The Great Ball Contraption Wiki
avatar 162.158.79.22

Forum - Thoughts regarding this wiki

From The Great Ball Contraption Wiki
Overview > Community > Community Discussion > Thoughts regarding this wiki Write a reply
[#30]
avatar

At the recent Brickword event, I mentioned to Brian that I had some thoughts about this wiki. I didn't get a chance to expound on those thoughts during the event, so I'm going to do it here. Some are no doubt related to the fact that I've never had much to do with editing public wikis before, and some to the fact that most of the content has been imported from a different site and hasn't really settled into its new home yet. So, in no particular order:

Pictures

We need more of them! It is frustrating trying to read a description of some mechanism but not being able to imagine what it looks like. Even if there is a picture, it's not always clear which parts move and which are static. The animation on the Step feeder page is beautiful, but I understand that these are very labour intensive to produce, so it's not practical to expect lots of those. So we're back to still images, which are easy to produce and are everywhere online.

However, I can't seem to just link to someone else's picture, I have to upload an image to Brickimedia to be able to use it. This solves problems of broken links (at the expense of increasing requirements on the server's storage and bandwidth, but that's not my problem!) but means that if I want to use someone else's picture, I have to cause a copy to be stored on Brickimedia (at least the uploader allows me to specify a URL so I don't have to download it first). This means having to get the licensing right, which is not always obvious. It's not an insurmountable difficulty, but it's enough to put me off in cases where it's not clear that the image owner doesn't mind us making copies.

The alternative, of course, is to use my own pictures. That's a no-go, because I'm a terrible photographer!

Duplication

We need less of that! I've counted at least three different renditions of The Standard (and I've seen that Brian is working on a new one), and just as many different descriptions of what a GBC is.

Structure

There doesn't seem to be much. I've read most of the content on this site, but some of it I had to get to by repeated clicking of 'Random page'. I'm not much of a web designer, but I don't think this is right! Though I do like the idea of having an Easter Egg that you can only get to that way. The list of orphaned pages was last updated in April, so is not terribly helpful when trying to fix this problem.

I think that all links to the original page from Brickipedia (Great ball contraption) should be removed and, once we're happy that the content from that page has been recreated elsewhere, the page should be deleted. There's a suggestion on that page's discussion page that it should be broken up, but I think it needs to go further than that.

I think that the Main Page should include The Standard (once Brian has finished with that page) or at least a prominent link to it, and that the "add a lift mechanism" button should be moved to the lift mechanism category page (is there a similar button for Widgets or building techniques? Should there be?).

One option for an overall structure would be 'inside-out'. The first things discussed after an introduction/spec. are lift mechanisms and widgets. Then discuss building techniques like how to form complete modules from each component (input, lift, optional widget, output). Then discuss combining multiple modules together (making sure your interfaces are solid, etc). Then some tips for coordinators that have the job of making everything into one big Contraption.

Modules

Do we want this site to include every (or as many as we can) GBC module out there? The List of great ball contraption resources page suggests that this is an aim - but that's an awful lot of work. However, there's no reason we can't have a few modules with their own pages (as suggested by Codyn329 elsewhere in this forum). This would require a template, I guess. I would suggest that at the very least every module specified as an example for a mechanism should have its own page (and the mechanisms can just have links to those pages, rather than the tables that they currently have).

I realise that I'm long on problems and short on solutions, I just wanted to put something out there to see if I was on the money with any of it.

Owen

Posted by Captainowie on 28 June 2015 at 06:03.
Edited by Captainowie on 28 June 2015 at 06:05.
avatar

Just a short response to just one point: I tried and failed to force the Orphaned Pages to refresh (using the &action=purge parameter) and failed. Also failed to find any other solution to that. I'm sure it's possible, but it's beyond me. Kudos to Captainowie for having the tenacity (or calculated patience) to use RandomPage to find lost pages!

Posted by ALittleSlow (administrator) on 29 June 2015 at 15:46.
avatar

Duplication

Be bold! Those of you lurking out there, wanting to help: stamp out duplication! It's as easy as clicking Edit and pressing the delete key! Be bold!


Posted by ALittleSlow (administrator) on 1 July 2015 at 03:37.
avatar

I've also noticed a bunch of other SpecialPages that have been cached since April. E.g. Wanted pages, Oldest pages (let's see how many of those links actually work!)

Posted by Captainowie on 1 July 2015 at 13:30.
avatar

The "automated spamming" feature needs some attention. To start with, it always opens by asking for a sum, but some of the questions are not sums. In the second place, some of the questions don't seem to honor the obvious answer.

Posted by Steve Jackson on 5 July 2015 at 05:11.
avatar

Posted by Captainowie on 2015-06-28 at 06:03:57.

»

Pictures

We need more of them! ...So we're back to still images, which are easy to produce and are everywhere online. «

I made a template, {{Image needed}} to make it easy to tag and later find articles that need images. They will be in the [[:category:Image needed|]] category. Would be nice to have a [[Template:ImageBox]] to parallel the [[Template:VideoBox|]] template. {{Template needed}} Speaking of VideoBox, it's probably easier to add a YouTube video than an image.

Posted by Captainowie on 2015-06-28 at 06:03:57.

