NetHackWiki:Community Portal/Archive2

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This page contains old sections from NetHackWiki:Community Portal. If you want to carry on talking about these topics, post a new section on the current Community Portal page. This page is intended to be a static archive.

Commented / uncommented source code categories

I think the source code pages should be categorized based on whether they are commented or not. When all pages are commented (probably not within this year), the scheme can be completely removed. Until that, it would be a helpful aid in knowing what pages still need comments. Maybe Jayt's bot could do the categorizing? Before the bot uploaded them all, all source code pages that were added were commented pretty much right away. --ZeroOne 10:49, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't think any of the source files are fully annotated yet. Artifact.c looks about 20% done; maybe we could add a note to that effect on Source code, like this:
AFAIK, all the annotations have been by Kernigh. Kernigh, would you like to track your progress on Source code, with notes like the above? :-) --Jayt 00:13, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Kernigh writes: I might start doing something like that in the future. Note that "100%" would probably only mean that every function is documented somehow, but someone might still want to perform cleanup or make corrections or add more thorough documentation. For example, the paragraph under artifact.c#line1219, about invoking the Staff of Aesculapius, neglects to mention that is causes a "You feel better" message.
Meanwhile, anyone can look through the source and add percentages to the source code page. --Kernigh 02:18, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
If we are going to use percentages then I suggest we borrow the 5-stage concept from Wikibooks. Replace the word "text" by the word "comments" and start adding those little images next to those links! 87.5% would round up to 100%.
About your second point, it's just that it's a really tedious process, there being hundreds of source files. That's why I suggested a bot could do it. It shouldn't be too difficult, just compare the number of lines that are source code against the number of lines that not source code, right? --ZeroOne 02:33, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I like the 5 stages ("sparse annotations", "developing annotations", "maturing annotations", "developed annotations", "comprehensive annotations"). If we add stage 0 to the beginning ("no annotations"), we can just let an empty space stand for that. Since the great majority of files are not annotated, that means a lot less work. --Jayt 13:59, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm planning on automating the addition of monster data to wikiHack. As a stepping stone project I could write a script to parse the source code and display the annotation status of each file next to its name. I see two options
Option 1 - put a single line at the top of every code file indicating its annotation status. ie: <!--annotation: 50% --> or <!--annotation: a -->, where the letters a,b,c ... correspond to ("sparse annotations", "developing annotations", "maturing annotations" ...). The script would parse each source file biweekly and update the annotation status on the index page.
Option 2 - run a one time script on the index page to put a status code next to each file. Whoever annotates the code should update the status.
-- PraetorFenix 21:05, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Dylan O'Donnell spoilers

While these are a great resource, I don't especially like the mass copying of them here. It's redundant. The idea of the wiki, as I understand it, is to do and say things text-based spoilers currently do not. Interface alone doesn't seem like enough of a difference. Lotte 17:33, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

A goal of the wiki for me is to make it a "total spoiler", where you can find any piece of information about the game. If all information is going to be added eventually, we may as well add it in a structured way, and I think the DOD spoilers are great in that respect. However, they are not perfect: there are at least two ways we can improve them using this wiki: wikilinks, and commentary/strategy. The text-spoilers are very conservative in offering only facts, with no opinions. I think we can relax that a bit and have a Comments/Strategy section on every page. --Jayt 22:24, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Lotte in that I hate the spoiler look. They are too abstract and concise. It's impossible to learn anything about playing the game by reading one. They always remind me of the parts catalogues in auto body shops.
I also realize that the spoilers contain good information. They are a great reference (once you understand them) because they were written by experts for experts. It's the format and presenatation that sucks. They are a great starting point as long as we reformat them and collate the information in a meaningful way.
-- PraetorFenix 21:05, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Is it pages like potion of object detection you don't like? How would you go about changing them? --Jayt 22:40, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Sorry for the delayed response. I wanted to writeup a sample article on potion of acid but did not get the chance. It's not the potion of object detection pages that are bad. It's pages like this one. All the object detection page needs is more commentary and moving the canonical messages into their ouw section. -- PraetorFenix 02:23, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by moving the canonical messages, but I agree about xxxx-343.txt. Those are just here for reference - they're not intended to be the final word on "potn"s, "scrl"s and "spl1"s. When I said we can improve these spoilers, I didn't mean we should use them as a base. I meant we should take the information in those spoilers and completely refactor it into wiki articles. --Jayt 09:49, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

