens", "twenties" through "fifties" and "senior citizens", with ages 0 and under or over 100 being ignored. As I'm thinking of it, age ranges would not be allowed to overlap, though the solution might be able to handle overlaps as well...I'd have to experiment if that were desired. Robin Hoodtalk 21:04, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

What if you have someone who's 99 and turns 100? Are they assumed to no longer be in a category simply because it's uncommon for someone to live that long?--TheAlbinoOrcany_questions? 21:45, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
What makes you feel this is necessary?
I'm on Facebook, you're on Facebook, and I'm going to make a wild guess and say that most of the people using this site are going to be on Facebook. If you want to know somebody's age, musical taste, preference in fabrics, ideal garden design or anything else, you can contact people through Facebook or your social networking site of choice. Given that my full name is on my user page and that my approximate age and location have been referenced several times (37, London, England, to save you all looking), there is absolutely nothing to stop somebody on the site adding me to their friends list and interacting with me on their social networking site of choice. The same is less true of many other members, but that's probably because they don't want to be contacted.
If it's not for contact purposes, why do you want to categorise people by age? What conceivable use does it have?
It's also worth pointing out that pages that don't get viewed don't get updated. That means if, today, you create a userpage that says you were born in 1973, and nobody views it, it will stick with an age of "30s" until the page is regenerated for some reason. Personally, I'd love to be able to say that I'm 30-something for the rest of my life, but unless somebody knows of a way around this problem it means this idea is a waste of time. rpeh •TCE 22:55, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
To answer Albino's question: yes, I was assuming that someone who turns 100 is no longer in a category, though the categories could very easily be extended should that be necessary. Given that I can count the number of users over 40 on one hand, I just didn't see it as a big issue.
And to address rpeh, as I said in my original post, I don't want to do anything here. I had a good idea for how to do it and put it to the community whether or not they want to do it. I wasn't sure about the re-generation issue, but I don't see that as a huge issue, since someone who's browsing the categories will presumably at some point browse some of the users' pages, triggering a re-generation. It's not perfect, granted, but the fact that the list may be out-of-date for any given person could readily be noted on the relevant category pages if people want them created.
But let me answer your question of "why" with another series of questions: Why categorize the country the person is in? Why categorize the gender or sexual orientation of a person? Why categorize what ES race or birthsign they happen to identify with? That series of questions goes on for some time, and the simple answer is this: some people like using categories that way. Personally, I don't use them that way, but neither do I object to using them that way. Robin Hoodtalk 03:36, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
The country categories have some use in that you can tell when people are likely to be editing, but I'd be very happy to see the others removed, because you're quite right - they're totally pointless. rpeh •TCE 10:46, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
I asked those very questions a while back, but they only resulted in a heated debate. Just like the question of welcoming which users, this is one of those things that people have a strong opinion on one way or the other. The location question can help you determine the active hours of editors, and the gender makes it easier to refer to an editor in third person. The others have no use, at least from a very practical point of view. --Timenn-<talk> 11:02, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't remember the specifics of that (though I may well have been involved for all I remember). Do you have a link? I'm wondering if it might be beneficial to create a list of all user categories and selectively get rid of the ones nobody uses (e.g., people would be free to move any category they use to a "Keep" list, then the remainder could be deleted). Or was there some support for the idea of keeping all user categories, no matter how impractical they may seem? Robin Hoodtalk 22:36, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
The previous debate is here, and you can get a list of the user categories (pretty much) here. In addition to location and gender, the PC/Playstation/Xbox Users cats are also useful and a couple of the others would be useful if people didn't just add lots of userboxes to feel l337 (Artists, Cartographers, Loremasters). The "Users Knowledgeable About xxx" series are... sort of useful, although they suffer from the same problem. I can't see any conceivable use for the ones that remain. rpeh •TCE 11:52, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

