Semi Protection

UESPWiki:Community Portal/Archive 8

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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.

Transparent Namespaces

The way UESP uses namespaces is pretty different from the standard wiki setup and it is, frankly, probably one of the bigger obstacles discouraging new readers and editors from using the site. It's also an annoyance even for experienced editors... I wouldn't even want to estimate the amount of time I've spent typing "Oblivion" or fixing my "Oblivoin" and similar typos. Last night it suddenly occurred to me, why should we have to type in namespaces all the time? Why we can't we make UESP work more like Wikipedia?

No, I'm definitely not talking about reorganizing the entire site and abandoning namespaces as a way to organize information. Instead what I'm suggesting is having the wiki software automatically fill in the namespace for readers and editors: 99% of the time the namespace you want is the one you're currently working in, so why not assume that unless specified otherwise? There are two specific ideas that I've come up with:

  • Automatically add the current namespace to links when a page is edited. Wiki software already expands links on pages. If you type in [[Oblivion:Monsters|]] on a page, save, then edit the page again, that link has been magically changed to [[Oblivion:Monsters|Monsters]]. Why not do the exact same thing with namespaces? Since we don't use the main namespace at all, a namespace-less link like [[Monsters]] can safely be assumed to be a mistake. So if you type in [[Monsters]] on an Oblivion page (or an Oblivion talk page), the link would be automatically changed to [[Oblivion:Monsters|Monsters]]; if it's on a Morrowind page, the same link would be changed to [[Morrowind:Monsters|Monsters]]. Any links with a namespace would be left unchanged ([[Lore:Monsters]] for example), and any links starting with ":" would be left unchanged (so to link to the main page, you'd type [[:Main Page]]).
  • When the "Go" search button is used, automatically add the current namespace Right now, if you type in Monsters in the the search box in the upper left corner and click "Go" you're always told that no such page exists and forced to look through a long search page. But if someone is on an Oblivion page, the chances are that what they really wanted to type is Oblivion:Monsters, so why not make that guess and automatically open up Oblivion:Monsters, just like would happen on Wikipedia? The Search part of the function wouldn't be changed at all, just the list of pages that it considers to be matches when "Go" is used.

Neither of these changes would be too difficult to implement. Yes, it requires directly modifying the wiki's PHP code (which only Daveh can actually do). But the amount of coding involved isn't much. I've already worked out exactly what's needed for the first option, and even with a couple extra bells and whistles it's only six lines of code added to a single PHP function.

The only other "problem" I can foresee is that existing links to the main namespace would have to be changed at some point so they wouldn't be automatically converted next time the page is edited. But there aren't too many such links. For example, there are only 43 links on the entire site to our most popular page, namely [[Oblivion]]. 10 of those links are from the Oblivion namespace and wouldn't even need to be changed. So 33 links would have to be changed from [[Oblivion]] to [[:Oblivion]]. Typing in 33 colons and in exchange saving myself from typing Oblivion a few thousand times seems like an easy tradeoff ;) And external links to the site would be completely unaffected by the change, so there's no risk of breaking links elsewhere on the web.

Are there are any other problems that anyone can anticipate if these two changes are implemented? Or is there anyone who thinks either one is a bad idea? I definitely don't want to pursue making PHP-level changes to the wiki if anyone has concerns. But it seems to me that the changes would be easy but dramatic improvements to the site for everyone who uses it. Also, are there are any other ways in which namespaces are cumbersome that could potentially be fixed while we're at it? --Nephele 12:50, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

Wow, you think a lot. I'd say to try it on one area (perhaps just Oblivion) for a while, and then if all's well, implement this plan site-wide. That way, we know what's what about it. I still can't really picture it. Would we still be able to type everything out, if we wanted to?--Somercy 12:59, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
It's actually easier to implement it everywhere at once; doing it in a more limited way would require different coding or additional coding.
And yes, you'd still be able to type out full links if you wanted to. Basically, anything (correctly) done right now would still work. But now you'd have the option to not type the namespace part of a link if you don't want to. And if a wikipedia user added a bunch of wikipedia-style edits to a page, those would all be automatically fixed instead of being added as red links. --Nephele 13:16, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
My only objection is that you didn't think of this months ago. ;) If I counted the number of times I've had to type out "Oblivon" or "Morrowind" for every link on every page I've ever worked on - Well, let's just say it would be a very large number. Presumably, if we did this, those shortcut links in the Wiki markup box below the edit window would be rendered obsolete. I've made extensive use of them, especially after I modified them to include the | symbol and save a step, but it's still an annoying extra mouse-move and click. Only complication I can think of is if for whatever reason you actually WANTED to create a page in the Main namespace, there'd be no easy way to do it. But there's so few pages in the Main namespace, and very little need for more, so it wouldn't be that big a problem. --TheRealLurlock Talk 15:13, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
Well, if it's any consolation, I've probably typed "Oblivion" about the same number of times ;) But you do have me beat on the "Morrowind" count. The shortcuts in the markup box would still be occasionally useful, such as when creating a Tamriel link on an Oblivion page. But you'd be using them a lot less often.
It would still be possible to create a page in the Main namespace. Some methods (such as typing in a URL) would be completely unaffected. For others, you'd just have to type one extra colon:
  • If you create a red-link then follow it, add a colon. So type [[:Dragonfire Castle]] to create a red-link, for example. That'll work right now and will continue to work, completely unaltered by my new-fangled ideas.
  • If you type in a name in the search box and hit Go, same idea. Type ":Dragonfire Castle" and that will force the search to try to go to a main namespace page (that won't work right now, but it would be added as part of this modification).
So just like right now you need to add a colon to the front of Category links or Image links, you'd just do the same thing for main namespace links. Hopefully that would be easy enough to remember for those who need to do it. But it wouldn't generally be the first option presented to new editors. Hmmm... unless they use the Go button on the Main Page... but if desired we could tweak that, too. Either force some default namespace (e.g., Oblivion) when users use Go in the main namespace. Or bypass the "You can create this page" if someone types, for example, "Dragonfire Castle" instead of ":Dragonfire Castle" again, only when starting from the main namespace. I'm not sure which makes more sense and/or is less confusing... --Nephele 16:45, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

Y'know, redirects are cheap... why can't we just create forests of redirects, and dabs where needed? Alphax 22:05, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

Well, redirects were my next idea... especially after the next wiki upgrade which will make redirects much more powerful. I think there are several things that can be done with redirects to help make it much easier to find information. But I see redirects as a tool that fundamentally work within the namespaces (i.e., a redirect from one Oblivion page to another) rather than as a tool that can somehow make namespaces less obvious.
The whole reason for namespaces is to organize the information into different sections according to game. For redirects to do what I've suggested above would require that every single page on the entire site would have to have a corresponding redirect page within the main namespace. That would destroy the entire organizational system created by namespaces (mentally I'm picturing taking a file cabinet and dumping all the contents on the floor). Not to mention take forever: creating 15000+ redirects would take hundreds of hours. I'd much rather have editors spending that time creating content instead of mindlessly creating empty redirect pages.
For alot of pages, a redirect wouldn't even be possible. For example, a main namespace "Thieves Guild": should it redirect to Oblivion:Thieves Guild or Morrowind:Thieves Guild or Tamriel:Thieves Guild or...? The namespaces are there because there are many similarly named pages in each game that need to be distinguished somehow.
Finally, even if someone did want to create 15000 redirects, in order to maintain the system and have it continue to be useful for more than a week, it would require that a new redirect would have to be created every time a new page was created. It would be an endless process with editors constantly spending more time creating redirects than actually improving the site. So I'd much rather spend a few hours tweaking the wiki software than trying to solve the namespace difficulties with redirects. --Nephele 22:53, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
Ok, good too see that you've thought this through. Go forth and code! Alphax 02:13, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

At last, the changes proposed here have been implemented! So feel free to start testing out the new features.

For editors, it means that when you're editing you can:

  • continue to add links to pages using previous formats, and just remain blissfully unaware that anything has changed
  • or, you can start using more wikipedia-like links. So links like [[Thieves Guild]] or [[Vilverin]] are now possible! The only catch is that you have to be working within the same namespace. So if you're on an Oblivion page, those two links will work and be changed into [[Oblivion:Thieves Guild|]] and [[Oblivion:Vilverin|]]. If in doubt, just use the preview feature and see whether your links are coming out as blue links or red links

For readers, it means that the "Go" button in the search feature is now much more likely to actually take you to the page you want.

This is all pretty new, so there may be a few wrinkles that will need to be ironed out. One initial problem with in-page links getting messed up has now been fixed. I'll also provide more detailed information on these changes as I get a chance (in particular, update the help pages).

If you notice any other new strange behaviours, please let me know! --NepheleTalk 14:43, 20 May 2007 (EDT)

Okay, one strange new behavior I don't much like - If you type something into the Search field from any of the special pages (most notably including Special:Recentchanges), and then hit Enter or the Go button, your search turns up zilch. Do the same from any namespace and it works - e.g. search "Cheydinhal" from the Oblivion namespace, and it goes straight to Oblivion:Cheydinhal. Search it from any other namespace (including the Main namespace) and it goes to a search, with the Oblivion page on the top of the results. But from special pages, this search doesn't work anymore. Is there any way to get the site to treat searches from special pages the same as it treats searches from the Main namespace? --TheRealLurlock Talk 12:38, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
Yes, I've been noticing this too. It shouldn't be too hard to get the Special namespace to work like the other namespaces. We should check that some of the other namespaces don't suffer from the same issue (Image, MediaWiki, etc...). -- Daveh 13:13, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
Image works, as do Category, UESPWiki, Template, General, and Help. MediaWiki doesn't. Just gives an empty page, without even an error message saying why your search didn't work. Granted changes to Mediawiki pages are only for admins, and rather uncommon even then, so it's not as critical that this work in that case. But the Special pages, particularly Recent Changes, are likely to be used by lots of people. Another one that doesn't work is the User namespace. That's another one that would be nice to fix if possible. I didn't check all the Talk namespaces, but I assume they work the same as their respective pages? Not sure. --TheRealLurlock Talk 15:06, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
Yep, I had noticed this problem, too, but it's not yet clear to me what to make the go button do on these pages. In general, what's the best behaviour for the go button in all of the non-content namespaces? Right now, for example, if you're on a UESPWiki page and type something into the search box, the modified search engine checks to see whether there is a UESPWiki page with that name (always after checking the main namespace). But it seems unlikely to me that readers are really going to want search for a UESPWiki page. So the options that occur to me are:
  • a) Change Special/Mediawiki/User only so that the go button does what it originally did (check the main namespace for the entry then give up and show a search)
  • b) Change Special/Mediawiki/User only so that the go button works like it now does on the main page (check the Oblivion namespace for the entry, then give up and show a search)
  • c) Change all non-gamespaces to work the way the main page now does
  • d) Change all non-gamespaces (except Special/Mediawiki/User) to search in that namespace first for a match, then check the Oblivion namespace for a match, then give up and show a search
  • e) Make all the non-gamespaces do really comprehensive searches (go through Oblivion, Shivering, Morrowind, Bloodmoon, Tribunal, Tamriel, stopping when it finds a match). Basically look everywhere to see if it can find a match before giving up.
Options a), b), and c) are really easy to implement. d) and e) are just one step more difficult. I'm inclined to think that e) is the best way to go. And adding the code for e) would then make it really easy to do better gamespace searches too (e.g., on an Oblivion page, search Oblivion, Shivering, and Tamriel). Or is that overkill? (It would take some extra CPU to do so much searching... although finding a page match would always save the really CPU-intensive final search through every article's text.) Would c) be completely adequate? Any votes? --NepheleTalk 23:24, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
I'd be fine with any of those, though a) seems like the simplest and fairest to me. I'm not sure I like the idea that Main Page searches always check Oblivion first, to be honest. Maybe because I've been doing a lot of Morrowind work lately, but I think if you do a search on any concept that is common to multiple games, you should get search results that let you choose which game you're interested in, rather than having the site just assume you wanted the Oblivion page. The site is called "The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages", not "The Unofficial Oblivion Pages", after all. Thus, I'm not so hot about b), c), or d). e) is a possibility, provided that it doesn't automatically go to the first one it finds if there happen to be more than one that match. Otherwise, it'd be a purely subjective judgement call which namespaces take priority, and I disagree with that idea. But really, any one of these solutions would be much better than the way it is now, with the searches simply turning up nothing. --TheRealLurlock Talk 01:00, 23 May 2007 (EDT)
I realize it is biased to choose one game over the other. If you use the "go" feature on a given game-related page, the search always looks in that game's content. And the search feature has not been changed here: if you click on "search" instead of "go" the search still uses the search preferences that you have set up and works the same way it always did. The "search" button will give any reader the list of possible pages and full freedom to choose which one they want. But the "go" button is set up to work differently from the search button, and is supposed to try to actually go straight to the requested page.
A lot of users are going to start from the Main Page, and having "go" just check the main namespace leaves us with original situation: the "go" button basically never works for any new readers. Instead of having the "go" feature work for nobody, I'd rather choose one namespace so that at least sometimes when readers on the main page use "go" they end up finding the page they're looking for. And I chose Oblivion because it is by far the most heavily visited game (at least based upon a comparison of page access statistics for Oblivion:Oblivion vs Morrowind:Morrowind), and therefore that maximizes the odds that "go" is checking the game that a reader is interested in. In other words, it wasn't a subjective decision to choose Oblivion but rather one based upon site statistics.
My problem with option (a) is the same as my problem with the default option for the Main Page: why should the "go" feature basically be completely disabled on all Special/Mediawiki/User pages? That situation is hardly different than the current situation. Why not make it so that at least some of the time the feature works? I'd rather be biased and help some readers than be fair and help no readers.
Any option that checks more than one namespace will have to stop at the first page it finds. The functions are all set up to exit as soon as a match is found; changing that would start to get ugly, waste a lot of CPU, and introduce a random element that I'm not really too comfortable with (if a reader uses the go feature one day to find a page, I think they should be able to expect that doing the same thing the next day takes them to the same page, instead of a different random page).
Basically my idea with the "go" button has been to find ways to maximize the chances that a reader is taken to the page they're looking for when they hit "go". The "search" button is always available for readers who want to see a list of options. Or more experienced readers can make sure that "go" does what they want (use "go" from the right namespace, or spell out the namespace, e.g. "Morrowind:Seyda Neen"). Hopefully that logic makes some sense :) --NepheleTalk 02:03, 23 May 2007 (EDT)
Here's my idea of the ideal way for this to work, not sure if it's technically possible, though.
  1. First, the system searches for any page title matches.
  2. If there is only one title match, it automatically goes there, regardless of current namespace.
  3. If there is more than one title match, but one of them is in the current namespace, automatically go there.
  4. If there are two title matches, but one of them is in the Tamriel namespace (and the user is not currently in the Tamriel namespace), automatically go to the other one.
  5. If there is more than one title match, but none is in the current namespace, run a search, showing the title-matches first and then text-matches.
  6. If there are no title-matches, just show a text-match search.
  7. If there are no title-matches OR text-matches, then go to the "Create a page" option - but with a caveat:
    1. If the user is in a content namespace (rather than a support namespace or the main namespace), have it choose to create a page in that namespace.
    2. If the user is not in a content namespace, change the message to suggest that they probably should be.
This would solve the problem of people creating pages in the Main namespace when they shouldn't be, as well as making searches pretty straightforward from anywhere on the site. Even if you search a game-specific concept like "Cheydinhal" from the Main Page, you'll still go to Oblivion:Cheydinhal, because there are no pages about Cheydinhal in any other namespace, except Lore:Cheydinhal, which is an exception by rule #4. But if you search a general concept like "Agility", you'll get a search that shows both Oblivion:Agility and Morrowind:Agility right at the top, and then text-matches below them. --TheRealLurlock Talk 09:45, 23 May 2007 (EDT)
OK, I think I've got that coded up (although not forwarded to Daveh yet), with a few minor tweaks/differences:
  • If you're in a content namespace, it's only going to check related namespaces (so a go to "Rare Items" from an Oblivion page will never take you to Morrowind:Rare_Items, and instead give you the option to create the page; but a go to "Dawnfang" will take you to Shivering:Dawnfang).
  • I'm not tweaking the search page, so what happens if it falls through to using the search page will always be the same, default behaviour: a section of "Article title matches" (or "No page title matches") followed by a section of "Article text matches" (or "No page text matches"). The article title searches won't necessarily match the titles found by the "go" function. The search page will show all matches in each namespace, not just best matches (e.g., do a search on "Creatures" and you get a lot of title matches). Also the search page uses the reader's preferences, so for logged-in readers it will possibly check different namespaces than the "go" feature (Possible change: the go-to-any-gamespace list could be changed to only use gamespaces in the reader's current preferences).
  • The "create a page" option comes up whenever the reader is in a content namespace (whether or not there are text-matches).
Does that sound like it's close enough to your ideal? Using the reader's namespace search preferences is an idea that just came to me while I was typing this up; I'll rummage a bit more and see just how difficult that would be to incorporate. --NepheleTalk 13:49, 23 May 2007 (EDT)
Sounds about right. (I'm a bit busy this week and next which is why I'm slow to respond.) Anyhow, any change would be an improvement on the current system, so I'll go along with that for now. Would like to see what other posters think, though. So far it's just been you and me discussing it, and I don't think either of us is exactly the "typical" user here... --TheRealLurlock Talk 09:04, 24 May 2007 (EDT)