WikiHack upload bot

I would like to upload a set of images and articles to WikiHack and would like a bot to automate the process.

Please point me to open source bots. My first preference is for bots written in C++, with Perl a close second. I am willing to learn Python if bots in the aforementioned languages are not available.

Also, I am new to wikis in general. Please point me to resources about writing and managing bots on wikis. I have a great deal of programming experience, so I am not looking for a coding tut, rather I want an explanation of how bots and wikis communicate with each other.

Thanks in advance -- PraetorFenix 19:40, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

There is lots of info for you to digest about Pywikipediabot, a set of python scripts designed to do pretty much exactly what you want, by the sounds of it (one of them is This wiki is powered by Mediawiki, the same software that wikipedia uses, so pywikipediabot fits in nicely.
The most important thing about running a bot is not to let it run rampant! Do a few test runs first, and discuss it here, on this page - there is a chance that you have something crazy planned which the rest of the community would like the chance to dispute :-). So what do you have planned? --Jayt 21:42, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I have some time this weekend and I was planning on uploading all the x16 graphic tiles. There are 764 tiles in all and I have managed to split them into images correspondence to their NetHack names. See NetHackWiki:NetHack Tiles for the index. When I do run the bot, do I need a delay between each upload? -- PraetorFenix 19:59, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
You should probably upload as User:PraetorFenixBot and write on that user page what the bot is doing. 764 uploads will flood Recentchanges whether you wait 2 minutes between uploads or not; I suggest a minimal delay, as then it will be flooded only for a few hours.
The page should be simply Tiles, since it's about NetHack, not NetHackWiki. I also think it will look nice when it's done! --Jayt 21:23, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
I moved the page to List of vanilla NetHack tiles. I think tiles could be a separate article discussing them, listing alternatives etc. The list is a reference-like article. --ZeroOne 22:02, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, ran into some delays. Who would've guessed that the python scripts needed additional configuration before they would run :). Anyway, it's late so i'll turn in for today. The images will be uploaded tomorrow. I've created a new category for them 'NetHack Tiles x16'. In the meantime I wrote this article on running wikihack:wikiBots, enjoy ;)
The image 'Image:Horse.PNG' has to be deleted or renamed.

Ideas for improving {{monster}}?

The monster template, in use on soldier ant and hopefully soon to be in use on owlbear, is big and ugly. It's unabashedly based on the Monster Manual, but not completely. It doesn't include the line of supplementary information, like "A wererat has no hands. It can regenerate itself. etc." It does include near-useless information like Frequency and Difficulty. Finally, its length makes it interfere with section titles below

I suggest a shorter infobox for the top of the article:

Base level 5
Base AC 5
Speed 12
Attacks Claw: 1d6

Claw: 1d6
Bearhug: 2d8

This gives a quick appraisal of the major things you need to worry about (how tough it is, how easily you can hit it, how fast it can hit you, and how hard it can hit you).

Then, at the end of the article, we can have a ==Detailed stats== section which contains the full Monster Manual table, and all info about what kind of hands it has and all that.