() I agree with most of the opinions here; if the categories have no possibility of aiding in editing the wiki or communicating with other editors, there's no reason for 'em. --GKtalk2me 19:13, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the link, rpeh, I'll go through it now and see what was presented. What I was thinking of was making a page (probably just in one of my sandboxes, since it would only need to be around for a week or so) listing all those categories as well as any in sub-categories, plus trying to find any that were missed by using HotnBOThered to look at calls to Userbox Category for categories that haven't been created yet (though some may be more difficult to figure out because they're based on parameters and such...I'll find out if we decide this is the way we want to go). Then once that list is generated, creating a "Keep" section on the page that people could move things to that they'd like to see kept. The one problem with this method is that it doesn't show obvious consensus: a single editor could move all of them to the "Keep" list when in reality, the entire rest of the wiki might be against keeping some or most of them. Personally, though, I tend to agree with the gist of what rpeh and GK have said. I can definitely see uses for some of the categories, but not for most. Using the "What Links Here" for a Userbox would probably do just as well in most cases anyway. Robin Hoodtalk 20:46, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Added note: {{User Birthsign}}, {{User Race}}, {{User Rank}} and {{User Worships}} were the only ones that were parameter-based, so that's not too bad. Robin Hoodtalk 21:34, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Elder Scrolls Date Template

I've noticed a couple of people using subpages to display dates in Elder Scrolls format, so I figured we could use an official template for it. If all you need is today's date, simply use {{ESDate}} and you're done. There are a number of other options as well—see the documentation for details. Note that I used the month spellings from the table at Lore:Calendar; if you want something else, you're out of luck. Robin Hoodtalk 16:07 Tirdas, 13th of Rain's Hand, 2021

the forums have gone...tiny!

hi! i just went on the forums to find that all the letters on every thing have gone to the sizes of periods! help please!--GUM!!! 00:12, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

never mind i fixed it--GUM!!! 00:55, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Trademarked Company Logos

Several of you with userboxes that display company logos are going to hate me in the next little bit, but it came to my attention while doing the {{User Mac}} that using company logos in userboxes goes against their copyright guidelines. I just got to {{User Nintendo}} and discovered the same thing for them as well. In each case, I'm flagging the images as Speedy Deletions and replacing them with suitable text. Yes, it sucks, and the text looks ugly, but I think it'd suck a lot more if Dave got hit with accusations of copyright infringement, so away they go.

My intent is to look for appropriate policies as I come to each company logo as I do the userboxes (reviewing the ones I've missed after I'm done) and get rid of those where we don't comply, but if someone's feeling really eager to help and can find their way around corporate policy documents, by all means feel free to help. The sooner we get rid of images we have no right to, the better. Based on a quick check of "fair use" (US) and "fair dealing" (Canada), all the game-related images are acceptable (as we already note here), but I think we'd be hard pressed to justify a userbox as truly documenting something about the game, so they're not allowed.

Sorry guys! Robin Hoodtalk 05:35, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Just for the record, I'll follow Krusty's lead on this one and remove the entire custom Userbox on any user pages where a trademarked image is used directly. Any other pages I will deal with on a case-by-case basis. Robin Hoodtalk 22:31, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Nitpick: Dave wouldn't get hit with a copyright infringement suit, he'd get hit with a trademark infringement suit. Trademark issues are far more risky to companies than copyright issues because trademarks can be diluted through inaction to defend them. I realize it's hair splitting to most folks, but the difference is quite important. Arthmoor 23:27, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you're absolutely right. I realized I was interchanging the terms when they're very different concepts, and I've started to try to use the term "trademark" where appropriate. Robin Hoodtalk 23:35, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

() A user has objected to the removal of the entire userbox, suggesting instead that only the image be removed. I'm fine with this idea. Does anybody else have opinions? (It was also suggested that a non-trademarked replacement be found, but I think that's up to the individual user to decide.) Robin Hoodtalk 01:10, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