Proposal: Recommended Mod Lists

This is something that I've been thinking about off and on for a couple of years, but is now getting bumped up my priority list because of discussion on the forums: Turns out the Aelius, fairly well known for his recommended mod list, barely plays the game and hardly even reads the readmes. This fits something that I've noticed before...

List makers have a pronounced tendency towards arrogance. (Certainly NOT all of them, but several.) Since most players get lost in the sea of mods that are available, they (very reasonably) look for good lists for recommendations. But that means that mod usage can be heavily affected by some list saying "get this mod!" -- which means that mod makers are inclined to curry favor with list makers. Some list makers seem to really get off on that, and start expecting people to do ridiculous favors for them (like explain in person stuff that is already well covered by the readme!!!)

One way to avoid this tendency seems to be to have several editors for the mod list. OTOH, too many editors and after a while there's no standard -- too many mods end up on the list. So single editor is not good because they tend towards arrogance, and anyone edits is not good because there's no standard. (Wiki's work in large part because you can always appeal to fact to resolve a dispute, but recommended mod lists are inherently opinionated.)

Actually, probably even more of a problem than arrogance is abandonment -- someone starts a great list, then abandons it.

So, what I'd like to suggest is that we host several semi-protected lists here. Here' how it would work:

  • Under Oblivion, have a "Mod Lists Section"
  • Under that, have individual lists that are edited ONLY by designated editors. These pages would be "So and So's recommended mods list", etc.
  • The pages would be semi-protected (so that only signed in users could edit), but there wouldn't be any extra server specification that "only designated editor XX can edit this page" -- rather that would be done by convention -- i.e. any edits by non list editors would be summarily removed.
  • However, other users could still visit the talk page and suggest mods and post arguments, etc. there.
  • If the editors for a list leave, then either new editors are designated, or the list is frozen. But being under CC license, the current list could be forked and a new list could be started. E.g., Bob is the editor/author of "Bob's List". Then Bob quits the scene and list is frozen. Jan comes along and Jan and copies "Bob's List" to "Jan's List" and then proceeds to be the editor for that.
  • Lists are by invitation and/or consensus agreement. List maker should already have built a decent, respected list. Whether to allow it here would be by a discussion on the community portal.
  • If someone starts a list, then they're agreeing to keep editing it for a while -- i.e. it's not just a one time thing, but something that the list builder is committed to.
  • Editors should understand that their list is NOT their home page or their user page, and should not be used for rants, general opinions, etc. It's just a list -- we expect it to be opinionated, but it needs to be primarily as a list. They also understand the nature of cc.
  • If there's a major dispute over the list, it can be resolved on the community forum. In an unusual case, we might freeze (or very unlikely) delete the list.

What do you all think? --Wrye 19:13, 28 March 2007 (EDT)

Not much apparently! :lol: No problem. Moving it back to the backburner.... --14:46, 31 March 2007 (EDT)
Sorry, still avoiding the place as I Havant received Shivering Isles yet... But yes, I have now read through and I agree with all your points and ideas! Jadrax 10:11, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
I was trying to volunteer everyone else to do the job! :lol: Didn't work too well, and I'm somewhat overloaded these days. I'd kind of like to if not host mod lists here, at least include a page of pointers to some of the better ones. But I've done almost 10 Wrye Bash releases in the past week and still have a list of stuff to do, so I probably have the time soon. --Wrye 21:24, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
I could help out as well, since I'm a bit of a mod junkie. I tend to dabble in a lot of random mods, and also tinker around in the construction set once in a while. I do agree with how the Wiki format is great for listing good mods. One question, though... this would be a list of recommended mods, not just a general list, right? --Talon Lardner 09:11, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

Moving this from backburner to sideburner... I've added a new page Oblivion:Recommended_Mods which is primarily intended to list recommended mod lists, with some evaluation of them. There's still room for hosting some more "owned" lists as suggested above, but again it would take a dedicated proven editor to do it right, so I'm not really expecting that to happen. (Yes, we have dedicated, proven editors here, but they're all busy with other stuff!) --Wrye 22:07, 14 April 2007 (EDT)

Site Slowdowns

With the release of Shivering Isles UESP has seen a noticeable increase in traffic (~20-30% more). As a result, during peak use periods the server is getting more hits than it can handle. This has caused some noticeable slowdowns, to the point of making the site nearly inaccessible for a few hours at a time during really busy times (i.e., Sunday afternoon). Daveh knows about the issue, and is planning to double the server's RAM (from 1 GB to 2 GB), which will double the number of allowed connections at one time (from 50 to 100). However, that upgrade won't be possible until at least the end of this week, because Daveh is on travel at the moment. So in the meantime, there may continue to be a few hiccups. It's the price of being a popular web site :| --Nephele 18:28, 2 April 2007 (EDT)

The site was down about twenty minutes ago and seems to be running slowly now. What's up with that? BTW, was the site ever upgraded (in hardware)? It was my understanding that things were going to be cranked up a bit a while ago. (E.g., note about doubling RAM above.)
The annoying thing about this was that I had been starting to do some stuff at CS wiki (because we sort of ceded CS4 tech stuff to them), but was getting fed up with sloppiness there and had reached the decision to move my new entries back here -- only to find the site down -- again. So CS wiki lacks profesionalism, long term commitment and copyright specification. And this site goes down when it gets popular. Frustrating. --Wrye 16:49, 3 June 2007 (EDT)
Weekend afternoons are always bad and today in particular there is one annoying IP ( that is doing "what links here" requests and searches on every page on the site, which are just hammering the server's CPU. And somehow the IP seems to be getting around some of the site's anti-bandwidth-hogging controls.
Daveh hasn't done any RAM upgrades yet, I believe in part because he's debating whether to do the RAM upgrade or just upgrade the entire server. My impression is that there will be some sort of hardware upgrades happening in the not-impossibly-distant future. --NepheleTalk 17:03, 3 June 2007 (EDT)

Task List

I'd like to create a useful Task List page for the entire community to use. My impression is that a lot of new editors would like to contribute, but don't know what needs to be done (other than spellchecking and cleanup, which isn't everyone's favorite job). On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that most of the experienced editors have lengthy lists of jobs that they think could be done (or at least, I know I do!). It seems like there should be some easy way to share that information. I've tried to reorganize the Task List page so that it can fulfill that purpose.

One reason I'm bringing this up now is that the huge interest in adding pages describing Shivering Isles seems to confirm that there were a lot of editors who wanted to add to the site, but just didn't know what needed to be done. And I'm guessing in a few weeks some of the Shivering Isles momentum will wane, once the obvious red links and empty quest pages have been filled in. I think having an idea list in place at that time will be useful, so that some of the new editors can find other things to work on if they're interested. Also, it will be worthwhile having a way to start to keep track of remaining Shivering Isles-related tasks.

For the Task List page to work, though, it really needs to be something that editors other than just me find useful ;) So I'd really like to get feedback from everyone on how to make this as useful as possible.

  • Does anyone else think that a Task List page is worthwhile? In particular, are there really editors who'd like ideas on what needs to be done? If I've misjudged the situation, then it's probably not worth pursuing this idea.
  • Are the types of ideas that are currently listed on the page useful? Is there enough info for editors to get a basic idea of whether or not it's something interesting? Are these ideas the types of projects that editors would like to know about? Or should the page be taken in some other direction?
  • How detailed should the tasks be? This is one that I've struggled with somewhat: I don't want it to be an hour-long task just to add an idea to the page, because most editors won't want to put that type of time into writing up an idea, especially if they're not sure anyone else will want to follow through on it. But it also needs to be possible for someone else to figure out what actually needs to be done. So I've tried to compromise: allow the descriptions to be brief, and then encourage people to ask for more details. When someone asks, anyone with ideas about the details can step in and answer the question. I know from my point of view, I'm much more willing to spend the time on details if I know someone is interested in hearing about them.
  • Do other editors have ideas that they'd like to add to the page? Is it fairly straightforward to add an idea?

I see the current page just as a starting point to give everyone some idea what I'm talking about. Any ideas about how to improve it are welcome! --Nephele 18:32, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

This page looks like a good way to get people involved in the site and should point editors in the right direction. However, I think many will find themselves lost when it comes to actually do the edits, as there isn't a clear procedure on how to proceed or project organisation for most of the tasks. What I mean is that we lack the organisation of projects like the Morrowind Redesign Project, which takes editors almost step by step on what needs to be done on certain pages. If more of these projects were created, I beleive it will be clearer to editors what to do. --DrPhoton 03:21, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
Good point. A few of the tasks could be fleshed out more so that it's easier for any editor to pick them up. In particular, the Tamriel:Books and Tamriel:Dictionary suggestions really amount to converting those pages to a standard format. A style guide describing the format really needs to be written, in which case those tasks could basically just link to the style guide. And I think having more projects would be great... if someone is willing to take the time to provide the detailed procedures.
But then the question that comes to mind is, should the Task List page be limited to only those tasks that include clear instructions on what needs to be done? My feeling is that no, it shouldn't. I think if it's limited to only be fully-fleshed out projects then basically nobody will ever want to add tasks to the page. For example, a couple of the tasks that I added are suggestions made on talk pages (Sigil Stones, House Upgrades). While I'm patrolling recent edits, it's not a big deal to add a one-line description of any such suggestions with a link. But if I have to fully research what needs to be done and write it all out, I know I basically won't want to go to the trouble: if I spend that much time on it, I might as well just do the whole thing myself. For a lot of shorter tasks, I don't think they lend themselves to being turned into full projects. But having a central list of such tasks is still useful, I think, even if the number of editors who might know how to pick them up is more limited. --Nephele 16:57, 5 April 2007 (EDT)


I've just noticed that two of the special pages on the site are a little less useful than they should be: Special:Uncategorizedcategories and Special:Uncategorizedpages. First of all, they seem to be exactly the same. Uncategorized Categories should only list categories, but it's listing pages as well. Secondly, it would be very helpful if certain types of pages could be exempted from this list. Namely, all talk pages and sub-pages really don't need to be categorized, so they should be left out. Is there any way to change this? --TheRealLurlock Talk 16:47, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

I brought this problem up to Daveh a while back (User_talk:Daveh/Archive_2007#Configuration_Tweaks) but it doesn't look like he's gotten around to fixing it yet. It's a fix that needs to be done by Daveh, and I can't even help by supplying him with new PHP code, since the code that needs to be fixed has already been customized by Daveh. --Nephele 17:09, 6 April 2007 (EDT)


Okay, so I've been going a little whimsical adding Userboxes. Previously, we only had two:

User-userbox-Admin.jpg This user is an administrator on the wiki.
User-userbox-IRC.jpg This user frequently visits the official UESP IRC chatroom.

So I added:

User-userbox-Patroller.jpg This user is a Recent Changes Patroller.
OB-icon-ingredient-Apple.png This user is a Mentor.

to represent the new ranks we have around here. Additionally, I added some game-specific ones:

User-userbox-Morrowind.gif This user is knowledgeable about Morrowind.
OB-icon-Knights of the Nine.png This user is knowledgeable about Knights of the Nine.
User-userbox-Oblivion.png This user is knowledgeable about Oblivion.
User-userbox-Shivering Isles.png This user is knowledgeable about Shivering Isles.