Does anybody have any better ideas? --Jayt 18:08, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Looks good. Could the 16x16 tiles go there? In a lot of articles there just isn't a good place to put it and in my opinion at least they look awkward just slapped randomly into the text. Lotte 23:47, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Kernigh writes: When I check monster spoilers, I usually want to know whether to eat its corpse. I like Jayt's short, simple version of {{monster}}, and I agree with Lotte that we should include tiles, but I suggest fitting in one more line, something like this: --Kernigh 16:58, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Corpse Poisonous, gives poison resistance
OK, I added a corpse line. The new template is {{monsterbasics}}. I've updated owlbear to use it. {{monster}} still exists for the full infobox, but I see PraetorFenix has plans to auto-wikify this data, which I greatly encourage, as there are 250+ monsters. --Jayt 21:25, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
One piece of information I have failed to find from anywhere is, whether polymorphing into a certain kind of monster breaks your armor. The size obviously isn't the only criteria as, for example, winged gargoyles are human-sized but their wings break the armor anyway. Two other pieces of information of some interest to me are the food the monster eats (can it eat metal/rocks) and what special abilities other than attacks does the monster have - dragons fly, xorns have the phasing ability, etc. Although I'm not sure if any of these would merit their place in this template. Maybe they just need to be mentioned in the article. --ZeroOne 02:40, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I am strongly in favor of the short info box as I think the ant template is too clunky. Once everyone decides on the templates and information therin I am planning on writing a script to parse the code and automatically place the template the monster page.
Now the top of the page should have a mini template, but this does not mean that there should only be one template. We can include several templates in a page. I'm thinking in terms of three templates. A small one at the top that lists critical information that's frequently checked. A medium one with corpse data and other releveant info about the monster. And a canonical one listing all the other monster data at the bottom of the page.
I would like everyone to be happy with the end result and have the information they need represented in the templates. So before we proceed we should find out what information players are looking for.
Here's my suggestions
Y Bug Bear Bugbear.png
Base level 5
Base AC 5
Speed 12
Attacks Claw: 1d6
Claw: 1d6
Bearhug: 2d8
Attack Resistances None.
Now I would like the glyph and tile to be at the extreme ends of the table but could not figure out the html.
Nutrition 50
Effects Is Poisonous
Conveyances poison resistance
  • has humanoid head/arms/torso
  • omnivorous
  • strong (or big) monster
  • picks up weapons and food
  • visible by infravision
  • has infravision
-- PraetorFenix 21:05, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Where would you put the Corpse infobox? Somewhere in the middle of the page?
In your example, the Attributes are really those of the monster rather than its corpse, and surely belong in the Full Info box.
Are a monster's attack resistances really Important? I'm not sure. I think the Important infobox should be about what the monster can do to you, not what you can do to it. Hence the AC line probably doesn't belong there either. I would much rather strip this box down to the basics than have all possible relevant info creep in. A well-designed Full Info box should make it easy enough to find out any additional information, especially if we place it at the end of every monster page - then the procedure for finding out corpse info is: 1) type in monster name, 2) scroll to bottom, 3) voila. --Jayt 22:40, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I've also changed the code in your suggestion - something about having a table within a table was breaking the whole page layout. I'm afraid it doesn't look quite right, but I'm no HTML/CSS expert either. FWIW, I think having the name of the monster here is redundant since this box is going right at the top of the page, just under the page title, which is the monster's name. --Jayt 22:56, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I changed the html of the table even further - I believe it looks now like it is supposed to.
Here's just an idea: we could use only one template, if we had a way to hide the lesser-used information. See Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser for an example of such a behaviour. Scroll to Version history: it says "Select show to expand". If we could reverse-engineer how that works, well, wouldn't it be cool?
Jayt: I think it is not redundant to put the name of the monster in the box in case there are several monsters on the same article, such as piercer or mummies. --ZeroOne 23:24, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I followed the instructions here for a showhide template, and have it working with my user CSS/JS. It's going to need a lot more tweaking to get it working nicely, but it looks good! What a great idea! :-) Yes, you are right about the infobox needing the monster name. --Jayt 00:48, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Update: I give up. I'm not a CSS coder by trade. If anyone wants to try making something neat, copy User:Jayt/common.css, User:Jayt/monobook.css, and User:Jayt/monobook.js to the same locations under your user page and edit Template:Showhide. I think what we really want is the ability to toggle between displaying two different divs rather than showing or hiding one. --Jayt 19:02, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Hey, this is a neat idea ZeroOne. Thanks for finding the code Jayt. I'll give it a shot, but I'm no web guru, so we'll see. -- PraetorFenix 02:26, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Community Portal pruning

