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Template talk:Nicholas the Traveler

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Time Zone[edit source]

The template seems to use GMT as the time zone regardless of what UTC abbreviation you place after the time. Is this an error in the template code or do we need to update the example (which uses EST) and template instructions? -- Glamtre Axe-icon-right.png (Contribs) 00:20, June 29, 2010 (UTC)

(Note: I copied and adapted the documentation from the Zaishen Combat template (originally), which was written by someone else.) I looked up the documentation for the #time: function, and it says it takes the same input formats as a PHP function which are explained here. After trying a number of these, it looks like whatever version of #time: is implemented on Wikia is completely ignoring the time zone on input and setting everything to UTC. All of the following should give different results, but instead they all give the same as the UTC result.
1275868800 {{#time: U|7 June 2010 0000}}
1275832800 {{#time: U|7 June 2010 0000 +1000}}
1275886800 {{#time: U|7 June 2010 0000 EST}}
1275890400 {{#time: U|7 June 2010 0000 GMT-06:00}}
This isn't a template issue, it's a Wikia issue. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 01:28, June 29, 2010 (UTC)
I've noticed this on some of the time based templates I am using with my User name space. Is there a mechanism by which we can lobby to have this function or module changed or updated? -- Glamtre Axe-icon-right.png (Contribs) 03:11, June 29, 2010 (UTC)
Special:Contact is the official method of reporting issues to Wikia now. If you do send them a report, please post a copy to the GuildWiki:Wikia staff noticeboard so we have documentation of it. (Also, they're usually good enough to post there with a response/explanation after it gets resolved.) I'd write it up myself, but I'm too tired right now. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 03:48, June 29, 2010 (UTC)

Data in template?[edit source]

Given that the data is going to run to 137 rows, would it be worth moving data to a different article (so that the template parses that info)? That will make the template easier to manage (should we decide to alter its presentation), make the data easier to manage (since it will be all that is stored), etc.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 16:18, July 19, 2010 (UTC)

How do you plan on doing that parsing? GWW uses the VariablesExtension extension, which we don't have here on Wikia. I don't see any reason that we'd choose to "alter the presentation," and even if we do, a simple regex can easily update the entire list. Why should we over-complicate things when there's no real reason to? —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 16:39, July 19, 2010 (UTC)
I never like to bundle data with data architecture with presentation (something always seems to happen to make one wish one had). However, if making such things distinct at wikia is trickia, then it's not worth doing.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 16:46, July 19, 2010 (UTC)
If we had VariablesExtension, then we could do it like this:
(pseudo-code commented out to reduce page size)
And the Main Page could use those three variables (TravlerLocation, TravelerItem, TravelerQuantity) to present the info however it wanted. We could set up the dialogue in a similar, separate template (since it would be huge, as RT pointed out, we wouldn't want to overburden this template). I agree that this would be ideal, but we'd have to lobby Wikia to get the extension installed. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 17:07, July 19, 2010 (UTC)
Heck, that extension would make so many things so much easier, I've gone ahead and attempted a request for it. Watch this space.Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 17:24, July 19, 2010 (UTC)
Alright, got the extension, and here's my first draft of a template using it:
And I've changed my mind on the dialogue. If we're going to do it like this, we may as well put everything together in one place. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 19:18, July 19, 2010 (UTC)
User:M.mendel/NickDoc is a demo that uses the data in Nicholas the Traveler/Past Collections (as-is) and Nicholas the Traveler/Past Dialogues/tmp (slight change to Nicholas the Traveler/Past Dialogues in that is uses numbered headlines). The proposed solution fully addresses TEF's suggestion and exhibits the same beneifits that Dr Ishmael's solution has, while avoiding some of the latter solution's weaknesses. --◄mendel► 02:22, July 20, 2010 (UTC)

Data in location pages?[edit source]

Since most locations will have Nicholas visiting, it would make sense to add another standard section to the location; it could give the date that Nicholas was here, or the one he is expected to return, and if done with templates (like an infobox, but maybe different presentation) it would also be possible to create these tables automatically. E.g.

==Nicholas the Traveller==
{{Nicholas|2010-07-19|5 [[Elonian Leather Square]]s}}
{{Nicholas says|Dialogue}}
Notes and comments

DPL could then create a list of all Factions locations etc, and if we had a use for the knowledge when he last asked for a rare material, we would add SMW metadata to all our infobox templates and be able to formulate queries like these. Which is what got me thinking about this initially, because to use the data with SMW, it should ideally each be on its own page. (We haven't seen a use for SMW in the past, so don't get your hopes up, but still... ;) --◄mendel► 05:39, July 20, 2010 (UTC)

I'm afraid I didn't make myself clear.

