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Welcome to Pathfinder Online Wiki! We hope you will contribute much and well. You will probably want to read the help pages. Again, welcome and have fun! Paizo Publishing, LLC.png Yoda8myhead (talk) 17:28, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Better use of data

I was just looking at the Attacks tables. I fixed the rest of the tables to be sortable, but I really feel like there needs to be a better way to search them. For example, I would like to be able to search for Cantrips that used the Mage Staff and had the Volatile keyword.

I'm really a data guy at heart, so my first instinct is to get the spreadsheets broken down and put into a normalized database. After that, I'm really not sure what tools are available to access that data, though.

I'm sure I could get up to speed on wikis, but it would probably take me about 6 weeks on my own, and that's if I had the time to spend a few hours every day on it. I'm not sure if this is possible, but I think I could really kickstart the whole thing if I could get in voice chat with one of the admins. I'm not even sure this message is going to be obvious to y'all, but if it is, please let me know if this is something you'd be willing to do, and when a good time would be.

TeamSpeak would work best for me, and our server address is atl01.mainvoice.net:7183. Any time today works, or maybe Wednesday evening if that's better for you.

As far as I know there's no way to integrate SQL databases or other tools of sorting data into the mediawiki framework. If that's something you want to see implemented here, you'll likely need to research it and figure out what needs to happen on your own. We tend to use Skype for chats, which either Aeakett or I can try to make work. Not quite sure what nights this week work for me. What time zone are you in?—Paizo Publishing, LLC.png Yoda8myhead (talk) 18:56, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm in the Central time zone. It may be that I need to build a web application on our site to do what I want.
Building an extension that we can port into the wiki would be ideal, so you might want to look at existing mediawiki extensions and a) see if one already exists for what you want to do and b) familiarize yourself with how extensions work so you can build one within the constraints of the system. Aeakett is likely the best one to talk to about getting extensions added to this wiki, as he's much more adept with the wiki backend than I am.—Paizo Publishing, LLC.png Yoda8myhead (talk) 04:21, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

It's a very complex data model to try to normalize into a database, so that's probably not going to happen quickly.

In the meantime, Stephen Cheney has shared PFO Wiki - Official Data with me, and I'd very much like to get it loaded into the wiki, but I'm completely stumped. If you can walk me through this once, I'm sure I can keep it maintained after that.

Yeah, let me see if I can find some time this weekend to write up a tutorial, though it looks like you're going on it already. I also need to get a bot set up in this wiki to make mass changes to things. Both are on the agenda, but with Gen Con next week, I may not have the time to do much on this (or the other) wiki until the 19th or so.—Paizo Publishing, LLC.png Yoda8myhead (talk) 21:22, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Andrew was a great help and I feel I've got a good handle on it now. It's a little daunting trying to lay it out in a useful format, but I at least understand the technical process for getting the data into tables and such. Thanks for all your help, both of you.
See what I did with the Attack Feats page, specifically the Physical Attacks section, and replicate that elsewhere. It will make our lives 1,000 times easier down the road, I promise.—Paizo Publishing, LLC.png Yoda8myhead (talk) 20:20, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw that you put it back; I apologize for leaving it in such an ugly state. There are two things that I'm struggling with:
1. There are two entirely sets of data for "Attack Feats". One is from Stephen and includes the combat data, such as Damage Factor. The other is from Lee and includes the requirements for training them.
2. Breaking the Attack Feats down by Physical/Cantrip/Orison/Utility is useful, but it seems like there will likely be many additional ways we'll want to break them down later, such as by Weapon Category or Role.
I'm a database guy at heart, and I've got code running that can read Google Docs Spreadsheets directly into C#, and The Seventh Veil is hosting a MS Sql Server database where I'm storing the data. The main thing I still need to do is normalize it; basically, I want to break it apart so that the Keyword Progression isn't just a list of keywords, but rather each keyword is its own data element so that we can more easily generate queries that show the user what else is associated with that particular keyword.
Concern #1 is my biggest concern, and the one that's kinda giving me writer's block. Any advice you have about how to deal with that duality would be greatly appreciated.
Regarding your specific questions, for number 1, I'd ask Lee and Stephen which set of data they prefer to make public. If it's just that one includes bonus information, why not consolidate the two? That's what wikis do really well—consolidate information from disparate sources. As for number 2, that's something I think we can best handle with categories, which will largely function as a tree for users to search, and which we can make into their own Main namespace pages (sort of) down the line. I'm waiting on a few more extensions to get added to the site (namely ParserFunctions and Regex, which will allow template logic to auto-categorize feats, etc as we see fit. See my post below for more on this, and why it's important to establish the infrastructure before inputting all the data.—Paizo Publishing, LLC.png Yoda8myhead (talk) 04:39, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Please be patient