» However, I can't seem to just link to someone else's picture, I have to upload an image to Brickimedia to be able to use it. This solves problems of broken links (at the expense of increasing requirements on the server's storage and bandwidth, but that's not my problem!) but means that if I want to use someone else's picture, I have to cause a copy to be stored on Brickimedia (at least the uploader allows me to specify a URL so I don't have to download it first). This means having to get the licensing right, which is not always obvious. It's not an insurmountable difficulty, but it's enough to put me off in cases where it's not clear that the image owner doesn't mind us making copies. «
Yes, this is a pain. [[bw:Main_page|BrickWiki] has agreements with most of the LEGO image hosts to allow deep linking to their sites. Nothing in Brickimedia's [[Special:MyLanguage/Terms_of_Use|Terms of Use]] restricting us from deep links. Maybe one of the wiki gurus can work up a template for us to link in images. If inspiration is needed, there is [[bw:Template:ImageBoxPeeron]].{{Template needed}}

Posted by Captainowie on 2015-06-28 at 06:03:57.

» == Structure == There doesn't seem to be much. I think that all links to the original page from Brickipedia ([[Great ball contraption]]) should be removed and, once we're happy that the content from that page has been recreated elsewhere, the page should be deleted. «
I'm fine with that.

Posted by Captainowie on 2015-06-28 at 06:03:57.

» I think that the [[Main Page]] should include The Standard (once Brian has finished with that page) or at least a prominent link to it, and that the "add a lift mechanism" button should be moved to the lift mechanism category page (is there a similar button for Widgets or building techniques? Should there be?). «
Works for me.

Posted by Captainowie on 2015-06-28 at 06:03:57.

» One option for an overall structure would be 'inside-out'. The first things discussed after an introduction/spec. are lift mechanisms and widgets. Then discuss building techniques like how to form complete modules from each component (input, lift, optional widget, output). Then discuss combining multiple modules together (making sure your interfaces are solid, etc). Then some tips for coordinators that have the job of making everything into one big Contraption. «
It's not clear to me how to create a linear flow like that, other than to structure it like a wiki book, which maybe is a good idea.

Posted by Captainowie on 2015-06-28 at 06:03:57.

» == Modules == Do we want this site to include every (or as many as we can) GBC module out there? The [[List of great ball contraption resources]] page suggests that this is an aim - but that's an awful lot of work. However, there's no reason we can't have a few modules with their own pages (as suggested by Codyn329 elsewhere in this forum). This would require a template, I guess.«
{{Template needed}} Good idea.

Posted by Captainowie on 2015-06-28 at 06:03:57.

» I would suggest that at the very least every module specified as an example for a mechanism should have its own page (and the mechanisms can just have links to those pages, rather than the tables that they currently have). «
I think that's a better approach than the tables. It puts the emphasis on the module, not the mechanism category. Mechanism categories aren't meant to be normative (i.e. set in stone), but should be treated more like tags to help people find what they're looking for. Your approach would make it easy to put a module in multiple mechanism categories.

Posted by ALittleSlow (administrator) on 6 July 2015 at 01:07.
Edited by ALittleSlow (administrator) on 6 July 2015 at 01:09.
avatar

Posted by Steve Jackson on 5 July 2015 at 05:11.

»The "automated spamming" feature needs some attention. To start with, it always opens by asking for a sum, but some of the questions are not sums. In the second place, some of the questions don't seem to honor the obvious answer. «

Funny, I only noticed since you point this out that I'm not having to do the CAPTCHA thing any more. Perhaps it's linked to the point where you can make your own profile, which is 5 wiki edits, and you don't have to deal with that any more.

Posted by Captainowie on 6 July 2015 at 09:17.
avatar

Posted by ALittleSlow on 6 July 2015 at 01:07.

»it's probably easier to add a YouTube video than an image.«
That's probably a good thing, given how much better a video is at showing how a module works. Hmm, is it possible to embed a YouTube video that starts playing at a certain point? There are plenty of modules whose only online presence is in a video of a complete Contraption, so you want to be able to go straight to the right point of the video.

Posted by ALittleSlow on 6 July 2015 at 01:07.

» It's not clear to me how to create a linear flow like that, other than to structure it like a wiki book, which maybe is a good idea.«
I don't know what makes a wiki book different from a regular wiki (or, for that matter, a regular book), I don't really know what I intended by that suggestion, other than to avoid having no suggestion at all!

Posted by Captainowie on 6 July 2015 at 09:41.
avatar

Captainowie:

Pause Youtube at the bit you like.. rightclick the video itself, and choose Get Video URL at current time

then paste it in!

https://youtu.be/V01bXLm3uEI?t=17

or.. as you can see.. just add  ?t=xx at the end of a youtube link

RB

Posted by on 14 July 2015 at 10:19.
avatar

The wiki idiom would be, at its most basic, <embedvideo service="youtube" urlargs="t=0m17s">https://youtu.be/V01bXLm3uEI</embedvideo>:

or using a template we've set up here:

17 time units in


except that didn't seem to work as far as starting in the right place :( It should have in the first case, at least.

Posted by ALittleSlow (administrator) on 15 July 2015 at 03:34.
Edited by ALittleSlow (administrator) on 15 July 2015 at 03:40.
avatar

Posted by ALittleSlow on 2015-07-15 at 03:34:19.

» except that didn't seem to work as far as starting in the right place :( It should have in the first case, at least. «
Here's a way that works:<embedvideo service="youtube" urlargs="start=17">https://youtu.be/V01bXLm3uEI</embedvideo>:

But the other way should have worked, too. We will still need to modify our VideoBox template for this work with that template.

Posted by ALittleSlow (administrator) on 15 July 2015 at 03:45.
Pages: [01] 02

To protect the wiki against automated spamming, we kindly ask you to solve the simple sum below and enter the answer in the box (more info):