Example: add a section to the page Arkjok Ward between the sections "Quests" and "Notes". This section would look as follows:

==Nicholas the Traveller==
{{Nicholas|2009-05-11|1 [[Mandragor Root Cake]]}}
{{Nicholas says|Oh, thank the gods, help has come at last! My bullheaded companion here refuses to budge an inch, because he hasn't had his daily allotment of sweets. I swear he is as stubborn as, well, as stubborn as a dolyak, I suppose. Do you have time to swing by [[Yohlon Haven]] and talk to [[Yajide]]? See if he still makes that wonderful [[Mandragor Root Cake]]. I bet that would get [[Professor Yakkington|Yakkington]] going again.}}

and it might display like this: (serving suggestion only, dashed border not included)

Nicholas the Traveller[edit source]

Request per gift
1 Mandragor Root Cake
Last visit
11 May 2009
Next visit
26 Dec 2011
Oh, thank the gods, help has come at last! My bullheaded companion here refuses to budge an inch, because he hasn't had his daily allotment of sweets. I swear he is as stubborn as, well, as stubborn as a dolyak, I suppose. Do you have time to swing by Yohlon Haven and talk to Yajide? See if he still makes that wonderful Mandragor Root Cake. I bet that would get Yakkington going again.

Notes[edit source]

The information is stored with the location. As almost every location will have this section, and it's long enough to not look a stub, this is quite presentable. Players who do the Nicholas quest are going to look at the location page anyway, so it might save them one more page view; the same goes for the editors who add the information.

However, with this, the data is also available for automation to grab it, via DPL or SMW, and create the big table automatically. (It isn't now, as tables are hard for the wiki automation to parse.)

I don't see a problem with me adding the 66 past visits to the locations; I can use my demo template work to copy 66 snippets of text that only need copying and pasting.

For locations where Nick hasn't been, I'd insert templates that look like this:

==Nicholas the Traveller==
{{Nicholas|date goes here|request goes here}}
{{Nicholas says|dialogue goes here}}

The templates would recognize these default texts, and the presentation would look like this (again, just a suggestion):

Nicholas the Traveller[edit source]

Nicholas is still expected in this location. As soon as he arrives, please edit this section and provide information about his visit.

Once you edit it, you'd see the templates already set up as above (date goes here etc.), and you'd only need to fill them in.

So the proposal is to distribute the Nicholas info (date, request, dialogue) to 137 location pages. It's the wiki way! --◄mendel► 21:00, July 20, 2010 (UTC) --◄mendel► 21:00, July 20, 2010 (UTC)

edit here[edit source]

  1. Did you realize that you've screwed up the sectioning on this page? Could you turn your example headers into fake ones? <div class="fakeh2 fakeh3">
  2. Why are you using 2 templates? Seems like that could be done more simply with a single template.
  3. How can you use this to request information for an arbitrary week? For example, how do we populate the Main Page with it?
Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 21:55, July 20, 2010 (UTC)
  1. I didn't think much of that as this is a rarely used talkpage, but I inserted another header so we have an edit link that works for this.
  2. One template creates the infoboxes, and the other formats the text. The former might have some logic for SMW in it, the latter doesn't need to. If we're looking for infobox data via DPL, it would have less to parse. If we're using SMW (big if), the infobox template would have the SMW tagging in it and the dialogue template wouldn't. The dialogue template could be re-used to display dialogue in other places on the wiki. They just seem to do very different jobs, so I thought it'd be better to be modular instead of monolithic.
  3. Good question. I've got several ideas that need to be examined.

The preceding unsigned comment was added by M.mendel (contribs) .

Can you give a more detailed SMW example? I haven't had any opportunities to work with it before, so I don't really understand its capabilities. If it can find a specific page based on the ID/index, then pass the contents of the Nick template in a usable format, that sounds like the best idea to me. We continue using the /index subtemplates, but replace the #switch in the main template with an SMW query. Right? And that would still work with my tablerow idea to calculate the statistics using variables. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 00:04, July 21, 2010 (UTC)

Pilot[edit source]

Well, since mendel didn't bother to keep this productive conversation going, I struck out on my own and spent today learning me some SMW.