Mainly because I already had the icons available from when I made the new stub tags the other day. (Wasn't sure if KotN was big enough to warrant a Userbox, but hey, I had the icon already.) We still need them for the older games, and possibly Tribunal and Bloodmoon, though most people who know about Morrowind are likely knowledgeable about those as well by now. Other ones I was considering were, "This user is knowledgeable about Elder Scrolls lore", and possibly a few other wiki-specific ones, like people who know about making templates or working with images, charts, or are willing to engage in boring, repetitive tasks (e.g. Adding all the Oblivion NPC Summary templates, etc.), people who just go around making small spelling/grammar corrections (WikiGnomes) or people who just go around making things look pretty (WikiFairies), etc. Additionally, I was considering adding categories to these Userboxes, so that adding them to your User page would automatically add you to a category of other users who have also added the same Userbox, so if you wanted a list of users knowledgeable about, say, Morrowind, you'd go to Category:Users Knowledgeable About Morrowind or something. Any thoughts? Suggestions? --TheRealLurlock Talk 21:35, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

Wow, I'd been thinking almost the exact same thing :) I think the patroller user box and the game boxes are great, and adding more boxes that describe what types of things editors like to do and/or know how to do on the wiki would be even better. My impression from wikipedia is that user boxes are pretty popular if they're available. Having more available here would it make it really easy for everyone to advertise what they're interested in.
And your idea about automatic categories would make the boxes even more useful, and could potentially augment/improve the mentor program. For example, having cross links between the user boxes, the categories, and the mentor page would make it easier for editors to find out about the mentor program. It would also make it easier to find (and provide) assistance at a less "formal" level than mentoring. --Nephele 22:09, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
Random selfish/whimsical idea: how about a user box for editors who are actively avoiding learning about Shivering Isles until they get a chance to play it? It could use the SI logo with an "X" over it, for example. Although I might be one of the few editors to use it ;) --Nephele 22:42, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
If you want to make Userboxes that will be used only by you, feel free to do so ;) Anyhow, before I add categories, is there a way that you know of to display a list of available Userboxes without having their categories appear on the page? Because it's just occurred to me that if I added categories, then the Community Portal page would suddenly be added to all those categories where it doesn't belong. (Incidentally, I was considering starting a UESPWiki:Userboxes page, just so there's a single place with a catalog of all available Userboxes. That would also suffer the same problem. Only thing I could think of would be to subst: all the templates and remove the categories when they're used in this way. If you've got a better idea, let me know. --TheRealLurlock Talk 23:40, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
One idea is to have the template check the namespace, and only add categories if it's in the "User" namespace. I could set up a template ("Userbox Category"?) that takes care of the details for all the userboxes, so you could just add {{Userbox Category|Users Knowledgeable About Morrowind}}, for example, to the userbox template. <grumble>You'd think one little userbox wouldn't be too much to ask for in exchange for creating a fancy new template</grumble> ;) --Nephele 00:02, 7 April 2007 (EDT)
Voila: Template:Userbox Category. I tested it on the Oblivion userbox, and it seems successful: AlbinoMudcrab, Lurlock, and Ratwar are now in the category, and Community Portal isn't. (I haven't created the category yet, in case that's not the correct category name... update as you want). --Nephele 00:24, 7 April 2007 (EDT)
Well, on the up-side, I brought in a snazzy new template from Wikipedia, which makes it a snap to make your own Userboxes. Take a look at the changes I just made to the game-specific ones. One easy way to do it would be to simply change the colors around on the existing one, like so:
User-userbox-Shivering Isles.png This user is actively attempting to avoid learning anything about Shivering Isles.
Feel free to change it as you see fit. Enjoy. --TheRealLurlock Talk 00:29, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

Cool. Been meaning to make use of something like this... Heh, heh, heh... --Wrye 03:30, 10 April 2007 (EDT)

the pilgrimage

i have the Kinghts of the Nine installed and i cant find the prophet in anvil, and the chapel isnt destroyed. why? 01:52, 10 April 2007 (EDT)

My first guess would be that you have other mods installed that conflict with KotN. You may want to make sure that KotN is the last mod being loaded (see Tes4Mod:Mod_Management#Load_Ordering). Also, read the notes on the Pilgrimage page where at least one specific mod that is incompatible with KotN is mentioned. --NepheleTalk 02:10, 10 April 2007 (EDT)


I just wanted to let the other admins know that I do not feel that it would be appropriate for me to initiate administrative action against this user. Since I was the first person to get involved with reverting this editor's changes, and since he has made some personal attacks against me, there are possible conflicts of interest. Therefore I feel it would be better for another admin to get involved and decide what should be done, if he continues to make disruptive edits. --NepheleTalk 15:35, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

Are we 100% sure that, right? I'll be happy to handle it. --Ratwar 15:48, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
Yep, I did a Checkuser, and that's the only IP address he's used so far when he's been logged in. --NepheleTalk 16:21, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
You might want to add to that user... this IP is attacking Nephele's page. --GuildKnight (Talk) contribs 20:59, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
That one and, but I doubt either of those will be making more edits anytime soon... --Ratwar 21:21, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

He's back to vandalizing NPC pages. He seems intent on removing any and all info not visible in-game. (Levelling info, non-playable classes, non-joinable factions.) --Deathbane27 21:49, 17 April 2007 (EDT)

I blocked him again. I'm not sure what his deal is. --Ratwar 22:34, 17 April 2007 (EDT) Has been vandalizing NPC pages at a ridiculous rate. Just a wild guess that it's Dienerandamovie again.

Yep. Blocked. --Wrye 22:17, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

Protection policy confliction

Moved to UESPWiki:Community_Portal/Aristeo_and_Irc#Protection_policy_confliction.

Aristeo and Irc

Moved to UESPWiki:Community_Portal/Aristeo_and_Irc#Aristeo_and_Irc

New Archiving

As the UESP ages, archiving pages has become a major task, and organizing them has become an increasingly large problem, most notably on the Community Portal. Nobody wants to wade through a large number of old discussions at the top of an active page, but the current system of archiving date-to-date doesn’t say much about the content of the pages. Therefore, I think we should create a new system as follows:

Archive Page

  • Community Portal (Header)
    • Archive by Date (Secondary Header)
      • List of Archives by Date
    • Archive by Subject (Secondary Header)
      • Server Issues
      • Relations with other sites
      • Policy Issues
      • Dealing with Stupidity – Anonymous Users and Content Problems
      • IRC Issues
      • Issues between Members
  • Administrative Notice Board
    • Archive by Date (Secondary Header)
      • List of Archives by Date
    • Archive by Subject (Secondary Header)
      • Vandalism
      • Requests for User Privileges Changes
      • Policy Issues
      • Discipline Archive


  1. Unified Archive- The Community Portal and Administrative Notice board often have similar discussions, so a unified Archive makes sense.
  2. Easier Access to Archives- Archives done by content will make it easier to find what has already been said about topics
  3. Easier Access to Active topics- Less clutter at the top of the page
  4. Update Links- Implementing this system would kill two birds with one stone so to speak, if we updated the links in the archive at the same time.


  1. More work to archive pages


Links to Archive-

There would still be links to the Archive Page at the top of the both pages (Community Portal and Administrator Noticeboard), as well as links to the two most recent Archives by date.

Updated Links-

These could be done either by changing the original link or by inserting the correct link after the original like [[link|link]]<sup>[[Truelink|*]]</sup>

Discipline Archive-

Several people have recently called the pasting of warnings to a user page an attempt to “embarass users”. Personally, I don’t think the policy was written with that in mind, but they do have a point. Therefore, dated warning messages can be removed from a user page, if that user has stayed out of trouble for a month, and placed in the archive. The main purpose of keeping the messages close to the user page was to allow people to know they are dealing with a person that has been known to violate UESP policy. If they’ve been clean for a month, chances are that they’ve changed their ways enough to remove the warning. Of course, reminding Administrators to do the moving will be totally up to the Users in question.

Actual Pages-

Each discussion would be a page, like [[Community Portal Archive 1/Discussion]], and then transcribed to the relevant pages. Categories could be added to the individual pages to show the content of the discussion.


So, what does everyone think? --Ratwar 15:26, 20 April 2007 (EDT)

Overall, I like the idea... although I think it will take someone with a bit of motivation to get it set up and start to convert at least some of the existing material to the new format ;) Basically, I agree that we really do need a way to make it easier to find old discussions on various topics.... I know I regularly find myself going through every archive of this page to try to find old discussions that I remember as establishing the community consensus for various issues.
Just to clarify (or perhaps) tweak some details, let me outline what my understanding. So next time this page gets archived,
  • The entire "Transparent Namespaces" section would get moved to its own page, with a name like [[UESPWiki:Archives/Transparent Namespaces]]
  • "Proposal: Recommended Mod Lists" would get moved to [[UESPWiki:Archives/Proposal: Recommended Mod Lists]]
  • Ditto for the rest of the page discussions
  • A by-date archive listing would be created, say [[UESPWiki:Community Portal/Archive 7]] (or [[UESPWiki:Archives/April 2007]] if we're trying to make this a more unified system?). The contents of that page would be:
 {{UESPWiki:Archives/Transparent Namespaces}}
 {{UESPWiki:Archives/Proposal: Recommended Mod Lists}}
 ... etc
  • The new individual archive pages would also be added to (transcluded into) by-topic listings. I'd guess we'd probably add to Ratwar's list of topics as the system evolves, I'd think topics like "Site Organization" and "New Articles" might perhaps work for these two specific examples.
I'd suggest that there are a few discussions that wouldn't need the full treatment. Just as an example, UESPWiki:Community_Portal/Archive_5#Nath_Dyer was a one-time question that has been addressed and I can't imagine ever needing any followup (at least not in the community portal... if anywhere, at Oblivion talk:Easter Eggs). Those could perhaps just be copied directly into the by-date archive listing.
Also (once the basics get put in place), there are a handful of other places where I've noticed important discussions pop up; those discussions could also get incorporated into this unified archive. For example, in Oblivion_Talk:Oblivion/Archive_1#Article_Titles some decisions were made that continue to be relevant. I'd suggest that discussion could be moved to its own page within the archive (probably with a note about the original source of the discussion), then transcluded back into Oblivion_Talk:Oblivion/Archive_1 (so those archives continue to be a complete record of that page's discussions), and also be transcluded into any relevant topics.
I also think the Discipline Archive could be useful. I think any user who is actively blocked needs to continue to have the blocked notice (and probably any warnings that led to the block) still on their page: they are not members of the community and it needs to be clear why not. But users who have moved past a warning/temporary block and have since been contributing productively to the wiki shouldn't need to have out-of-date warnings prominently advertised on their user pages. One month sounds like a reasonable time frame. I doubt/hope there will never be a large number of users in that category, but just the principle of letting users know that they can (mostly) clear their names is important. Moving the notices to an archive (instead of just deleting) is necessary so that in the future admins can find the information when needed without too much effort. The archive page should perhaps have an explanation at the top that the warnings are not considered to be active any more, but are being kept just for record-keeping.
So, that's my feedback for now... long and verbose as always :) --NepheleTalk 17:35, 20 April 2007 (EDT)

I think that maintentance cost would be too high. I think that everything is already pretty well handled by current system. Keep in mind that the active topic can be used more than we have been using it. E.g., my original itention was that the Copyright subtopic be kept under Major Discussions because it perenially arises -- and later questions often tie back to earlier issues. Server issues might also be kept a single topic, but server issues are more usually new issues each time.

Another possibility is that at the top of any topic (current and/or archived) there could be links back to previously archived topics and/or related topics). Most topics won't require this, so such links can just be added on an as-needed basis.

Searching: A secondary consideration is searching -- how easy is it to find a past conversation that you knew you had? This really is a search functionality question. Current search seems to be pretty good -- so long as use appropriate checkboxes at bottom of dialog. But perhaps some technical things could be done to make it a little more accurate or easier to configure. (Just an "uncheck all" or "check all talk pages" might help.)

Another possibility is adding topic collation pages as necessary (as I did for Dispute and Wikiscrolls).

In general, UI and development wise, you have a low end with little organization -- but requires no maintenance. And then a high end -- much more organized, but less flexible and requires more maintenance. Better is in-between -- and adaptive system where you can add more order as needed, but leave most stuff less ordered. I think our current system does that pretty well. I think that what you're suggesting it too much on the high order/high maintenance cost side.

That's my two bits... --Wrye 19:57, 20 April 2007 (EDT)

You bring up some good points Wrye. I have definitely wondered if such a system is worth the amount of time spent doing it, but my conclusion is still different than yours. The main reason I'm making the proposal is that while I like adding topic collation pages, I hate adding them to the top of the page. It makes the space seem cluttered, as do the ever increasing number of archives. I want to eliminate this clutter. My other complaint is that the current system is in large part useless. We have an archive system for record keeping purposes. I think it makes sense to have a filing system for the records.
In any case, do you mind me updating some of the archives, even if you feel it would take too much maintenance? If the system proves too unwieldy, future archive will simply not be converted to the new system. --Ratwar 13:32, 23 April 2007 (EDT)
Go ahead. I've made my points, but I could be wrong. Trial is the best test. --Wrye 20:16, 23 April 2007 (EDT)

Buggy Bug

Yeah, an anon user encountered a bug when using the {{notice|}} feature. Whenever an '=' is in the notice, the message goes crazy. As in:

If you're seeing this message, insert "message=" at the start of your message to fix the problem.

instead of (using nowiki tags):

Ratwar = cool

Is there anything we can do to fix it? --Ratwar 22:30, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure this is impossible in wiki mark-up. The = sign inside any template is reserved for variable declarations. Putting it inside nowiki tags seems to work, as you've discovered. The only thing I could think of that would make them any easier would be to make special template just for = signs, like we did for the | sign by using {{!}}. Only thing is what would you call it? {{-}} maybe? Or {{~}} or {{#}}? --TheRealLurlock Talk 23:35, 25 April 2007 (EDT)
I introduced a way to fix the problem. You can now use "message=" to make it clear that the text you're providing is a message, and then the message can contain equal signs:
Ratwar = cool
Before it was interpreting the message to mean that the parameter "Ratwar" was being assigned the value "cool", but then didn't know what to do with the parameter "Ratwar" and couldn't find anything to fill the message with, so it was reverting to the default message (which should perhaps be changed to something less confusing, but it's too late at night for me to want to mess with that right now). --NepheleTalk 03:07, 26 April 2007 (EDT)
I'm the anon user in question, and I was trying to do something along the lines of
With this fix, this external link with an equals sign in its url won't make the notice box barf up lorem ipsum.
With the new "message=" syntax, it works just fine. 11:32, 26 April 2007 (EDT)

Anyone mind telling me where it pulled the Lorem Ipsum from? I kinda like the way it sounds...Somercy 12:01, 27 April 2007 (EDT)

Nevermind, I googled Lorem Ipsum for myself...Somercy 12:04, 27 April 2007 (EDT)

- - Another sex-obsessed vandal on the loose. Joy. --Deathbane27 22:38, 25 April 2007 (EDT) - :Blocked --Wrye 23:01, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Oblivion Places Redesign Project

I've initiated a new massive undertaking, namely to revamp all of the Oblivion place pages, as described at UESPWiki:Oblivion Places Redesign Project. The plan is to expand and improve the pages describing the various ruins and caves. For those familiar with the recent revamp of the Oblivion NPC pages, this project will be somewhat similar in that I'll be generating a large part of each page's contents automatically from construction set data. Editors will then need to integrate the computer-generated content into the existing pages and improve it. However, this is a much more complex undertaking than the Oblivion NPC pages, which is why I've opted to create a formal redesign project.