I don't really see the urgency of this matter. The logo's are not abused in any way, they are only used to describe the product mentioned. The logo's are not used for anything other than identifying the company, I don't understand how that can be harmful. Sure it is not according to the explicit letter of the law, but it always surprises me how some people crusade harder for such discrepancies than the companies themselves. We are not a legal institute, we're just a website. If a company truly would opject then they're free to notify us of it, we are not concealing the usage.
When you check the rationale for using logo's of companies, then you see that third parties are free to use to, under certain conditions. It's similar to how a news site may show the logo of a company when they have an article on something related to it. It's only an internal policy decision of Wikipedia that determined that these conditions mean that users are not allowed to use these logo's on their userpage. If we were really forbidden from using company logo's then we shouldn't use logo's for indicators of platform-specific bugs in Bugs sections on articles. --Timenn-<talk> 11:20, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
While I agree its probably not urgent, it may as well get done while someone is in the mood to do it. There is no explicit need for this site to use the logos after all. That said, on reflection I do think keeping the userboxes in existence is a good idea, because it can be helpful to know what platform someone is on when looking for in-game testers. Jadrax 11:31, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
We technically need not use images at all, but they can surely be more descriptive. Likewise, I think a logo can abbreviate a company's name easier than text. --Timenn-<talk> 11:36, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I would not disagree. But I think that falls under nice to have, rather than need to have. Jadrax 11:45, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
I think there has been something of an overreaction here. To quote Wikipedia: "The essential function of a trademark is to exclusively identify the commercial source or origin of products or services, such that a trademark, properly called, indicates source or serves as a badge of origin". Nobody is trying to pass anything off as an Apple/Nintendo/Microsoft product here, and the images were so small that they couldn't be used for that purpose even if somebody wanted to. When large versions of the Windows and Apple logos were uploaded, I reverted them for precisely that reason.
By using a small graphic to say that one is playing a game on a Windows system, or that one would like to play it on an Apple system, the user is actually benefiting the company described to a small extent. I cannot believe that a company would sue UESP for this, and neither can I believe that it isn't covered by fair use. rpeh •TCE 11:46, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
So far as I can tell, though obviously I'm no expert, it's not covered by fair use. Fair use, as I understand it, includes the right to use trademarks to document information about a product (which is why they can be used on relevant pages of Wikipedia), but not to document information about yourself. So, rather amusingly, I believe it's legitimate to use the trademark in saying "Oblivion runs on Windows" but not "This user runs Oblivion on Windows". (Although it could be argued that we're documenting Oblivion and not Windows and that therefore the use of the Windows logo is invalid even there.) Also, UESPWiki:Copyright and Ownership says that we use "fair use" on the site, since this is a Canadian-based site, I suspect "fair dealing" might actually be what's applicable here, and it's much stricter. But even if US law does apply, I don't believe we can say we fall under Nominative use, as all three of the conditions mentioned in that article cannot be satisfied. For use on a userbox, we have words available, which would seem to satisfy the "only uses so much of the mark as is necessary for the identification (e.g. the words but not the font or symbol)" part of the requirements.
Ultimately, I think this might be something for Daveh to decide. We can justify it to our heart's content, but he's the one legally responsible for the site, so it should probably be his decision as to whether he wants to risk a trademark violation suit or whether he feels that there's no basis for concern in that area. Robin Hoodtalk 15:47, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Fair Use is also a concept that's only applicable to copyright law, and my only understanding of it is based in US law since that's where I'm at. If this website is in Canada, then Canadian law would apply, as well as Canadian trademark law.
I doubt Microsoft or Apple are going to come calling over the use of the logos even in userboxes, but with all things trademark related it's probably better to be safe than sorry. Even so, they're not going to jump immediately to a big lawsuit over it. A cease and desist order would arrive first. Arthmoor 18:11, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

() I agree, it's unlikely that anything major would come of it, and that there would certainly be steps taken before a lawsuit. Still, our policies do say to get rid of copyrighted material ASAP, and I pretty much figured trademarked material would go along with it. We should probably direct Daveh to this discussion (done!) and get his opinion on it. Honestly, I'd love to keep them, but from a legal standpoint, I don't think we should. I've heard that Apple is especially vigilant about their trademarks, and I assume there may be others that are as well.

Also, on a side note, the US apparently does have Fair Use for trademarks as least if Wikipedia's anything to go by. Robin Hoodtalk 19:42, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

How about the Xbox logo? Is that trademarked?--TheAlbinoOrcany_questions? 19:55, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
While it is, they have a very liberal usage policy. I think we might actually get to keep that one! See this link. Robin Hoodtalk 20:53, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Userbox Revamp

As you may have been aware, there was a project going on to revamp the userboxes site-wide. This project is now complete!

What does this mean to you? It means you can have custom text and custom colors on any userbox you want. No more need for custom userboxes just for small changes! For more details on the new parameters, please see this section of the Userboxes page. Here are some quick examples:

{{User Writer|Tan|DimGray|Yellow}}

OB-icon-misc-Quill.png This user writes fanfiction.

{{User current age|year=2020|month=04|day=13|text=This user is a baby.}}

1 This user is a baby.

Robin Hoodtalk 23:18, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

You've been changing Userboxes? I had no idea. :) But that does make them a lot better, seems like it was worth the effort! --Arch-Mage Matt Did I Do That? 00:59, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
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