I made an archive page containing all the old topics. Please don't delete old conversations without putting them elsewhere! --Jayt 22:40, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

New main page

I've created a layout for a new main page. The goal is to provide links straight to the good stuff, and to give a high-level overview of the whole wiki. I'd like to keep the links in the Items and Roles columns as they are, but the remaining two columns are up for grabs if anyone has a better idea how to fill them.

We need really excellent featured-article quality articles for each of the roles.

The line of monsters at the bottom is more gimmicky than useful, but it looks nice (and, importantly, adds instant NetHack flavour). One potential improvement is to have every monster listed here. That means, for example, having 8 or so brown ds. That's a good job for a script.

Also, is anyone browsing with a low screen resolution? Are 4 columns too much for 800x600? --Jayt 17:38, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

The 4 colums seem to barely fit in my browser window; it is the row of monsters at the bottom that is too wide. Perhaps the lowercase and uppercase monsters could be on different rows? --Kernigh 04:40, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I've done some considerable tweaking to the overview template; it's now 6 boxes arranged as two rows of three columns. I've used nhtohtml to list all monsters, in rows of 30 symbols at a time. Hopefully this will fit on most sensible screens. If there are no objections, I will replace the current main page with the new one soon. --Jayt 00:46, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

monst.c -> {{monster}}

While making the monster box on the front page, I realised that is exactly what we need to generate the data to fill the {{monster}} template once it's done. I would still like to see a clever javascript minibox/maxibox thing. --Jayt 22:56, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

CSS tweak to stop long templates overlapping headings

I added the following lines to my user CSS:

h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 {
 clear: both;

div.editsection {

This fixes pages like Dagger which previously had long templates overlapping the next section header. The minor downside is that a lot of whitespace opens up. The major downside is that the [edit] link is no longer lined up with the section header.

If anyone has a fix for this, or if nobody thinks it's a big deal, I'll add this code to the main CSS. --Jayt 11:32, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I tried to "fix" the Dagger page by borrowing {{clear}} from another wiki and using it to manually clear above sections that have templates. (I had previously used it to control sections containg floating images on pages like [[w:c:Gameinfo:ADOM]].) I also tried to adjust {{weapon}} to appear nicer; it now uses the same markup as floating images to draw a white border.
That leaves two options: adding {{clear}}s to other pages that need them, or following Jayt's suggestion of clearing under all h2...h6. I do want to avoid misaligning those [edit] links if possible. --Kernigh 04:10, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
OK, {{clear}} seems to be a better way to achieve a nice look, but it feels very wrong: it's a big step backwards from semantic markup and kind of annoying to have to use it for every overlong infobox. I'm sure there must be a way to do this in CSS, but, again, I'm not a CSS expert. I will use {{clear}} for now. --Jayt 15:37, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

New bots

User:Eidobot and User:Jaytbot have been flagged as bots. I'm sure we can get User:BotFenix flagged if that's going to be used in the future. The edits of bots are hidden in Special:RecentChanges by default, but can be seen by clicking "Show bots". --Jayt 10:55, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Featured articles on the main page

see Talk:Main Page#Featured article?

