GECK:Community Portal/Organization


< GECK:Community Portal
Revision as of 17:44, 18 December 2008 by Quetzilla (Talk | contribs) (Tutorials category)

Main Page Organization

So you can change the categories links by editing Template:Categories. I added some of the new pages we've been making up to the list, as well as FOSE. I compiled Mod Tools/Tips and Tricks/Solutions under 'Further Reading', but I didn't actually make a Further Reading Category page as that seemed a bit much. Let's try to keep this thing updated as important new pages get put up so they can be easily accessed from the main page and not lost in the muck
--Quetzilla 20:51, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I'll leave it unprotected for now, but that page is going to be protected eventually. We don't want anyone vandalizing the front page. We'll add a Recent Changes box on the front page like the CS Wiki to list new articles.
--Qazaaq 18:59, 16 December 2008 (UTC)


There are currently 2 settings pages: the page and the category. The category is much smaller, and seems to be incomplete. Should we delete it (in accordance with Categories below)? One note if we do - there are a few pages there that aren't mentioned on the Settings page (i.e., iSandboxBreakfastMin).

Minor things - do we want the format from the Oblivion wiki (i.e., iSandboxBreakfastMin) or not (i.e., FMinesDelayMin? Should we standardize with the first letter uncapped or uapped?
--Haama 07:08, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

I'd like the format of the CS Wiki, but with different colors. How about a template? That would enforce standards and gives us some time to experiment and discuss the colors and organization. I'll make one right now.
--Qazaaq 11:36, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Template is done: Template:Setting. The header of the table changes to the page name.
--Qazaaq 12:46, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Shouldn't we put the description of a setting before its default value? The description seems to be the more important bit of information after all =)
--SnakeChomp 17:24, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that using a category page as the main resource to find the game settings is a good idea, as it groups them by name and not by their meaning. Considering settings only start with one of 3 letters, that won't provide useful organization. Is it worth even bothering having a "Settings" category? Tagging settings pages with that category will add them to the settings page but that alone won't help people find the information about the setting. I'll add the settings from the category page onto the settings page for now.
--SnakeChomp 17:09, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Agreed that the Category is a bad idea, as below. I definitely think the first letter should not be capitalized - in fact, since this is a newer version of MediaWiki, we can even do something about the pages' titles to reflect that. The template is a great idea, much agreed there.
DragoonWraith · talk · 17:50, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I also agree that description should come before default value.
DragoonWraith · talk · 17:50, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I was thinking that would be troublesome with very long settings pages. But it's easily changed in the template. Just reverse the table rows if you think that's not a problem.
Oh, and cool trick with the pagetitles.
--Qazaaq 19:16, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Already ahead of you on that one: I created {{SettingGroup}} for that very purpose. It's still kind of long, but not terribly and the consistency is worth it, IMO.
DragoonWraith · talk · 19:37, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
It sure is, very nice.
--Qazaaq 19:42, 14 December 2008 (UTC)


I thought we were going to avoid the "categories-as-articles" thing. Most Wikis do not do this, and for good reason - it confuses users (why, I do not know, I just know from the CS wiki that it does). Use manually-created pages with lists of links, and use the {{Bc}} tag to link back to the pages that they came from.
DragoonWraith · talk · 20:31, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

I think it would help to know specifically which ones are high priority to be fixed in this way.
--Quetzilla 21:37, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
In general I agree, but the wording makes it unclear - which ones exactly are you referring to? There are some article-categories if you dig around (i.e., Packages), but none that fit the bill that "we" have added so far.
--Haama 23:25, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Uh... I saw Category:Modding Practices, and presumed it was akin to CSwiki's Category:About Modding Etiquette, but I didn't actually look at it.
Anyway, sorry if for the confusion. That comment was made much too hastily. I should have checked that.
DragoonWraith · talk · 17:54, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Categories and Searches

Just noticed that categories are not searched for by default. Should they be added to the default? On the one hand, there are over 100 categories on the wiki or about 10% of it. On the other hand, not all categories would be meaningful to include in the search (i.e., Category:Administrative_Categories).
--Haama 19:17, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

I would say yes, especially with BGS leaving so many category-articles. The search function is hard enough to coax into submission as it is.
--Quetzilla 19:29, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Tutorials category