I did not implement a dialogue template, since mendel had said something about it being "re-used to display dialogue in other places" and I figured there should be a more general discussion of that idea first. (In any case, calling it "Nicholas says" would be a misnomer if it were used more widely.) —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 21:06, July 26, 2010 (UTC)

I have now created a semantic infobox for items (added to the list above). Although it is currently hard-coded for trophies only, it could be expanded to support all types of items, in a similar fashion to how PanSola had generalized {{Location box2}} for all types of locations.
I'd love to continue working on this idea, but it would be nice to get some feedback on this pilot before going any further. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 02:48, August 3, 2010 (UTC)

I've been pondering on this for a while now, and I think it would actually be more natural for the TravelerInfo to be based on the item's page instead of the location's page. Consider literally "querying" the relevant properties: date, item, quantity, location. If you take the location as the "known" datum, it goes like:

  • When did Nick visit this location?
  • What item did he collect at this location?
  • How many of that item did he collect at this location?

The third one feels a bit out of place, because it has to use *two* qualifiers of the "how many" query: of that item in addition to (at) this location. If we turn this around and instead take the item as the "known" property, we have:

  • When did Nick collect this item?
  • Where did Nick collect this item?
  • How many of this item did Nick collect?

All three queries have the same simple form, with the single qualifier (of) this item, which makes for a more natural set of properties. I'm going to mock up a couple templates now that set the properties on the item page, then query them to also display the info on the location page. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 17:14, August 14, 2010 (UTC)

Alright then.
  • [[Template:TravelerItemInfo]] now sets all the properties on the item's page, see this on Moon Shell. I set this up as a standard-style infobox, but the design and placement probably need fine-tuning.
  • Template:TravelerLocationInfo now queries and displays the properties of the item that was collected in that location. See this on Gyala Hatchery (explorable) - the result looks identical to the original TravelerInfo.
Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 17:41, August 14, 2010 (UTC)

"per gift"[edit source]

I got confused today, because I wasn't sure if it was 5 total, or 5 per gift. A little reading gave me my answer, but I think it would be better to clarify that somehow. RoseOfKali 19:43, July 20, 2010 (UTC)

Unknown leads to edit template link - brilliant[edit source]

(The header speaks for itself — well done, Doc Ish)  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 19:42, August 24, 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. I started editing Nick's page to fix up the intro section and integrate the weekly-time-change note, then figured I could also move the '/Past X' links to a more logical and useful location, and somewhere in there I realized that I could do the same thing for this template that I'd done on '/Past Dialogues'. A side effect of all that is that Notes and See also are nicely compact now. (They might could do with a merge or other rearrangement, possibly involving some Trivia as well, but I didn't feel like incorporating that all at once.) —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 20:15, August 24, 2010 (UTC)

Past collections[edit source]

As discussed (someplace else), I would like to change the Guide to Item of the Week Farming/Previous Tips so that it points to farming guides that are subpages of the item's article.

  • If sensible, the item article will link or transclude the farming guide (to start with, there's too much extraneous text to make it worth copying directly).
  • The previous tips article will change to become a table showing sequence #, date, item, and possible a note or two, e.g.
# Date Item Farming guide Notes
22 ? Forest Minotaur Horns Forest Minotaur Horns/Farming Hi! I'm a note
23 ? Frostfire Fangs Frostfire Fang/Farming Hi! I would like to be a dynamic note

From the doc, it's not obvious to me how to use {{Nicholas the Traveler}} to make it easy to populate the first 4 columns, which I expect to be static once the conversion is completed. Any tips?  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 20:13, September 7, 2010 (UTC)

I will continue to insist that we don't need subpages. Swap the slash for a hash in your table and we have a win.
As far as building/populating the table, you don't need this template - that was the entire reason I made a new SMW-enabled infobox, to eliminate our reliance on massive #switch'ed templates like this. This table would be just like the /Past collections table with a modified table-row template. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 21:26, September 7, 2010 (UTC)
Oh. <mumble> <mumble>. Good point.
Do we need subpages? Probably not, but to start with, it's much easier to copy/paste the farms into a subpage linked to the main article than it is to standardize. I think we have about 60 farms covered, only about 40 of which follow a similar format (but we've evolved that, too). I'd rather transform the farming into subpages soon and not care if we ever bring it into the main article. The alternative is to undertake an even more massive effort to review and edit 70+ articles. In other words:
  1. Move 70+ sections as-is (as-are?) now and replace Guide to IotW Farming with links (on articles and as noted above) to the sub page. Review/edit and merge to main article in the future, at leisure.
  2. Determine a new format that suits current articles. Review/edit 70+ articles and move one-at-a-time.
I can manage (1); I personally don't want to start (2) b/c it would be bad to stop in the middle.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 21:44, September 7, 2010 (UTC)
This isn't relevant to this template; let's move it back where it belongs. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 22:08, September 7, 2010 (UTC)