I'm announcing it primarily to solicit some feedback from the community on the layout and contents of the new pages. I've put together some examples: [[UESPWiki:Oblivion Places Redesign Project/Example|a new page layout]], [[UESPWiki:Oblivion Places Redesign Project/Data|the automatically-generated data]], and [[UESPWiki:Oblivion Places Redesign Project/Map Overlay|the automatically-generated map overlay]]. There are still a few more tweaks that I'll probably be doing, but I think these examples are close enough to the final version that it would help me a lot to hear from people. Does the new page layout have all the information you think you'd need when exploring a dungeon? If you might be interested in getting involved with the project, do you think you could make use of the automatically-generated info?

Also, if there are any editors who are looking for something to work on, feel free to sign up for the project and get involved. I'd like to try to get this past the planning stages and make it possible for people to start working on pages within the next week or so. Or if you're really eager, you could start right now with working on some of the places that are already provided at [[UESPWiki:Oblivion Places Redesign Project/Data|Data]] or [[UESPWiki:Oblivion Places Redesign Project/Map Overlay|Map Overlay]] ;) --NepheleTalk 02:55, 5 May 2007 (EDT)


Because organizing one insanely large project (i.e., #Oblivion Places Redesign Project) isn't enough to distract me from doing any real editing around here, I've decided to start another: NepheleBot. Basically I'm proposing to create a bot account that will be used to do automated maintenance-type editing of UESPWiki pages. The details are provided on the user page, and I'd welcome any feedback on the idea at User Talk:NepheleBot. Since this is the first bot to be used at UESP I wanted to make sure that the community is aware of it and make sure that there aren't any objections. --NepheleTalk 21:36, 16 May 2007 (EDT)

I made some tests last night using NepheleBot, in particular to make sure that the bot scripting is properly responding to the various controls and limits that I've put in place. All the tests were successful, so I feel like I'm ready to move ahead and start making full use of the bot. And based on responses it seems like nobody would object to giving this idea a try. So I'm proceeding with asking Daveh to give the NepheleBot account official "bot" status. --NepheleTalk 17:01, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

NepheleBot is now fully operational, and I've kept the bot busy the last few nights getting some tasks completed (and after three days the bot is already #9 on the active users list... although the bot probably shouldn't even be shown on that list). As far as I can tell, everything has been going really well (and many of the fixes I've had to make were from me trying to manually add links to the bot's automatic list). If anyone else has noticed any problems, or has any suggestions for things that need to be changed, let me know! --NepheleTalk 11:56, 2 June 2007 (EDT)

Policy Question: Proofreading Talk pages?

The user Robert Smith is proofreading and editing the talk page for 100% completion. I mean, he's bringing it up to standards, but it sorta strikes me edit the comments and questions a fellow editor posts. I'm curious as to what the official policy is on that. Somercy 10:05, 19 May 2007 (EDT)

Yes, modifying what other editors have posted on talk pages is not generally appropriate. See UESPWiki:Namespaces#Talk Namespaces. But as far as I can tell, Robert Smith has only been revising posts that he originally made on Oblivion Talk:100% Completion, so there doesn't appear to be any problem. --NepheleTalk 11:52, 19 May 2007 (EDT)

Redirect Madness

Over the last week there have been a few changes to the wiki software. Among other things, the changes mean that redirects are now a much more useful tool, in particular shortcut-type redirects. To take full advantage of this new capability, I'd like to start creating literally thousands of redirects. This will make it easier for editors to create links and it will make it easier for readers to find the article that they're looking for.

Up until now, to create a Spider Daedra link, for example, an editor would have had to type [[Oblivion:Spider Daedra|Spider Daedra]]. That was the only way to create a link that would take a reader to the correct section of the Daedra page. The upgrade to wiki version 1.10 earlier this week simplified things substantially: now the Spider Daedra redirect page can be used in a link and will take readers to the correct place. In other words, editors can simply type [[Oblivion:Spider Daedra|]] and it works exactly the same as the much more complicated orginal link. Some additional changes were implemented earlier today that make things even simpler: now an editor can just type [[Spider Daedra]]. In other words, by adding just 4 characters to the existing text a word can be turned into a link, instead of the 35 extra characters required by the original link. It's not just easier to type, it's also much less error-prone.

Also, I'm hoping that readers will start to use the "go" feature in the search bar a lot more often because basically it now works, whereas it used to never work unless you understood UESP's namespaces. So any reader who types "Spider Daedra" into the search box while reading an Oblivion page (not while reading a UESPWiki page like the community portal) will end up being directed straight to the article they're looking for.

Both of these features only work, however, if pages with those names exist... and that means there need to be a lot of redirect pages. Try doing the same thing with "Dread Zombie", for example, and it fails because there's no redirect page for Dread Zombies. So what I'd like to do is use NepheleBot to start going through and creating redirects, basically for nearly any topic that is likely to be linked to or searched for. I'll start with creatures and items in each of the namespaces, and then add other categories as necessary.

  • These will be redirects within a given namespace (from one Oblivion article to another, for example), not redirects from the main namespace. In other words, they will work within the existing organizational system of the namespaces instead of trying to bypass the system. The transparent namespaces should hopefully have eliminated the need to create redirects in the main namespace.
  • The redirects will be always be singular rather than plural. I know right now our articles aren't too consistent on singular/plural. However, consistency will be important if editors are going to be able to easily create links, especially with so many new possible links. And overall, singular redirects seem easier to use than plural ones: it's easier to change a singular into a plural (e.g., [[animal]]s) than the reverse ([[animals|animal]]).
  • I'll add categories to the redirects such as [[Category:Oblivion-Creatures-Daedra|{{PAGENAME}}]] or [[Category:Oblivion-Items-Swords|{{PAGENAME}}]]. This will provide another way for readers to find an item that they're looking for (especially with items such as swords, where it's never clear whether to check Oblivion:Unique Items, Oblivion:Leveled Items, Oblivion:Generic Magic Weapons, etc.). Also it will allow search engines such as google to index the redirect pages, basically making it easier for readers to get directed to the best page right away.

Finally, I think overall we should start actively using redirects when creating links instead of avoiding them. Not only are the redirects easier to use, they're also better for long-term organization of the site. If at some later time there's a decision to break up a page, then the redirect pages just need to be turned into articles; there's no need to search out all the links to the original article and update them (like I'm facing doing right now for Oblivion:Ingredients and the new ingredient pages).

So any objections or recommendations? BTW, I think this will be my last crazy, over-ambitious proposal for now... getting all of these ideas implemented should keep me busy for a while :) --NepheleTalk 02:03, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

No objections to you doing a heck of a lot of work. Cheers... --Wrye 15:33, 21 May 2007 (EDT)
This sounds great! It will make our lives (and edits) much easier. --DrPhoton 03:08, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
Well, if everyone is in favor of it, I guess go ahead with it. My only really worry is about the massive number of new pages that this system will create.--Ratwar 17:13, 24 May 2007 (EDT)
I've gone ahead and added a pretty complete list of redirects to the Oblivion namespace, including a whole bunch of new categories to list all these pages. Other than a few more links to advertise the categories, I think Oblivion's redirects are mostly done.
Before expanding to another namespaces, I was thinking of waiting a couple weeks to see if Daveh notices any impact on the server from this round of new pages. It's hard for me to guess how the redirects should affect server performance. It's a large increase in page count (at least the total count on UESPWiki:Statistics, not the "legitimate" page count), but not really a significant change in the database size since they're all small pages. And if the redirects really help readers to find pages more easily, it could decrease the server's workload (fewer time-consuming searches through the whole database, fewer extra page views from readers pulling up a bunch of incorrect pages). But the server is currently near its capacity, so I don't want to be doing anything that worsens performance. If after a couple weeks Daveh doesn't see any signs of trouble, I'll start moving ahead with other namespaces. If on the other hand the redirects do seem to be problematic for the server, I'll hold off until Daveh makes a decision about possibly upgrading the server. --NepheleTalk 12:21, 2 June 2007 (EDT)

Page Missing

It was mentioned on the forums the other day that the Oblivion: General Magic Apparrel page is completely blank. Just thought I would let you know. Bear 16:42, 24 May 2007 (EDT)

The most similarly named page that we have is Oblivion:Generic Magic Apparel, which at 82 kB in size definitely can't be described as blank. And it hasn't been modified in more than a month so there's no chance it was blank, even briefly, recently. So I'm not too sure what exactly would have led to this rumour. If someone tried to access a non-existent or misspelled page, such as "Oblivion:General Magic Apparrel" then they wouldn't exactly get a page containing information. Or occasionally a page gets vandalized and parts of it get deleted, so if someone happened to pull up the page in the 15 minutes it took an editor to notice the vandalism and fix it, then perhaps the page would be blank. But all such problems get reverted pretty quickly, so probably by the time someone had posted on the forums the problem would already be fixed.
If you could provide more specific information on what the problem was I'll definitely look into it, but at the moment I can't see anything that appears to need fixing. --NepheleTalk 17:07, 24 May 2007 (EDT)

You are right it is called generic magic apparrel and if you click on your on link here you'll find nothing but a blank page. Was noticed sometime last week I think. I just had never used the wiki like this before and new that you guys patrol this a lot and thought you would have fixed it by now. Bear24.220.136.136 17:53, 24 May 2007 (EDT)

OK, on further investigation there seems to be a problem with that page in IE. Firefox and Mozilla are still displaying it without problems, but when I tested it in IE I got a blank page. It is probably a configuration problem introduced by the site's wiki upgrade last week; I'll look into some more and see if I can figure out what's causing it and get it fixed. Thanks for pointing it out (and your persistence in insisting there was a problem even when I couldn't see it at first ;). --NepheleTalk 20:40, 24 May 2007 (EDT)
The page is now visible in IE (at least for me... let me know if you're still having problems), but to some extent with a temporary fix. Or at least one that doesn't help us to figure out if there are pages suffering the same problem. For anyone else interested in sleuthing here, the problem is definitely with the table of contents. Disabling the TOC completely (__NOTOC__) worked to fix it, as did changing the TOC to a right-aligned floating table (the current status of the page). My guess is that it's being triggered by the fact that this page's TOC is more than a page long, causing it by default to push all the page's contents too far down the page for IE. But I'll spend some more time in the sandbox confirming (instead of continuing to experiment using one of the largest and most bandwidth-demanding pages on the site). --NepheleTalk 20:56, 24 May 2007 (EDT)
I'm giving up ;) I can't get the bug to reappear anywhere anyhow (pulling up old version of GMA page, reverting GMA page to old version, copying GMA contents to sandbox, clearing cache multiple times, etc). Without anything to experiment upon, I have no way of even starting to look into what happened. If anyone else comes across any blank pages, please post some info and I'll look into it. But at the moment I'm putting it down to a freak occurrence that perhaps would have been fixed by just purging the page to update it at the server end. Just to be sure, I went through the 20 largest pages on the site and checked them all in IE (IE6, BTW), and didn't hit any problems there. --NepheleTalk 21:42, 24 May 2007 (EDT)
Seems to be working fine now! When the report first came to the forums I checked the page but dismissed it. I figured it was either being updated or needed to be replaced after some vandalism. Came back to it today(still missing) and figure I would learn how to at least report it to you. Like I said the link is working fine now. Thanks for checking into it, you all do a wonderful job here. I have been reading hints on the wiki for a few years now and am grateful for the info I've found here. Bear24.230.188.173 22:32, 24 May 2007 (EDT)

There is a cave between Redwater Slough and Leafrot Cave called Blood Clot Cave. I cannot find mention of it anywhere on this site, so I thought I'd bring it to your attention. There are Argonian Smugglers in it. I hope you make a page for it - just in case anyone cares. -ruthless813

There is no such location in the vanilla version of the game, which means it is probably a location that was added by a third party mod. This site does not make any attempt to document the infinite number of locations that have been or could be added by third party mods. --NepheleTalk 01:16, 18 July 2007 (EDT)

Tamriel Flora

I have begun work editing the unfinished tamriel flora section. in tamriel flora A, B and C I have used my template but after coming across page D I noticed a different template was used. I'm asking if I can carry on using my template throughout the tamriel flora section over the ones being used at the moment. --ChadFromCky 12:34, 25 May 2007 (EDT)

Yes, the Template:Flora Title and Template:Flora Entry templates were written to be used on all the Flora pages, but since the Flora pages are all very new the templates haven't been incorporated yet. I'd say just make sure to incorporate the information that's already been added to the page when you change over to the templates.
And for future reference, you don't need to ask before making straightforward edits like this to a page. You can read UESPWiki:Consensus for more information. If in doubt, the article's talk page (e.g., [[Tamriel Talk:Flora D]]) is probably a better place for questions that only affect one article. --NepheleTalk 13:00, 25 May 2007 (EDT)

Ok thanks, I probably worded the question wrong but I got the answer I needed.