Polling extension

<poll> Favorite alignment? Lawful Neutral Chaotic </poll>

Wikia recently installed support for polls. Here is one to play with. --Kernigh 01:21, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Source code for old versions

Would anybody be interested in having historical source code available as wiki articles? It might be useful to link to from the History pages, as well as being kind of interesting. It is not available anywhere else on the net in plain text format - only in archives. See an example: Hack.c-1.0. --Jayt 13:12, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, how many files does, say, Hack 1.0 have? I don't think that every patch version needs their complete source uploaded, as most of the code is same anyway. Maybe just one of each major version? The current source files should in my opinion just be replaced with new versions when the next version comes out. That makes it interesting, because then you can use the Mediawiki built-in "show differences" command. :) When version 4.0.0 comes out, if it ever comes out, the 3.x.x version files can be archived and completely new articles for the new files can be started. --ZeroOne 13:30, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
You should probably put some kind of (largish) warning on each page saying that the source code is not current. Yes, it's possible to see that the Hack.c-1.0 page isn't from 3.4.3, but just in case. And maybe use a directory like Hack 1.0/hack.c? --Eidolos 15:56, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
That's a good idea. I moved the article to Hack 1.0/hack.c now. I think it's a very clear form. Who knows when files with the *.c-1.0 extension are introduced to the actual code? ;) --ZeroOne 17:15, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
OK, all done! See Hack 1.0 source code. I agree, we don't need every minor version; I will upload 3.0.0, 3.1.0, 3.2.0, 3.3.0 and 3.4.0, and all the early revisions (none are that big... not that space is an issue - Uncyclopedia takes up 18 gigabytes). --Jayt 21:24, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Lookup source code by symbol

How useful would it have some sort of wikified ctags(1) output for the source code pages? E.g. Functions/rndcurse would be a redirect to sit.c#line311, the point where rndcurse is defined. Perhaps also have Functions be a master list, for easy searching? Ctags is known to do a good job on the NetHack code, so this would be a simple bot-programming problem. --Stefanor 07:58, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

I think it's a good idea. User:GreyKnight had the same idea here; you should probably confer with him. --Jayt 11:03, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
From what I know, #REDIRECT to sections does not work in MediaWiki; it redirects to the top of the page instead. Beware of that. --Kernigh 22:20, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Style guide on sidebar; More admins and bureaucrats?

Kernigh writes: I edited MediaWiki:Sidebar to put the NetHackWiki:Style guide in the navigation box on the left. (It might not show on some pages until you reload the page.)

Meanwhile, I was wondering if we should designate more wiki administrators. Special:Listusers/sysop shows who we have now, but because founder Sgeo has not edited here since October 2005, that leaves Jayt, ZeroOne and myself. It is not as if the wiki needs more administrators; though admins have extra tools (mostly the same tools as on Wikipedia!) to fight spam and vandalism, there has not been much need for them. However, admins do get to tinker with the "MediaWiki:" pages, delete extra copies and images, and move pages over other pages.

I am the only "Bureaucrat", a user who can use Special:Makesysop to make other administrators (or bureaucrats). We might want to make at least one more, in case I am away when someone needs a "promotion". --Kernigh 22:50, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, this wiki has grown a lot, so I don't think three admins is enough anymore. I nominate User:Lotte and User:Ray Chason as new admins. Lotte, although apparently currently on vacation, has been in here for almost as long as myself and Ray has proven himself worthy by doing amazing job with documenting the game history. --ZeroOne 00:03, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
I second these nominations. We are currently blessed with little or no vandalism, and a userbase comprised almost entirely of thoughtful contributors, so without intending to lessen the contributions of other editors, I also nominate User:Eidolos. Additionally, I would be happy for ZeroOne to become a second bureaucrat. --Jayt 13:08, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I went and promoted Lotte, Ray Chason, Eidolos to sysop and ZeroOne to bureaucrat. (Lotte was also accidentally bureaucrat for a short while; thank you Splarka for fixing my mistake!) Now I have to go leave messages on their talk pages... User talk:Lotte, User talk:Ray Chason, User talk:Eidolos, ZeroOne. --Kernigh 01:39, 8 September 2006 (UTC)