Currently all Bethesda's tutorials are in the Solutions category and the Wiki tutorials in the Tutorials category. Tutorials are not solutions, and clogging up the Solutions category with tutorials is not a good idea.
--Qazaaq 11:12, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Should we add the wiki/editing tutorials to the Category:Administrative_Categories or a "Wiki Category" (Editing would be too close to Edit)?
--Haama 04:52, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I think that seems appropriate. Although maybe they don't need to be categorized, just linked to from the Help:Contents page?
DragoonWraith · talk · 17:06, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I moved the BGS tutorials to Tutorials and out of Solutions. There were also some misc beth tutorials (Static Collections for example) that weren't categorized as either but are fixed now.
--Quetzilla 22:44, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

New Solutions Article

I just wrote up an article for a really nifty trick I discovered (and probably others have also). I added it to the Solutions category, but it made me think: Do we want some kind of central page for new content articles to go under? Right now it's hard to find my new article unless you're actually looking for it, and in the case of the article it's really something useful to know ahead of time.
--Quetzilla 01:48, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

We could (probably?) make a "What's New" section on the Main Page, as on the CS wiki. Also, I think it would go best under a "Modding Practices" category - let me see if there's one like that already and if not I'll create it.
This is close enough to the topic that I'll mention it here - To prevent sprawl, I think we should use either the Solutions or Tips and Tricks category, but not both. This problem was rather horrendous on the CS wiki - the answer to a question could have been in one of several places: the Question category, the Answers category, the Solutions category, the Useful Code category, etc.
--Haama 03:30, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Likewise, the Tutorials category should be renamed - the tutorials are strictly related to wiki editing. If they were related to modding, then I'd say merge it with Solutions or Tips and Tricks.
--Haama 03:52, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't know, they seem like relatively different categories. 1 is to solve problematic situations you would normally encounter, 2 is for neat things you can do that you wouldn't otherwise have thought of. Either way, they both need to feature more prominently on the main page if anyone is going to find them.
--Quetzilla 03:41, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Heh - those two were never separate for me. Almost everything I've done required a trick or OBSE. Interested to see others' thoughts. Somewhat random - it might end up that Tips and Tricks becomes a subsection of Solutions.
Anyway, seems like I can't edit the Main Page. That may change (need to check my User Status), but for now remember that Solutions is on the Main Page (... at the very bottom). I've created a Modding Practices page and added your article to it.
--Haama 04:08, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
I like the distinction between Solutions and Tips and Tricks. On the CS Wiki the solution category was filled with articles, which made it hard to find what you're looking for. Taking all tricks out of the solutions category should help.
--Qazaaq 11:05, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Sorry for going on a structure-creating rampage, I should've checked here first. I do think Tips and Tricks deserves to be a separate category to Solutions, for the same reasons as Quetzilla- Solutions seem like they should be mini-tutorials as opposed to Tips which should be compact and used to show possibilities.Talkie Toaster 14:20, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

In general, no need to check here first. If I/we/anyone thinks there's an issue it will be brought up - Tips got my attention because someone created an article with the same name that day, and because all of the articles in it were also placed in the Solutions category. That's enough call to keep them separated, so Tips stays.

Thinking about it some more, though - articles should be in one category or the other (distinction), and to make it easier to find we make Tips a sub-category of the Solutions category (the articles won't show up in Solutions).
--Haama 15:07, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Mod Tools

I've created a Mod Tools category to be able to easily point people towards commonly used programs like FOMM and F3Edit. As new tools come out, let's make sure to add pages for them here. Also, I'd like to link to it from somewhere sensible, main page maybe, but I wasn't sure where to stick the link. If anyone can think of a good place, feel free to stick it in.
--Quetzilla 01:23, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

The category has been added to Category:Solutions and the Main Page.
--Haama 04:48, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

BSA Problems

There are some problems that the users may experience with the software such as missing or unfindable models. While somee people know how to extract them, some do not, and bits of useful general information like this should be available for those new to modding. Iron Angel 01:11, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Do you mean the .bsa files? In general, your best bet is to ask about this on the forums and then update the appropriate page(s) with the answer.
The Community Portal itself is more meant for proposals of an issue to tackle, then a place to find answers.
--Haama 03:46, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
I think his point was that it will be common for people to look for the 'missing' files and get confused, yet the wiki here doesn't say anything about how to get access to the files. Probably goes under 'Solutions' :P.
--Quetzilla 04:12, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
A tip in one or more of the starting tutorials is probably the best solution to this.
--Qazaaq 11:17, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
I've written up a page on BSA Files that explains the solution to this problem as well as general usage. I've linked to it from the Data Files page, but there are probably other places that should link to it.
--Quetzilla 22:15, 14 December 2008 (UTC)