Criteria for Patrolled Edits

I recently updated the criteria for patrolled edits. Any feedback can be left either on the patroller talk page or here. --Ratwar 16:12, 29 May 2007 (EDT)

Thanks for doing this. I think the criteria are now a bit more clear to everyone. Maybe we should also make more clear the minimum standards a patroller candidate should meet. --DrPhoton 03:00, 30 May 2007 (EDT)
That's the next thing on my to do list. --Ratwar 12:16, 30 May 2007 (EDT)
Just keep in mind that it's a lot easier to add someone than it is to remove them if they become a problem. (As we all know too well.) It's probably best to be conservative in adding people and keep an eye out for dictatorial tendencies. It might be desirable to emphasize that patrollers should be content creators first, and (minor) admins second. (BTW, I'm much enjoying being back to "semi" active status now that things have quieted down. Nice to see things going so well.) --Wrye 02:53, 1 June 2007 (EDT)
Yes, adding people is much easier than removing them, but I don't feel that being a patroller gives them any more of an ability to hurt the site than being a regular editor. Personally, I think all the admins and patrollers should consider themselves editors first. Of course, I could do a rewrite (or add a section about the duties of a patroller perhaps) to include such a clause, if you'd like me too. --Ratwar 12:19, 1 June 2007 (EDT)
That's a general policy question, so I'd like to see other admins chime in. There are some con arguments as well as pro. But I don't want to break my "semi" active status by spending too much time thinking/arguing about it. :lol: --Wrye
One thing to keep in mind - as of the last upgrade, the system does keep track of who patrols which edits. It can be found in the logs for the page. The only problem with it is that I'm not sure there's a way to list all patrols by a given patroller. (Which would be handy if you noticed that a patroller was behaving in a questionable manner.) Anyhow, might want to change the text to reflect that. --TheRealLurlock Talk 00:47, 2 June 2007 (EDT)
Actually, I just realized it is: Example. So that should make it easy enough to track down misbehaving patrollers should it be necessary. --TheRealLurlock Talk 00:54, 2 June 2007 (EDT)
I updated the page to reflect it. --Ratwar 01:05, 2 June 2007 (EDT)

Patroller Nomination Guidelines

I just finished updating Nomination Guidelines on the patroller page. Once again, any feed back is welcome and can be placed either here or at the articles talk page. --Ratwar 12:42, 30 May 2007 (EDT)

Thanks again for doing this. The guidelines look a bit loose to me, but I guess otherwise they wouldn't be guidelines... What I would do though, is to separate the style from spelling and grammar; they are two different things. --DrPhoton 03:21, 31 May 2007 (EDT)
Thanks for the feedback. I tightened the 100 edit guideline by adding Edits to your own User page, or User Talk page should not be counted as part of the 100. I also separated spelling/grammar from style because your totally right about them being totally different things. I did try to keep the guidelines rather loose, since I don't want to keep anyone from being a patroller that would help the site as one. --Ratwar 12:10, 1 June 2007 (EDT)

"Wisdom of the ages" bug?

Since this question was specific to the Wisdom of the Ages quest, I've moved it to Oblivion Talk:Wisdom of the Ages where it will be easier for others with the same question to find it. --NepheleTalk 15:24, 1 June 2007 (EDT)

Recent Changes

Not sure if im asking this in the right place, but I dont know where else to do so. On the recent changes page there are numbers after each page title. What are these? I hadnt seen them before the last upgrade. I know its not life or death thing, but I just wondered :) -Lordsword 8 11:13, 4 June 2007 (EDT)

The change in article size as a result of that edit, in bytes. Large negative values are also bold-faced to make them stand out more. If you look at an article's history, the number there is the total size of the article. --NepheleTalk 11:22, 4 June 2007 (EDT)

New Vandal

Granty has been repeatedly vandalizing several pages, and I'm upto mychin trying to fix all his edits. Can someone block him? He is obviously not adding anything helpful.

In other news, I learned how to revert edits... :o). Somercy 12:00, 5 June 2007 (EDT)

Never mind, Nephi just blocked him. Somercy 12:01, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
It crossed my mind right before leaving for work to do a Checkuser on this guy, but didn't have time right at that moment. Looks like delaying that check was a bad idea, because the check made it clear that he's a repeat vandal who's been using multiple IPs and accounts. So I've upgraded every account and IP used by him to a permanent block. --NepheleTalk 12:32, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
Oi! I just knew he was something to distract me from my Physics classwork.Somercy 15:23, 5 June 2007 (EDT)

Help Tooltips

I couldn't find it anywhere but please excuse me if this idea has been introduced before.

Recently, I was flicking through a few pages and found references to renown, with no explanation of what it is. A quick search shows that one or two pages explain it but most don't. Now we could easily add the explanation in brackets but I've seen a neater (to my mind) solution on other sites and I thought I'd see what you all think. Please take a look here for an example.

I imagine there are other words that could use definitions but I have to confess that I haven't found any yet. I probably wouldn't be in favor (I'm learning about the spelling now!) of using this method if it was just on one term.

Rpeh 06:54, 8 June 2007 (EDT)

Tooltips are definitely an idea that could be used more widely. My one suggestion, though, would be to use the existing template Template:Hover, which is already used on several pages for this purpose, instead of introducing a new template that does the same thing. --NepheleTalk 13:13, 8 June 2007 (EDT)
Hmm. I'd disagree with your second part. That template should be deleted and the standard Wikipedia/WikiMedia [1] one used instead. More people will be familiar with that one. Rpeh 13:29, 8 June 2007 (EDT)
In my opinion, the template name "H:title" really doesn't tell anyone what the template does. The "H:" naming system is part of an organizational system that may be used at Wikipedia, but I don't foresee ever being introduced here, so using a name based on that organization doesn't seem to be helpful. And the template at wikimedia is also called "Hover" [2], so it seems like by using Hover we're not introducing a completely new name for the template. --NepheleTalk 13:44, 8 June 2007 (EDT)
Fair enough, although it does tell people what it does if they know HTML. Plus, your link is a redirect rather than main template. Actually, that's a good idea. I'll put a redirect on the title one and get to work doing the changes for renown once I've finished uploading my latest batch of images. Rpeh 13:53, 8 June 2007 (EDT)


I might be doing something wrong here, but I can't get <ref> lists working on here. I've just discovered what a fantastic resource the Tamriel namespace is and was flicking through when I came across Black Marsh with its reference list. I noticed that several of the footnotes weren't used and was going to clean up the page when I remembered how Wikipedia does it, with auto-generated lists. When I tried that, however, I just got the tags appearing on the page with no links. So two questions:

  • Does UESP support these lists and just how stupid am I if it does and I'm doing it wrong (extra credit may be given for describing just how stupid I am anyway)
  • Does the community think this is a route we want to take? I don't want to try to turn this into Wikipedia but given that the Tamriel namespace is such a detailed resource, some form of reference linking would seem to be a good idea.

Rpeh 05:51, 15 June 2007 (EDT)

It's not a bad idea, but you'll have to do it manually for now - Wikipedia-style auto-generated reference-lists do not work on this site as of this time. I think a plug-in would need to be installed in order to make that possible, and only Daveh can do that. There hasn't been much demand for it, so I don't know if it's likely to be implemented at this point - especially since it would require a good deal of page-reworking to incorporate that in in some cases. --TheRealLurlock Talk 07:35, 15 June 2007 (EDT)
I'll have to add the Cite extension to get this to work, which is easily done if needed. I just don't want to add it unnecessarily. -- Daveh 10:41, 15 June 2007 (EDT)

Well, I have done a manual cite list for Lore:Sheogorath, so I wouldn't mind having one for future expansions of that section. I've also recently commented that the Oblivion:PS3 article may need some sources, since the information there has been subject to some debate. --Ratwar 13:15, 15 June 2007 (EDT)

The other thing to keep in mind is that Wikipedia is a huge site, covering every topic you can think of, and drawing from millions of diverse sources for its information. UESP deals with a narrow range of topics, and our source for information is almost always the games themselves (or their Construction Sets), so references aren't really that big a deal, since it's usually pretty obvious where the info comes from. Some Tamriel articles might have more diverse sources, but usually the info comes from in-game books. If we could have in-site references, pointing to the books where the info originated, that'd make sense. There's only a few places where off-site references would be needed, and most of those are already done manually. --TheRealLurlock Talk 08:42, 16 June 2007 (EDT)
I agree that lists can be done manually, but they also need maintaining manually and that hadn't happened on the first one I found. I don't want to create unnecessary work for Daveh but if it's not too much trouble, I'd suggest the extension be added, then those pages that would benefit can do so and the rest of the world can ignore it. Rpeh 09:09, 16 June 2007 (EDT)
For loreists, the plugin would be very useful. It's definitely worth adding. --Wrye 16:04, 16 June 2007 (EDT)
I think having some tools to make it easier to add and maintain references would be very useful. I'm a bit concerned, though, about the Criticisms mentioned with the Cite extension. It doesn't seem like it's necessarily the easiest tool to use, nor is it the only one available. Perhaps it's worth spending a bit more time doing research on what extensions are available for references and figuring out which one is the best match for UESP? --NepheleTalk 22:47, 19 June 2007 (EDT)
I'll agree it's not the world's easiest system to use, but it's not that difficult! Given especially that the pages where it'd be used most are the Tamriel ones and that not too many people edit those, I don't think it's a huge problem. --RpehTalk 03:18, 25 June 2007 (EDT)
I, for one, would love it. Then it would be much easier to dump content from here, or potentially here, to [ here! And I could take the lovely stuff from here and put it in its dreadfully limp-looking counterpart here! I'd been so long in porting over the content to the BM page because of the lack of cite.php here. Now, only days after I finally decided to implement the current article, with its ghetto ref style, I get a complaint. :P Anyways, the lack of a cite mechanism has always discouraged me from editing here: I'm just so used to swaddling myself in citations, that it seems frigid and lonesome without them.. With the cite.php mechanism, I'd be glad to contribute to the Tamriel namespace. (Don't worry about the Wikipedia-style pecadilloes of NPOV and WAF and such. The freedom of an in-world perspective should offer the chance for a more fluent and less distractingly skeptical style.) We also shouldn't have to worry about the copyright issues, as we did the last time, as I've written 996/1000s of these articles myself (and I can just as easily return to a previous version). With the cite.php, I see UESP becoming a great annex for infinitestimal fictional detail, which the W seems to like less and less these days. Thanks for your time! SulfurousDesign 23:55, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
Well, if the people who want to do the work think that cite.php is the right tool to get the job done, then that's what really matters :) And there's more than enough support here to say that adding the extension won't be a waste of Daveh's time. I think the main obstacle at this point is just waiting until Daveh has some time to install it. --NepheleTalk 00:43, 27 June 2007 (EDT)
Copyright issues: Don't gloss these over -- copyright is something we need to take seriously. If you're posting material that you originally posted at Wikipedia please clarify in the history comment just what you're doing and that you're the original author. Also, do be careful to not include anything but trivial edits from others (e.g., spelling, grammar corrections). Which will not doubt be a pain in the butt, but is doable. --Wrye 20:03, 27 June 2007 (EDT)

Is cite.php in yet? I don't like turning out pages which look like this: Lore:Hist. (Btw, you guys didn't have a page on this? For shame!) SulfurousDesign 01:01, 8 July 2007 (EDT)

Not yet. Daveh is away, I believe. --RpehTalk 05:00, 9 July 2007 (EDT)
To confirm, Daveh is on vacation right now, so it will be at least a couple weeks before any new extensions can be added (and perhaps even longer if he has to immediately rush off on a work trip when he gets back). But I did warn him before he disappeared that we'd probably have a stack of extensions that need to be installed when he gets back, so he knows what's waiting for him :) --NepheleTalk 11:02, 10 July 2007 (EDT)
Good to know. Thank you all for your willingness to help. ^_^ SulfurousDesign 03:30, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
I only just noticed, but the extension is now in place. My original test page now works. Thanks, Daveh! Let the great reference-fest commence! --RpehTalk 08:28, 7 August 2007 (EDT)

Pronunciation Project

Hey guys, This is Playjex here, and I wanted to know if you would be willing to give me feedback, on this new project I'm working on. I will leave a pronunciation key next to any NPC's name. Would it help? Will you help me?

Sincerely, user:Playjex

I think it's a good idea. I'd considered doing that but I can never get my head around the various pronunciation systems. It would probably be best to modify the NPC Summary template so it appears in the same way on all relevant pages. --RpehTalk 12:52, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
I'm cool with it, but I agree that it needs to be uniform on all pages (as in they should all look the same and should all use the same system). Also, I think that if names are pronouced more than one way in the game, that should be represented as well. Umbra, for example, is pronounced both "Um-bruh" and "Oom-bruh" in the game, depending who you talk to. I'm willing to work with you to help decide on a format and a system, as well as checking how names are pronounced in-game. --Eshe 14:09, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
I hear the distant drumbeats of pronunciation wars. Long pages of discussion over whether it's "Um-bruh" or "Oom-bruh" and which games said it which way, and maybe that was just a regional accent, and UK English vs. US English pronunciation. (Of course, since many words in lore have only been introduced through text, determining 'proper' pronunciation may be nearly impossible.) Might be best to not go there. --Wrye 15:30, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
I'll ask my reliable resource about this situation. He works for Bethesda so yeah. Playjex
Wrye's got a point. It's a neat idea, but it really might be more effort than it's worth. Maybe for now we should concentrate on more essential projects. --Eshe 16:13, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
As I mentionned when you asked Nephele about this, it might be worth doing in cases where the name is actually pronounced in-game, but as Wrye said, there are numerous cases where even the games are not consistant with themselves on pronunciation. ("SHAY-oh-GO-rath" vs. "SHEG-oh-RATH" for "Sheogorath" for prominent example - both pronunciations were used in Morrowind.) If you feel up to it, go ahead, but it's bound to cause some disagreement in many cases, so I'd say stick to those that are verifiable - and maybe even state where you got the information so other people can confirm it. (Inside sources at Bethesda may not be the best idea, since most of us can't confirm that. Better to stick to the games themselves. Not to mention that just because somebody works for the developer doesn't mean they even know the correct pronunciation - I refer you again to the inconsistancies within the games themselves.)
As for changing the NPC Summary template, I wouldn't recommend it. It's not a major enough project to call for changing of that template. Since it's used on so many pages and is such a complex template, every even minor change to it essentially makes the site's server go completely unresponsive for about 10-15 minutes. Thus we try to avoid making unnecessary changes, because it causes the site to go temporarily offline every time. I'd add it to the article text if anywhere, like right after the name in parentheses. --TheRealLurlock Talk 19:28, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
Okay, I'll do that. - Playjex
For the record, now that I've seen it (the Millona Umbranox page), it seems very distracting. --Eshe 21:01, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
Agreed. Seems, well... anal. I think that at some point, you can push the encyclopedic documentation of a fictional world too far -- and this may have gone past that point. Probably a matter of taste, and to be fair, I rarely visit those pages. --Wrye 22:44, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
I didn't realise changing the templates kills the server but I'll stick with what I said about putting it on the NPC template; it'd be out of the way over there. I'd also like to say that anything that seems anal to a member of this site should be setting off alarms all over the world! --RpehTalk 00:32, 29 June 2007 (EDT)
It doesn't usually. This particular template, however, is unusually complex and used on a LOT of pages. We might talk to Nephele about maybe taking a look at it (it's beyond my meager templating skills at this time) and maybe posting the change during the early morning hours when not too many people are trying to visit the site. (I might be able to figure it out by trial and error, but given that every trial would bring the site down for 10 minutes, I'd rather give it to somebody who can hopefully get it right the first time.) --TheRealLurlock Talk 00:48, 29 June 2007 (EDT)
If we had graphical avatars on this site, hers would be wearing a red cape... Okay, I was originally in favour of this idea but I agree that the way it's been done is very distracting. If it can be done in the template without killing the site, then I'd support that; otherwise it might be best to get rid of it. As far as British vs American pronunciation is concerned, it's one time when we Brits win given that both emperors in the game are British :-) --RpehTalk 09:39, 29 June 2007 (EDT)
I'm pretty sure the voice-overs in the US and UK versions of the game are the same, so there's no difference in pronunciation of anything. Obviously, for the non-English language versions, there may be differences, but we're not really that concerned about those on this site. (Given the site is in English, it's to be assumed the majority of our visitors have one or the other English-language version of the game.) --TheRealLurlock Talk 13:02, 30 June 2007 (EDT)

I could add a new parameter to the NPC Summary template, although a few details on what exactly is wanted need to be sorted out first. The one other place where I'm aware of pronunciations being added to words is in the Lore:Dictionary section. So I'd suggest for consistency that a similar format be used here, namely square brackets, italicized, and smaller font. If everyone's OK with that, it just leaves the question of where in the infobox to display it. I'd suggest within the first box of the infobox, on a new line under the NPC's name. So the top of Countess Millona Umbranox's box would then look like:

Countess Millona Umbranox 0000A288
[Mihl-ona Um-brah-nox OR Mihl-ona Oom-brah-nox]
Home City Anvil

Or for Dairihill:

Dairihill 0000A289
Home City Anvil

In terms of the project itself, it's hard to come up with objective criteria for what should or should not be on the site, other than the basic criteria such as being Elder Scrolls-related and verifiable. As long as there is someone who thinks it's useful information and is willing to do the work necessary to add the information to the site, that's what matters, IMO.