Hey there! I see that you and Decius are making a lot of test edits, and I worry that we might we working in opposite directions. I am trying to set up a standard wiki infrastructure to auto-categorize feats and other mechanics using templates so that categories can serve as the primary searchable database. To do so, I need to get the templates established before all the data is imported or it will be more work for everyone down that road. When I get back in the office from recovering from my current bout of Gen Con con crud, I am going to talk to Stephen about getting an output from his master spreadsheet that is formatted for the templates I'm building. I understand the desire to get the data imported, but until there's a sustainable infrastructure for templates that uses named parameters, we're not ready for that step. I've left a similar message on Decius's talk page. Thanks for your understanding, and sorry I haven't been more present on the site to establish this infrastructure—it's been a busy couple months leading up to Gen Con. —Paizo Publishing, LLC.png Yoda8myhead (talk) 04:32, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Please look at Nihimon Test to get an idea of what I'm trying to do with "Data Templates". I agree about using named parameters for the templates, but you don't need to involve Stephen to get that; I can generate the data in any format we want. The only functionality that's missing to make these Data Templates extremely useful is a way to use a "filter" parameter to control which rows actually get passed to the Templated named by the "template" parameter. Please have a discussion with Decius and me before making significant changes to the way we receive the data; I've spent a lot of time and effort working on code to read the data from the Google Spreadsheets so that I can normalize it and reformat it in any way we need. Nihimon (talk) 16:21, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Re: Data Templates and Filters

Cool! I'm glad you guys got it working. It's entirely possible to protect the articles containing the raw data so that only members of a select user group (likely administrators, but we can look into setting up another set of permissions) can edit them.

Before we do that, however, I think there needs to be documentation on each of the templates so that others can see how they work. One of the death-knells of many wikis is when someone sets up a complex series of interlinking templates (and in this case, raw data that I'm not sure just anyone would know how to update without access to your database) and doesn't document how every element of it works. Were you to cease contributing to the wiki, for whatever reason (I prefer not to use the "get hit by a bus" example so often thrown around), other users would need to be able to carry on in your place. See {{Documentation}} for more information on template documentation.

There should also be an article in the Help namespace that walks a user through adding new pages and using the associated templates. And, for that matter, how to edit the final output formatting of the templates.

Can you also move all your tests and test sub-pages into your personal talk namespace as subpages to clean up the Main namespace?

Let me know if there are any questions about these administrative tasks that should accompany the (very laudable) work you and Decius have been doing. —Paizo Publishing, LLC.png Yoda8myhead (talk) 19:52, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks :) I was really excited to get that done. I definitely understand the value of documentation, and intend to document the templates (I'll probably bug you with questions on how to do that), but I really need to wait until I'm not changing it every day. So far, it's really just a proof of concept. Once I am producing the files programmatically, I'll fully document them.
Also, I will eventually want to delete a bunch of files, including my test files. Would you prefer I just move them all into my personal talk namespace instead? Nihimon (talk) 03:21, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank you!

Thank you for the Armour Feat table, Nihimon! Much appreciated. How would you like to proceed with these sorts of requests in the future? For example, I will need another table for the Racial Skills Modifiers, as well as a few others. Should I just write here, send an email, or do you have another method more preferred? I know you are very busy, and I appreciate your attention very much. Dazyk (talk) 15:49, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Status update

What's the current status of your work on the project? Last I heard you were setting up an alternative option on your own servers, and thereafter work on this wiki seemed to stop altogether. Is editing this wiki something I should start taking care of, or do you plan to return to it? As far as I can tell, the saving errors and slow load time experienced last week is no longer an issue. —Paizo Publishing, LLC.png Yoda8myhead (talk) 20:09, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

I believe the long save times were due to whatever process runs in the background to update the cached pages when a template changes. I know that saving pushes that file to the top of that queue. I believe this was a result of my attempt to have large template files that had specific Feats (for example) filtered out of them. I am personally still very interested in supporting pfo.pathfinderwiki.com. I very much do not want to work against you, or without your support. Nihimon (talk) 21:27, 14 October 2014 (UTC)