The recent page Tips And Tricks (note page, not category) reminded me of the Tidbits category from the CS wiki. That category served as a "staging" area to move information from the threads to the wiki, or at least point to interesting threads and posts in the hopes someone had enough time to wiki-ify it. Should we bring that back?
--Haama 03:58, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea, although, I'm afraid that adding a Tidbits category will make people lazy.
--Qazaaq 11:18, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
We already have two pages that are thread-based and thread-like: Category:FAQ and Tips And Tricks. Both contain information that would be nice to have on the wiki, but the editors have only added them to their own page.
So, I'm putting up the Tidbits page. Guess I'll link to it from the Main Page? Also, I'm going to redirect Tips And Tricks to it (we already have a Category:Tips and Tricks. Category:FAQ would be nice to have (although it might need to be turned into a page) so I'm leaving it around.
--Haama 04:46, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Agreed on making FAQ a page. I don't understand the difference between Tidbits and Tips and Tricks.
--Quetzilla 04:48, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Tidbits would be a staging area for the wiki - information that isn't provided in wiki form, or even links to external, interesting information. See the CS wiki's Tidbits for what I mean. The Tips And Tricks page falls under this category - as of now, it's all quotes, some unclear and unverified, and too small for a single page. On the other hand, the Category:Tips and Tricks has pages that are ready for the wiki and pretty much in final form.
There might also be a bit of confusion on my part, as I don't quite see the separation between Solutions, Tips and Tricks and Tutorials. I understand there is a difference between what the articles themselves will be and how they'll read, length, etc. However, I can't imagine someone would decide where to look based on what the article will be. Note, though, that I personally don't differentiate between them - an answer to my question is an answer to my question, and if anyone's seen my work they'll know I don't mind long answers :P
--Haama 05:08, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

General Organization

Perhaps we need an umbrella page (portal?) specifically for 'Guide-like' articles? Because, Solutions, FAQ, Tips, Practices, Tidbits, etc, all fall under the general category of Guide-like info. So we could set up a 'Modding Guide' portal, which would be where people go to look for answers. That page then redirects them to the subcats depending on whether they're looking for solutions to problems or tips on certain subjects, etc.

Now I know that in one sense the wiki itself is 'Guide-like' portal, but a majority of the content is in the form of 'this is the stuff that the editor lets you change', whereas the 'Modding Guide' portal would be 'this is how you change the stuff that can be changed to make it do what you want'. Basically we'd be dividing the wiki into 'Reference' and 'Guide' sections, and then they would link between. It's already mostly divided in content, it would just be a matter of directing people to the right 'central hubs' to find the kind of information they need.

Personally I look at Reference info because I can generally figure out how to do what I want, but (judging from the GECK forum) it could be handy to just tell those people, 'go here', and they can find out how to do what they want to do.
--Quetzilla 05:19, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