However, I will echo the concerns about making sure that the information is verifiable. Some pronunciations are provided in the construction set, in the dialogue notes (the "REC " record), for example, '-- pronunciation -- should be "MUR-mih-donn"' or '"Bjalfi" is pronounced "Yall-Fee"'. I'd consider those pronunciations to be definitive. Going by pronunciations used by the voice actors is less reliable, however. There are many cases where the dialogue notes say things like 'mispronounced Agronak' or 'Mahei = ma HAI [good performance, but doesn't match with Mahei's pronunciation of his own name]'. So I'd recommend in-game pronunciations be used with caution, and only if the dialogue notes have been checked to confirm that there weren't any problems with that recording. --NepheleTalk 12:37, 29 June 2007 (EDT)

Okay, if we can make it look like that, I'm in. The information is there for anyone who wants it, but it's out of the way for those who don't. Nice. --Eshe 13:17, 29 June 2007 (EDT)
Since right now is one of those windows when the site is less busy (and with it being the start of the weekend there won't be any better chance until Monday), I've gone ahead and implemented the change. The format can still be tweaked later if there are suggestions, but in the meantime some progress can be made. So for anyone who wants to add prononuncations, add "|pron=..." to the NPC Summary. I've edited Countess Millona Umbranox, Dairihill, and Umbra's pages as examples. --NepheleTalk 01:58, 30 June 2007 (EDT)
Sounds good guys... so far. I REALLY don't want to mess up the servers or anything, but I'll contribute being the one that mentioned it. Wait for Monday for new updates. Thank you. --Playjex 30 June
Well, the change is done, and had far less effect on the server than previous changes to that template have had. I wonder if maybe some server upgrades since then have made a difference there, or if Nephele's choice of timing during off-peak hours was the deciding factor. --TheRealLurlock Talk 13:02, 30 June 2007 (EDT)
The server was still pretty much unavailable for 10+ minutes after each of the saves I made. But I made sure that the server was only at ~25% capacity when I made the changes, so there was less of a backlog of outstanding requests that needed to be dealt with after the fact. --NepheleTalk 14:03, 30 June 2007 (EDT)
Okay, it is now Monday. Nephele andTheRealLurlock, since you are both administrators of this site, and that you both tested and tried this "Project", would you say that we can do it, or that it jams up the server too much and it is disqualified of ever being possible? I hope we can have more test runs with this, but I would have to be taught how to insert the pronunciations into the summary. But I would use the "|pron=". Thanks. --Playjex
Playjex, what caused the server slow down was changing the NPC template, not the actual pronunciation edits. To insert pronunciations into summarys, simply put the |pron= after the |id= in the NPC Summary. --Ratwar 12:02, 1 July 2007 (EDT)

Sensitive issues in IRC


Wiki and Forums Being Down

It has been brought up at the forums that the sites seems to be down quite a bit lateley, mostly during the hours of 2 to 4 pm central time for me(sometimes longer sometimes less). I have read before where this was a problem from increased traffic to the server at those times, I think it was stated about Sundays when I read it initially. I was wondering if this is the case now and if so, is there anything that can be done to help the situation. Not trying to be a pain, just that the forums are doing well and I wouldn't like to see people leave because of the lack of access at certain times. Bear 12:50, 13 July 2007 (EDT)

Yep, it's been a problem since Monday and has been getting gradually worse. Basically, a glitch was triggered last Sunday night that has decreased the amount of traffic that the server can handle. Fixing it requires Daveh's intervention, and I've informed him about the situation (just a couple of hours ago). Unfortunately, he's on vacation right now in some part of the world that doesn't even have cell-phone access, so I have no idea when he'll be able to do anything. In the meantime, the site will be basically inaccessible whenever the site gets too much traffic. Unfortunately, that means there are likely to be some pretty prolonged outages over this weekend :| There's not really too much anyone else can do, other than avoid using the site when it gets overloaded. --NepheleTalk 13:47, 13 July 2007 (EDT)

Thanks for the info and update, I'll pass it along. Bear24.230.188.173 00:16, 14 July 2007 (EDT)

Vandalism Policy

Moved from User Talk:Nephele. Policy discussions go here (or on appropriate policy, etc. page). --Wrye 20:24, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

There has been a great deal of Vandals lately I just think that we are giving them too much slack and that a 0-tolerance policy is needed for deleting a page and replacing it with profanities is no mistake and its not like they are going to be scared to not be able to make an account we can literally cut the vandalism at least in half by enacting a 0-tolerance policy. These are just some thoughts and I would like to hear what you have to say because honestly I don't really like looking for information and finding nothing but vulgar.--Most Honored Listener 13:48, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Wow, run-on sentences. Yikes.
Anyway, I entirely disagree that a zero-tolerance policy is needed here. Most vandalism is caught so fast that it doesn't even make an impact on users of the site. While it is true that a lot of vandals need to be blocked, I've also seen cases where people supposedly just didn't know any better and stop doing it. I haven't been here long enough to know if there have actually been cases where a one-time vandal starts making helpful edis, but I think we should maintain our current policy on the off chance that such cases might occur. --Eshe 14:11, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
I don't personally think that the current policies need to be changed to something as draconian as a zero-tolerance policy. However, if you think that changes are needed, my user talk page is not the place to propose or discuss policy changes. Any such changes would require the input of the entire community, and therefore UESPWiki Talk:Vandalism or UESPWiki Talk:Blocking Policy would be the appropriate place to start such a discussion. --NepheleTalk 14:45, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
I wasn't aware that it was possible to not think that vulgar would be though to be OK for a wiki. I also did not know that there was a page dedicated to talking about the issues of vandalism, UESPWiki Talk:Vandalism. Also seeing as how the vast majority of users haven't actually run into vandalism it gives the patrols something to do.--Most Honored Listener 15:21, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
I'm a little confused by your last statement, but just to be clear: vulgarity/obscenities/nonsense is not tolerated here, which is why we make every effort to clean it up. Language on user pages, the IRC, and the forums (as far as I know) is a slightly different story. Should you encounter any vandalism, feel free to fix it. --Eshe 15:33, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
It was said that there are some people who vandalize but them go on to do good edits after they have been warned right because if this is not the case what is the point of just a warning when all they will do is just vandalize again?--Most Honored Listener 15:39, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
Personally, I haven't seen anyone who was clearly a vandal go on to become a productive editor afterwards, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen, I suppose. But anyhow, if they continue to vandalize after a warning, then we DO block them. One warning is usually enough, but it's simple enough to block on the second offense if necessary. Also, there are some cases where a block is not necessarily proceeded by a warning. Spammers, for instance, and other bots are not tolerated at all, and are generally blocked on the first instance. Also, even human vandals who do excessive amounts of damage in a short time are usually blocked without a warning. But blocking on the first offense for minor vandalism is not usually done. Many of these types of edits come from public IPs such as schools and libraries, and blocking them outright has the potential to block other editors who might end up using the same computer later on. (This is also the reason that vandalism blocks are typically temporary rather than permanent, except in extreme cases.) At any rate, as Nephele said, this is not the place for this discussion. We should probably move this to one of the other pages she suggested. --TheRealLurlock Talk 15:49, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
OK, I'm having a hard time keeping up with the discussion here. So this is somewhat of a response to about the last four or five contributions, and also repeats several other editor's comments.
First, we definitely do not tolerate vandalism to articles and such edits all get reverted as soon as anyone sees them. The reason for the current policy isn't just to "give patrollers something to do"... believe me, there is already way too much for patrollers to keep up with, even without any vandalism. As Eshe said, if you'd like to help out, you're welcome to do so.
Second, have you actually taken the time to read the policy at UESPWiki:Vandalism and UESPWiki:Blocking Policy? Because a warning is only the first step of the process. The warning ensures that the editor realizes that their edits have been monitored, that we know exactly who made the edits, and that there are consequences for the edits. If someone continues to vandalize after being warned, then the account is blocked.
As for changing the policy, one key question is whether the policy change would actually do anything to reduce the amount of vandalism. And, frankly, I don't think that a zero-tolerance policy would make a significant difference, since 95% of vandals only ever make a single wiki edit, and generally that's even without a warning telling them to stop. On the other hand, a zero-tolerance policy would also inevitably block some new editors who simply have made a mistake. There have been a half-dozen cases of edits that I thought were definite vandalism, but in fact turned out to just be mistakes. I'd rather not intimidate new editors, or needlessly block IP addresses that may be shared by thousands of people, when there's no evidence that it would make a noticeable overall difference in the amount of vandalism.
Again, that's just my opinion, and since you're asking the question on my talk page instead of in a more general forum, you should not assume that any statements made here represent a community consensus. If you really want to pursue this question, a community-wide discussion would be better. --NepheleTalk 15:58, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
Reviewing various comments above and my own experience, I don't see sufficient reason to change policy. And yes, I have occasionally seen new editors make an edit that would be considered as vandalism (e.g., something like "Hooowwaaahhh! Naked girls.") -- only to quickly fix it with a following valid edit with useful content. Shrug, that's part of new editors figuring out that "freedom to edit everything" doesn't necessary mean you should edit everything. Normal part of wiki learning curve. --Wrye 20:37, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Multi-language UESP

There already was a proposal of translating UESP content to German. Well, here's another one. Now it's Russian. The reasons are quite the same - not much resources on TES games and universe that originally come in Russian. And not everyone is able to read in English, although there's many TES fans in Russia. So what if we'll finally find a way of doing it? Slonovski 02:26, 27 July 2007 (EDT)

Necromancer/Conjurer Pages Missing

Just thought that I would point out that I was unable to find a Necromancer or Conjurer page in either the Oblivion or Tamriel pages. I do not have the resources to create one myself, as I do not have access to the PC version of Oblivion and I cannot pull up damage tables, screenshots and the the like. If anyone would like to create these pages, I think it would be a good idea. SubtleCynicism 04:19, 28 July 2007 (EDT)

Information regarding Necromancers can be found under the necromancy section. Conjurer information can be found on their respective conjurer dungeon page. Really though, there isn't much to say about conjurers. They're essentially just like necromancers, except they summon all sorts of creatures, and have a better fashion sense. --Saruuk 04:27, 28 July 2007 (EDT)
Creating Oblivion:Conjurer and Oblivion:Necromancer pages is planned, which is why there are now red links to those articles on all the new Oblivion dungeon pages. And there is already a task in the task list to let anyone who is interested know that it needs to be done. If nobody else gets to it, I'll create the pages eventually but given how many other things I've got going on, I really can't even guess when I'll be able to get to it. --NepheleTalk 04:53, 28 July 2007 (EDT)
I just made the Conjurer page, though I'm sure it could do with enhancing- a list of the spells they used is needed as well as some 'Conjurer Level' information.--Willyhead 17:12, 1 August 2007 (EDT)

Reorganizing Tamriel Books

As part of my ongoing efforts to make it easier to find and link wiki pages, I'd like to propose a substantial reorganization of the Tamriel Books section. Specifically, I would like to:

  • Eliminate the "Books/" prefix
  • Stop mangling book names by moving "The" or "A" to the end of the book name

So, for example, the current page "Tamriel:Books/Firmament,_The" would be moved to "Tamriel:The Firmament".

The "Books/" prefix is the last remnant of a page organization system that has otherwise been phased out. The main benefits of the prefix are: (a) it is easy to identify the page as a book page, and (b) if you pull up the list of all pages in the Tamriel namespace, the books are all listed together. However, categories provide a much better way of accomplishing these tasks. In particular, pulling up the Category:Tamriel Library category is a much easier way to find all the books than wading through all of the Tamriel pages.

On the other hand, using the "Books/" prefix makes it more difficult to find the pages using the search "Go" function and means it is much more work to create links to books. For almost any other item that you find while playing Oblivion, if you type its name in the searchbox and click "Go" you will be taken straight to the article describing that item. But for books, that will never work with the current system, because the "Go" button looks for exact name matches and does not know to add a "Books/" prefix onto the names. As for creating links, the prefix requires the book name to always be typed out in full twice every time you want to add a link to a book. In other words ''[[Lore:Beggar|]]'' will produce Books/Beggar. To get a properly labeled link you need to type ''[[Lore:Beggar|Beggar]]''.

The arguments for/against mangling the names ("Firmament, The" instead of "The Firmament") are fairly similar. The only reason to do it is to improve alphabetization. However, in manually created lists (e.g., Lore:Books_F), it's not needed and the book names are generally listed unmangled on all such pages. In automatically created lists, e.g. category lists, it is trivial to get the names to alphabetize properly by filling in the sort key (see, for example Category:Oblivion-Quests). On the downside are the same issues with "Go" and creating links as described in the previous paragraph. In addition, the books are the only items in the game that end up with page names that do not match the name of the item in game. This has repeatedly led to people being unable to find books and as a result creating duplicate books. Even when people try to follow the system, there is confusion. For example, there are pages for both Lore:The Wolf Queen, v8 and Lore:The Wolf Queen, v8.

NepheleBot would do most of the work, so the changeover would occur fairly painlessly and quickly. While unleashing the Bot, I'd like to do a couple of secondary changes, mainly because it's easiest to do all the changes at once.

  • Rename "/Desc" page to "/Description" (for consistency with all other description-type subpages)
  • Add categories to all the subpages (this was started a while ago and never completed)
  • Make sure that the books all have a breadcrumb trail and category (so that they can all be found easily after the reorg is complete).

The various book templates would also have to be changed to take into account the new naming system. I'll manually update the book templates. The reorg will be done in such a way that the templates will be fully functional up until the time they're changed, at which point the new pages will already be in place allowing the revised templates to immediately work. So the disruption to articles should be pretty minimal, and limited to a few minutes right at the moment the template changeover happens.

Any objections, concerns, queries? Or have I overlooked any other automated changes that also need to be done to the books? --NepheleTalk 16:50, 28 July 2007 (EDT)

Sounds fine to me. The only problem is with the movement of "The" and "A" to the start; if somebody does look at a category list (breadcrumb trail for instance) there'll be a lot of entries under "T" and "A". Could the bot also add the default sort order tags to affected books? ({{DEFAULTSORT:new key}}) My only other concern is that it'll almost certainly go back ahead of me in Active Users :-) --RpehTalk 07:23, 29 July 2007 (EDT)
I don't think this will make a lot of entries end up under "T" and "A"; as I pointed out, there are categories containing large numbers of entries starting with "The" and "A" where the entries are properly alphabetized, e.g., Category:Oblivion-Quests. Entries only end up listed under "T" and "A" if nobody ever bothers to set up the sort key properly. As part of the reorganization, I'll make sure that all of the currently existing books are properly set up. So that will just leave new books that get added; someone just needs to make sure (a single time) that the sort keys are correct.
As for using the default sort feature, I'm pretty sure that the only way to make it work would be to revamp all of our existing breadcrumb trails and templates (and even then I'd want to do some experiments beforehand to make sure that it could be made to work). The problem is that all of our categories explicitly set the sort key to be {{PAGENAME}}. So that setting will override any default sort key. To fix it, we would need to go through and set {{DEFAULTSORT:{{PAGENAME}}}} in every template that creates categories and then delete the {{PAGENAME} label for all the categories. And we would need to double check that if {{DEFAULTSORT:{{PAGENAME}} is set in a template that an article can then have a second, manually-set key (e.g., {{DEFAULTSORT:Firmament, The}}) that will override the template's key.
Long term using the default sort feature would probably be a better way to do all of our categories, but it's a feature that was only introduced with Mediawiki version 1.10, i.e., it's only been available on UESP since May. And it's a job that NepheleBot can't particularly help with: I've set up the bot to never edit pages in the Template namespace because those edits can easily bog down the server. All that the bot could do is go through all the pages that use the templates to delete any redundant categories and specify {{DEFAULTSORT}} where needed. --NepheleTalk 12:56, 29 July 2007 (EDT)
All this talk of 'T' and 'A' is making me wonder if I'm on the wrong site... Anyhow, I don't see that the "DEFAULTSORT" thing is necessary. Simply specifying the sorting word in the category definition, e.g. [[Category:Tamriel-Books|Black Arrow, The]] will be enough to make [[Lore:The Black Arrow]] sorted under 'B' and not 'T'. I have one additional request, however, which I think would be another good job for the bot. After all the books have been moved, can we create a bunch of redirects in each of the games' namespaces which go directly to the books? That way, if I wanted to link to a specific book from a Morrowind page, I wouldn't need to type in [[Lore:The Black Arrow]], I could simply type in [[The Black Arrow]], and it would automatically go to [[Morrowind:The Black Arrow]], which would then redirect me to the Tamriel page. [[Oblivion:The Black Arrow]] would of course go to the same place from Oblivion pages. The only potential problem would be if there are any books which have the same name as existing pages, like quests or something. I don't think there's that many of those, if any, but it's a possibility. If so, I think a standard disambiguation page should serve to alleviate the problem. --TheRealLurlock Talk 14:59, 29 July 2007 (EDT)
I'm probably being over-cautious, but if any of the books are in categories without a sort key they'll end up sorted by the new page name. That was the only reason I mentioned it. Thinking about it, I don't imagine there are many books in categories at all, let alone without a sort key so it's probably not an issue - and certainly nothing that should hold up the bot. Lurlock's right too - 'T' and 'A' plus Nephele's Bot. What is the site coming to??? --RpehTalk 04:36, 31 July 2007 (EDT)
Trust me, using the formatting I suggested above DOES work to alphabetize pages correctly. the DEFAULTSORT thing is a feature we haven't been using because there's no need for it. If you specify the category correctly, it will sort where it's supposed to.
Incidentally, I changed my mind about the redirects - I'm thinking a better way to go would be transcludes. That way, when you go to [[Morrowind:The Black Arrow]], you might see game-specific information for where the book is found, what skills it teaches, who needs it for a quest, etc. (I know it's a 2-volume book and not quest-related, but it's just an example.) The same book may have different information for different games, and transcludes would allow you to put that info right on the book page, with the actual text transcluded below it. Good idea? --TheRealLurlock Talk 10:00, 31 July 2007 (EDT)
Good Idea! I'm in. You get my supporting vote. --Playjex 10:07, 31 July 2007 (EDT)
I meant if there were already categories on the books there'd be a problem - I'm well aware of the sort key. This is the disadvantage of trying to hold a discussion over several days and in plain text; nuance is often lost. Anyway - the DEFAULTSORT debate is now going on elsewhere. I agree with what Nephele's doing to the books and I agree with you about transcludes. That'd be another nice big task for a group of people. --RpehTalk 08:30, 1 August 2007 (EDT)
I like this transclusion idea very much, especially the game-specific info like quests, where to find copies, etc. Go for it! --DrPhoton 09:01, 1 August 2007 (EDT)
Question - what should we do with Author/Description pages and the Trails when used on the transclude pages? Morrowind:The Pilgrim's Path illustrates that the Book Info template is pulling from the wrong place. We could duplicate or make redirects for the Author/Description pages, or change the Book Info template to use the Tamriel pages for this. Trails will probably need to be redone. Any thoughts on the best way to handle this? --TheRealLurlock Talk 10:05, 1 August 2007 (EDT)

I'd say the Book Info template should be updated. I'd much rather do that than create some 2000 additional redirects just to trick the existing template into working. There are probably lots of other things that are going to come up as we start creating game-specific transcludes for all the books. In particular, I think there should be some standard way of adding information such as the book ID, info on skill books, marker books, etc.; on the Tamriel pages I'd say there should be some type of listing (with links) to games where the book is used.

In fact, we probably want to make it so that the standard Book Info template doesn't even get displayed on the transcluded version of the page, and instead have a second template used on game-specific versions of book pages that allows for all the additional info to be shown. --NepheleTalk 12:36, 1 August 2007 (EDT)

I threw together a simple layout here. Think you can work something nice out of that? (It doesn't have to look exactly like that, it was just a suggestion.) --TheRealLurlock Talk 13:21, 1 August 2007 (EDT)


Okay, I've altered the templates, and added bread crumb trails for all letters in all namespaces. So now if you look at Lore:The Story of Aevar Stone-Singer, you get different info on the top than at Bloodmoon:The Story of Aevar Stone-Singer or Oblivion:Aevar Stone-Singer. I designed it in such a way that ALL the info, regardless of which games use it, is stored on the Tamriel page. That way the namespace pages can be nothing but a transclude, with nothing else added. (You'll notice if you edit them that the Bloodmoon and Oblivion pages are identical.) This should make things simple for the bot to create all the redirects. We just need to add the info to the Tamriel pages manually. Creating the transclude pages probably shouldn't be done until the pages are all moved out of the "Books/" hierarchy. But at least now it's ready to go and should be a fairly seamless process. --TheRealLurlock Talk 15:54, 2 August 2007 (EDT)

Sorry to say, I'm not too keen on the direction you're taking with the templates right now. I think the revisions to the templates are already getting overly complicated (after adding only a fraction of the new parameters). And these new templates will be incredibly difficult to do any type of updates or maintenance on. Some of my concerns are:
  • I'm not in favor of nesting templates like you're doing on Template:Book Info right now. Having one template call another is much too difficult. If you want to add a parameter, you need to do it in two separate places and document it in two separate places. And with the Book Info template passing through parameters for every game-specific template there will end up being hundreds of paramters in that one template. I think just directly calling the template you want is much simpler for everyone in the long term.
  • I don't think we need to have separate Bloodmoon Book Info, Tribunal Book Info, Morrowind Book Info, etc. templates. Although I realize that a one-in-all template like NPC Summary can be awkward at times, I still think it is overall much easier to just have one template. Otherwise you constantly run into features that were added to one template but not another, causing confusion over why something doesn't work in one place when it works elsewhere.
  • I don't think any of the Book Trail templates are needed. I'd much rather have the trail/category built right into the main book template instead of having 200 separate trail templates that need to be updated when we decide that some trivial change is needed.
  • I don't really like the layout of the sandbox page. My first reaction is that I like having the title/author right at the top of the page when I open a book. Maybe it's just that's what I'm used to, but definitely having the locations be the first thing that I read on the page is confusing. I could see having the "extra" info in an infobox (ID, skills, value, weight, even locations). But I don't think it works for the main information like title, author, and description.
Overall with the book templates I think the best way to approach it would be to have the Book Info template on the Tamriel pages be enclosed in noinclude brackets. Then on each transcluded page, have a new Book Info template that provides the information specific to that game. So for example, the Bloodmoon:The Story of Aevar Stone-Singer would look something like:
{{Book Info||ID=bk_BM_Aevar|Quest=[[Bloodmoon:The Skaal Test of Loyalty|The Skaal Test of Loyalty]]}}
{{Lore:Books/Aevar Stone Singer}}
I think that is a much simpler way to use, code, and maintain the templates. Also it means that when you want to update Bloodmoon-specific information you are editing the Bloodmoon page; you're not putting game-specific info (even hidden info) into the Tamriel pages.
If you don't see how to make the templates work the way that I'm envisioning them, I'm happy to do the work on updating the templates and/or creating new ones. But I don't want to jump in and step on your toes if you'd prefer to work on them. --NepheleTalk 16:09, 2 August 2007 (EDT)
Aw, gee. That took some serious brain-stretching to figure out how to do all that, and then you gotta go and ruin it for me. Personally, I think it's kind of cool being able to put all the info in one place. As for new parameters, I'm pretty sure I got everything that'd be necessary. Okay, except value/weight, easy enough to add those. As for my layout ideas, it's all purely temporary. I just wanted to get the info in there somehow. Anyhow, if you want to tear it all up and do it your way, go ahead. I just felt like stretching my template-legs a bit... --TheRealLurlock Talk 16:21, 2 August 2007 (EDT)
We're obviously going to have to reach a decision on where all the game-specific information belongs. In my opinion, it's game-specific and therefore by default the information should go on the game-specific version of the page. Organizationally, that's where it belongs. And the wiki is set up to take advantage of the namespaces. For example, the default namespace features won't work on the Tamriel page; all place and quest links would have to have their namespaces explicitly provided. Also, having hidden information on a page just doesn't seem like a good solution. When you're adding information to the page, the preview button doesn't work to tell you whether your links are correct; you have to save the page, then pull up another page to check whether your edit was correct (another page that doesn't even have a link on the current page to make it easy to access it).
If there was no practical or straightforward way to add it to the game-specific page, then having it on the Tamriel page would seem somewhat acceptable. But in this case, practical reasons such as simplifying the templates also say that it is far easier to have the information on the game-specific pages.
But if everyone disagrees with me and thinks the info should all be added to the Tamriel pages, then my ideas about how to organize the templates will need to be completely rethought. --NepheleTalk 16:51, 2 August 2007 (EDT)
I appreciate all the work you've done Lurlock, but I have to agree with Nephele regarding the transclusions. Editing all the game specific info on that game's page is far more transparent for the editors, even if it's not as smart as your nested templates solution. As Nephele mentioned, I would go for something like the NPC Summary or the Quest Header templates, just like above. --DrPhoton 03:17, 3 August 2007 (EDT)


One other thing that occurred to me would be an appropriate side-task for the bot while doing this project - Book titles should always be italicized when they appear in text. In many cases, they aren't, so if you could add this little tweak to any pages with book links, it would be a good thing. --TheRealLurlock Talk 20:44, 7 August 2007 (EDT)


I've started to get the bot working on this at last, trying to start with the "easy" ones, but even so finding a few inevitable twists and complications ;) Some of the new pages can be seen at Lore:ABCs for Barbarians, Morrowind:ABCs for Barbarians, at Bloodmoon:The Story of Aevar Stone-Singer (there are a dozen others, NepheleBot contributions can be used to find some of the pages that have been done).

To make my life a bit less difficult, I've created a new Template:Book Summary template that is being used for the formatting on these pages. Most of the details of that layout are somewhat preliminary: my main focus was to set up the names of the parameters so that the bot can paste in the basics of the template. All of the formatting can easily be tweaked. Also, most of the game-specific information hasn't been filled in (the links I picked above are the only that have any type of information and even so it's pretty meager).

In case anyone is wondering, all the other templates that use books (Book Link, Book Normal, Template:Book Magic) won't be modified until all of the books have been moved. Until then, there will continue to be multiple links to the old book pages (although the pages are being turned into redirects to the new pages). If things go really well, that might be tomorrow. Hopefully, the worst case scenario is a few days.