This deserves a much longer answer, but it's late and I still have a few things to do and sleep would probably be a good thing. In general, I agree, however I see the Guide as being a Portal only, linking to information in the wiki rather than repeating the information in the wiki. Moreover, the fear is that anything more than a Portal(s) would cause information to be placed in the Guide section, but not in the Reference section, as the CS wiki turned out.
However, the argument is mainly based off the idea that you have to go through a certain and simple set of steps in GECK to solve any problem (i.e., making a copy of a base object). This falls apart for more complex situations like scripting (especially tricks) and if we want to include other mod making tools (using FO3Edit to make a copy).
--Haama 07:23, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand your point of view. It seems like what you're saying is that for any guide article that has info that's not in the reference, you'd want that info in the reference section and have the guide link to that? The guide would be nothing but links!
Maybe there's a difference of opinion on how most people use the wiki. From what I see, most people right now are following the tutorials. These are guide articles with plenty of info not in the reference section, but they do include links to those sections.
But these aren't the same people who maintain the wiki, such as us. We're more likely to know how we want to go about something, so we tend to look directly at the reference pages for the info we need. So it seems to me, that from your perspective (as one of the maintainers), you don't like the idea that there's information in the wiki that's not in the reference section for you to find. (And keep in mind this is all speculation on my part :P).
Point is, most people are going to look for guide material. They'll start with the tutorials, and then they're going to look for other similar articles. Diving into the whole mess of reference pages can be daunting. So what I'm thinking is that there should be a Guide portal. This page starts off with the tutorials, followed by FAQ, followed by Modding Practices, followed by Solutions, followed by Tips and Tricks (links to these categories, with small descriptions meant to guide the user as to what they can find in each one)
That to me is the logical progression of how a new user will advance through what they want to use the wiki for, with articles in each of these sections having multiple links to reference pages.
As for structure, I think the snippets thing you set up yesterday is the way to go. Snippets like that can go under Solutions, or FAQ (some current FAQs should prob be solutions, with FAQ page reserved for questions like (why no mods on PS3? etc), or tips and tricks, etc. But, for example, with the object window copying snippet, that can be transcluded into the Object window page.
I think having such a Guide portal, will make it a lot easier to direct users to new content, as all new content (save for things like FOSE functions), will in some way be linked to from the Guide portal (and even for FOSE, a guide could be set up for that to direct users on how to use it).
Let me know what in the above seems like it's not accurate :P
--Quetzilla 20:54, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I think I was guessing too much about what guides would be written - whether they were short and could simply contain a link/template to a reference page. Boiling it down, my major concern was a flood of duplicate information. Everything so far has been managable, and we have ways of taking care of duplicate information - so no major worries. To be clearer on the Guide portal - go for it!
--Haama 16:39, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oh yeah, on snippets - don't know if they need to categorized (FAQ, etc.) but they should be linked to or transcluded as much as possible. The only reason I didn't tranclude it onto the Object window page is because I borrowed it from CS wiki and am unable to verify if it works. (ATI 9800, you were able to fake it for Bioshock, why can't you fake it for FO3 or at least GECK!)
--Haama 17:20, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Er, didn't you transclude the object window/copy snippet onto the object window page? I'm confused. Also, ouch about the 9800 :(.
--Quetzilla 18:34, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Looking at the main page, that should probably be the 'guide' portal. Right now the links are under the section 'Further Reading', but they're way at the bottom and no descriptions are there. If we could just get a few more boxes under the Tutorials paragraph on the left, with similar links to the relevant pages, I think that might be the best way to do it, as it puts the links to the most used info right where people will see them. Furthermore, I don't think the all the links to the BGS tutorials need to be in that box.
--Quetzilla 21:06, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I've set up a test layout for what I think the main page could look like:
User:Quetzilla/Test Main
User:Quetzilla/Test Main2 (better readability?)
Personally, I think that represents a good shot at directing users to the content they're looking for, and visible right from the beginning. Links follow naturally from tutorials through to advanced things like FO3Edit (in Mod Tools section). Obviously we'd need someone to go in an make that edit, but if we get behind that (or a revised version) I think it would be very beneficial. Then we can start putting things in the right categories and stop having headaches over how to organize things
--Quetzilla 21:28, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I like the second one a bit more - looks like there's less to read somehow (or maybe it's that the text is big enough for me to read it).
I think the Getting Started section should also be placed in the guide part. I know the Bethesda Tutorials are supposed to fill this function, but it's not clear from the name "Official tutorials" that that's what they're there for, and I imagine there will be other Basic tutorials down the line.
--Haama 16:50, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Looks good, second one is best. I agree the Main Page needs a redesign, and your version is good start, and with the content currently available probably the best we can do. The index could use some work, but that means the pages and categories it links to need to be changed as well. That could be a lot of work, especially because I don't know what's on them.
I never noticed the clear distinction between Guide and Reference pages, but it makes a lot of sense. Reference pages will most likely be accessed by the search function or category search. They have much less use for portals, but the See Also sections are much more important. The Guide article should be presented to the user along the way; in other Guide articles, or on the Reference pages. But portals also play an important role, as these are the articles that provide an easy entrance to the Wiki and the GECK for a new user, they need to be clearly visible.
Very good insight. I think this will make the Wiki easier to navigate, especially for new users.
--Qazaaq 16:54, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

So, Separate guide portal, or petition BGS to do the Main Page revamp? Ideally they could set up a protected {{Main Page}} so we could add stuff as needed.
However, If we go with proposal #2 above, we can actually hack that straight into the main page by editing the Tutorial TOC, then redirect the other TOC transcludes to a new TOC, or edit the template so that the stuff added for the main page could be hidden for other transcludes.
Personally I'm leaning towards just making the main page the 'Guide Portal', since that's really what the main page should be. As an experienced user I don't even check the main page -- I have a quick search set up in Firefox for 'geck (search text)'
Votes for hacking in #2?
--Quetzilla 19:36, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Changing the Main Page is not a problem. DW, Haama and I have the same rights as on the CS Wiki and can edit it directly or unlock it temporarily. I agree that the Main Page would be perfect as a guide portal.
--Qazaaq 22:26, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Oh, okay. Then feel free to port over proposal #2 whenever you want :P.
--Quetzilla 22:43, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
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