If anyone has any feedback or notices any problems with the new pages as they start to appear, let me know :) Also, if anyone would like to flesh out the new pages (add IDs, values, weights, locations, skill books, etc., etc.) feel free to jump in! --NepheleTalk 20:06, 13 September 2007 (EDT)

Only one question so far - have we decided how multi-volume books are going to be handled? Are we still going to keep them as separate transcludes in one mother book page? And if so, will the Book Summary template still function properly on both the mother pages and the separate volume pages? And should the mother page exist in both the Tamriel namespace and the relevant gamespaces? Or only in Tamriel? (Okay, that was more than one question, but they're all related.) Just had to ask since you hadn't gotten to any of those ones yet. The really tricky ones are going to be the series books without consistant titles - Ancient Tales of the Dwemer, and the whole Beggar/Thief/Warrior/King series. I assume you planned for those, but I have to ask, because that's where the biggest hangups are going to be I think. Looking good so far though. --TheRealLurlock Talk 21:17, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
Let's just say it's not a coincidence that I started with "A" instead of with Lore:Books Numeric, where all the books are huge multi-volume books ;). But I've just been ironing out the last few details of the multi-volume books, using the Palla books as a test case. So I think I'm ready to tackle the rest of them now.
My current plan is to keep the Tamriel structure the same, with individual volumes (the only pages containing any real content) and a consolidated book assembled using transclusions. Then there will be transcludes for both the individual volumes and the consolidated book in each gamespace. Individual volumes are definitely needed as a place to provide volume-specific info (ID, skill trained, etc). And the consolidated book typically is refered to a few times, besides just being convenient.
The crosslinks for these books are using NAMESPACE to help make the links point to the right places. There are a few (as always, the Barenziah books...) where the individual book names are different in Morrowind and Oblivion; I'll have to manually put in some even fancier links for those books. There don't seem to be any problems with the Book Summary template. The bigger problem was with the navigation footer on the pages: how to get it to appear when transcluded as an individual page but not appear when put into a consolidated book. I think I've solved the problem with a new Template:Book Footer that turns the text on or off depending upon the pagename. --NepheleTalk 02:28, 14 September 2007 (EDT)


The wiki software's new {{DEFAULTSORT}} feature came up in the previous discussion, but since it's really an independent question, I thought I'd start a new topic to discuss it.

The background, for those not familiar with the gory details of Categories, is that on every category page on the site, the listed pages are sorted by a "sort key". By default, this sort key is set to be the page's full name. So this page, for example, by default would be sorted under "U" for "UESPWiki". Although this default works well on Wikipedia, UESP's Namespaces pretty much mess everything up. Take Category:Oblivion-Quests, for example. By default every single page in that category would be listed under "O" for "Oblivion".

The reason that all the pages on Category:Oblivion-Quests are not listed under "O" is because we override the default sort key on every page on the site. What that means is that in the template (e.g., Template:Oblivion Quests Trail), the tag that categorizes the page is specified as:


The {{PAGENAME}} part overrides the default sort key and instead tells the category to sort according to the page's basic name (without the namespace) instead of the full name.

The reason for all this preamble is that with the last upgrade to the software a new option was introduced that provides an alternative way set the category sort keys, namely {{DEFAULTSORT}}. The end result is the same with either our existing system or with the new DEFAULTSORT system, but after mulling things over I think there are advantages to the new system that may make it worthwhile to switch over.

To test things out, I've (partially) implemented the new system on Category:Oblivion-Places. So the template Template:Oblivion Places Trail specifies the category using:

[[Category:Oblivion-Places]] {{DEFAULTSORT:{{PAGENAME}}}}

So instead of overriding the default sort key within the category tag, the category tag is now simplified and instead the DEFAULTSORT part is used to override the sort key.

At first look, the new system is more complicated (two commmands, more code) and you end up with the same final result. So why bother? Because using the new system, it's easier for everyone to deal with the special cases and exceptions that inevitably occur. What prompted me to experiment with this today was the new effort to add region tags to Oblivion place pages. Emerald Melios started adding region tags using the basic format, namely [[Category:Oblivion-Places-Gold Coast]]. Which is exactly how you'd do it on wikipedia, and is how 95% of UESP editors add categories. But by default it means all the pages would be sorted under "O", which isn't optimal. So I had the option of going through and editing a half dozen pages to change the tag to [[Category:Oblivion-Places-Gold Coast|{{PAGENAME}}]]. Instead I chose to make a single edit to the template page, instead. By adding DEFAULTSORT to the template, all of the other pages were immediately fixed. And any future categories added to any place page will also now work.

The other example of how DEFAULTSORT makes things easier is on pages such as Oblivion:The Assassinated Man. This is one of many cases where actually sorting by PAGENAME isn't best; the sort key should be "Assassinated Man, The" instead of "The Assassinated Man". To fix the page currently requires adding the categories to the page a second time:

[[Category:Oblivion-Quests|Assassinated Man, The]]
[[Category:Oblivion-Quests-Dark Brotherhood|Assassinated Man, The]]

With DEFAULTSORT, all that has to be added to the page is:

{{DEFAULTSORT:Assassinated Man, The}}

DEFAULTSORT is much shorter and also gets rid of a problem that always drives me crazy when I'm doing these tags: you don't need to start by getting a list of all the categories used on that page. No matter what quest categories or other categories are used on the page, a single DEFAULTSORT will cover it.

In my experiments I just confirmed that this really will all work. DEFAULTSORT can be set multiple times in a page; the last setting on the page is the one that works. So there could be some complicated nest of templates that add various categories and automatically set DEFAULTSORT one or more times. A manual setting of DEFAULTSORT can then be added to the article and it will override all other DEFAULTSORT commands, and that manual one will be used for every category on the page (or at least, for every category that does not explicitly set its own sort key). The only caveat is that the manual setting has to come after all the template settings. For a demonstration, see Oblivion:Fort Strand, which is now being sorted as "Strand, Fort" on both Category:Oblivion-Places and Category:Oblivion-Places-Gold Coast (as for whether or not it really should be sorted as "Strand, Fort", I'm inclined to think not, but that's another question :) ).

I think starting to use DEFAULTSORT will in the long run be easier for everyone. The downside is that every single template that inserts categories will need to be modified. I'm not proposing that we immediately go through and revamp all the templates. Instead, what I'd like to propose is that whenever categories are being updated for whatever reason, those categories get changed over to the new DEFAULTSORT system. Basically, all existing category tags that have been added to articles will continue to work the same way as the changeover gradually happens. The only thing that will not work is any new DEFAULTSORT tags that are added to individual articles whose templates haven't been updated. In other words, the old system will work fine; new system will slowly work better and better as it gets more widely implemented.

As usual: any questions, comments, objections, etc? --NepheleTalk 19:16, 31 July 2007 (EDT)

Addendum: In researching categories and sorting I also just learned a new little trick that we may want to start using with subcategories of large categories. It used to be that if you pulled up Category:Oblivion-Places, the first page of the category listing would only display the first 8 subcategories, namely the A-G subcategories. The H-T subcategories showed up on the second page, with the H-T articles. This is an old problem that leads to a lot of confusion. People would assume that there were only 8 subcategories total, and wonder why, for example, there wasn't an Oblivion-Places-Mines subcategory (when there is, it just wasn't showing up where people were looking for it). By adding a space to the start of the sort key, e.g. [[Category:Oblivion-Places| Mines]] instead of [[Category:Oblivion-Places|Mines]], I was able to make all the subcategories get shown together on the first page. Is it worth keeping the change? Should it be done elsewhere (i.e., combine Category:Oblivion-NPCs and Category:Oblivion-NPCs-by-Race)? --NepheleTalk 20:13, 31 July 2007 (EDT)
One problem I've run into involving this feature. With the Morrowind quests, at least, the categories are all defined by the trail templates, and all use {{PAGENAME}} by default. This is fine except in cases where the quest's name starts with "A", "An" or "The", e.g. Morrowind:The Code Book. Now, I added the DEFAULTSORT tag to the page, but it still sorts under 'T' and not 'C'. The PAGENAME in the trail seems to override the DEFAULTSORT on the page. Now I could change the trail to not use PAGENAME anymore, but then all the quest pages that DON'T have a DEFAULTSORT tag on them would end up sorting under 'M'. So in order for this feature to be used at all, we'll have to change every single quest page so that they all have a DEFAULTSORT on them. Ideally, only the pages that start with "A", "An" or "The" should need to use this feature. It shouldn't be necessary to use it on every single quest page. Is there another solution to this problem? --TheRealLurlock Talk 14:37, 24 August 2007 (EDT)
That's exactly what I was trying to explain with my original post. DEFAULTSORT won't work until the bread crumb trails are changed. See Template:Oblivion Places Trail for an example of how the bread crumb trails need to be set up if we want to start using DEFAULTSORT. --NepheleTalk 14:45, 24 August 2007 (EDT)
And now I've updated Morrowind Fighters Guild Trail, too. You can confirm in Category:Morrowind-Quests and Category:Morrowind-Quests-Fighters_Guild that Morrowind:The Code Book is now correctly sorted without having to edit any other quest pages that use that bread crumb trail. I really don't see what's so difficult about implementing this change or why you think some other approach needs to be invented. --NepheleTalk 15:13, 24 August 2007 (EDT)
Oh! Okay, sorry, I wasn't quite understanding it from your description. Didn't occur to me that DEFAULTSORT and PAGENAME could work together like that. It only works if you specifically DON'T specify category placement, as that overrides the DEFAULTSORT. Got it now. Sorry about the confusion... --TheRealLurlock Talk 19:31, 24 August 2007 (EDT)

Oblivion NPC IDs

A problem with all NPCs in Oblivion is that they in effect have two FormIDs: a NPC_ FormID and an ACHR FormID. The NPC_ FormID provides access to the general information about the NPC. The ACHR FormID provides access to a specific instance of the NPC. So, for example, you could type player.placeatme 00033095 in the console multiple times, where 00033095 is the NPC_ FormID for Harrow. You would end up with multiple Harrow clones standing in front of you: all share the same Harrow NPC_ information (stats, skills, appearance, etc). But each of the clones is a different character, and therefore each one has a different ACHR FormID. The ACHR FormID keeps track of information such the X/Y/Z position of the individual character.

Most of the game scripts manipulate the ACHR version of the NPCs (in the scripts, Harrow is generally accessed via the "HarrowRef" object, which is just the editor ID of ACHR object). Which is why spawning a new copy of an NPC using a command like player.placeatme 00033095 generally does not work to fix broken quests. As a result, the console article provides a lengthy section on how to Find an NPC, which really just amounts to instructions on how to find out the NPC's ACHR FormID. But there's no reason to tell readers to jump through all of those hoops. The ACHR IDs for all unique NPCs are predetermined just like their NPC_ IDs; the number will be the same in every player's game.

It seems to me that the Oblivion NPC pages should be updated to list the ACHR IDs as well as the NPC_ IDs. Assuming anyone else agrees (and that someone is interested in doing the busy work of editing each and every Oblivion NPC page), that leaves the question of how to go about doing it. I'd actually argue that the ID shown at the top page should probably be the ACHR ID: I think 9 times out of 10 someone who is looking for that NPC's FormID probably needs the ACHR ID, not the NPC_ ID. The NPC_ FormID could then be provided somewhere further down in the infobox, in a new field added to the table. I think that approach would make more sense than trying to list both at the top of the page somehow, in particular because in cases like Oblivion:Valen Dreth there already are two FormIDs; trying to somehow squeeze in two NPC_ IDs and two ACHR IDs would just lead to excessive confusion.

Feedback? Volunteers interested in editing several hundred NPC pages? --NepheleTalk 20:26, 3 August 2007 (EDT)

Sounds fine, as long as its clear which is the reference (ACHR) ID and which is the record ID. Sounds like a good job for your bot if its capable. It shouldn't be too hard to collect the ACHR for each NPC directly from the game data. -- Daveh 23:06, 3 August 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, as long as you're not using the construction set getting the ACHR IDs is pretty straightforward. I already have a complete listing of them. From the construction set it can be a bit painful (pull up the uses list for the NPC, find out which cell the NPC is in, go pull up the cell, find the NPC ref in the cell, and then you've got the number). --NepheleTalk 23:11, 3 August 2007 (EDT)

Vandal Squad

Okay, I know that this will probably will not pass, but I'll put it up anyway. Ever since I joined I was somehow known as "The guy who dislikes vandals". It is true, I don't like vandals, but every single person here thinks I love going "Guhng-Ho" on them. I am only trying to make a point with this idea. As you can see, Recent Changes Patrollers do more than only taking care of vandals, they also fix grammar mistakes from the previous edits and such. I was thinking of making a group that particularly focuses on vandals, abusing the rights etc.

I would not know who would be the leader of this group, it will probably be an experienced Administrator. Then the group would need a Userbox, or maybe they could be under cover sot of like spies. Haha this sounds very korny. I hope this doesn't turn out like the "Pronunciation Project" I am only throwing out an idea here, so I hope we can all make it happen. Oh yes, whilst I am still on the Community Portal, I wanted to also know if we can somehow put a "Spell Checker" in the editing tools. Thank You for reading. Sincerely Playjex 11:24, 7 August 2007 (EDT)

At the moment, I don't quite see what the purpose would be. No special editing rights are needed to revert vandalism (and in fact anonymous IP editors reguarly clean up vandalism). So members of any anti-vandal group would basically get a name and that's about it. There isn't even any type of organization or coordination that I could see implementing to improve the efficiency of cleaning up vandalism. When it comes to dealing with vandalism, I think the top priority should be cleaning it up as quickly as possible. So I'd rather just have the first person who notices the vandalism clean it up, whether or not that person is part of a special vandal squad. I wouldn't want other editors to feel that they shouldn't revert vandalism because that's a task somehow reserved for the vandal squad.
As I've said before, if you'd like to create a special userbox and encourage other people to use it, that's fine. You don't need any community-wide approval before adding a new userbox to your user page. And if the only "privilege" of being a member of the vandal squad would be adding a special userbox, then there doesn't seem to be any reason to have a formally sanctioned group with nominated/elected members and an official group leader. Just making the userbox available to interested editors seems like all that's necessary. --NepheleTalk 16:16, 7 August 2007 (EDT)
On your second point - one way of adding a spell-checker is to use Firefox v2 (I'm sure other browsers do the same but FF is the one I use). It underlines all the words it doesn't know as you type, and although some of the proper nouns on the site can be a problem, you can easily add those to your personal dictionary. When you use it "reguarly" you even notice that not even Nephele is perfect :-) --RpehTalk 05:42, 8 August 2007 (EDT)

Image Cleanup Project

Just a general announcement - a new project has been started to clean up the poorer-quality images on the site. All editors are welcome to join. See UESPWiki:Image Cleanup Project for more info. --TheRealLurlock Talk 23:51, 9 August 2007 (EDT)

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