PDA

View Full Version : The Twinsuniverse: build-up


J McKalling
2013-01-01, 14:48
Hi there!

For the ones who don't know it yet, we have great plans for the Twinsunica.
It's called the Twinsuniverse (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Main_Page)! (lets call it KBT for short)

My intension is to obsolete the Twinsunica and completely incorporate it into this new medium, while improving and adding to all it's content. There is a news thread (http://forum.magicball.net/showthread.php?t=16587) about this as well.

I would really like for everyone to post their opinions about this, and how the Twinsuniverse looks and what it offers, before I open it's gates for new editors etc. Then I can incorporate all of the ideas into the big plan (I've got everything sorted out in my mind), and then I'll re-enable the login system so all of you can work on it like you used to do on the Twinsunica.

What do you think?

Points of interest:

Infoboxes (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Category:Infoboxes); the different row features (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Template:Infobox/row), themes (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Template:Infobox/themes)
The set of categorizers (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Category:Categorizers) for the Character (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Template:Infobox_Character), Enemy (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Template:Infobox_Enemy) and Item (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Template:Infobox_Item) infoboxes, for automatic categorization
The complete category structure (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Category:Categories) of all pages, organized and sorted into loads of different ways
The bullet arrows to collapse/expand categories with subcategory content
The main navigation (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Template:Mainnavigation) on the homepage with it's "featured content"
The use of this new concept of "maintenance tasks (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Category:Twinsuniverse_-_Maintenance)" which are fully automated reports of issues specified by the infoboxes
The message boxes (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Category:Mboxes) used throughout the site
The new and improved news messages (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Twinsuniverse:News_messages) page
The User infobox (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Template:Infobox_User), and what should be in it
...and a lot more


Have fun exploring the KBT!

J McKalling
2013-01-01, 14:58
The plan is to follow a short period of read-only mode for now, so you can all read everything but can't login or change anything yet.

I will be adding additional mechanics, imported pages, categories, files and templates, until I have absolutely all Twinsunica content covered. I could also use some of your feedback to improve the project before we all start to make our individual changes and possibly divert from what should be the backbone of the project. I will also answer any question you might have regarding the KBT.

After that, or maybe sooner, I will enable the account creation, and thus your ability to edit. I think we should keep the editing of the project private to logged in users though. Then you'll be able to help with the content. For instance merging it with the content of Salvatoor's Wikia (http://lba.wikia.com/).

I can't do everything myself, and I hope you're all interested in the project enough so I won't have to :)

Salvatoor
2013-01-01, 16:02
I still don't understand the work one :stupid:... What kind of services?

By projects I meant the projects of the MBN community like the prequel and such. I should have said the LBA modifications or something like that

J McKalling
2013-01-01, 16:16
I don't know how to place those projects within the Twinsuniverse. They're definitely part of the LBA "universe", but already have a dedicated forum and thus a place to be and don't necessarily consist of article pages that can be moved to the Twinsuniverse... You tell me? If you think these projects should be relocated under the KBT, then we'll define new subprojects to the Twinsuniverse and put them there, or in the main project space if appropriate. Of cource any subproject or main subject will get it's own infobox, theme and category root.

But remember, anything we put in the Twinsuniverse, is meant to be a permanent relocation. I don't want it to contain any information that is (also) maintained elsewhere. Or as long as the KBT contains all up-to-date information. So if it's going to move to the KBT, it should also be removed from it's current location. (with this I also imply the elimination of the Twinsunica and LBA Wikia servers!)

The work theme for the infoboxes will be used for the Services (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Category:Services) subject, but I haven't designed the infobox itself yet. It will be a completely new one, that has not been done before on any website I saw so far, and will absolutely widen the scope of this project for sure :D

I'm not completely sure what it will contain, but it's just an idea. So far I was never able to find information about these things you could let NPC characters do for you, like Carlo at the baggage claim, who will deliver your proto-pack to above if you pay him 102 kashes. It never involves transporting Twinsen himself, as opposed to the Transport (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Category:Transports) subject. Or other things like Twinsen's neighbour restoring the document of the sewers, Bersimon's clearing the storm, Baldino's upgrading of the proto-pack, Zo├ęs fixing of the car, basically anything a character can do FOR Twinsen, but not WITH him. The latter would probably be some kind of transport.

Salvatoor
2013-01-01, 19:38
About the LBA modification projects, I think it would be good to have articles about them. This may increase the general interest for those projects and maybe more people would try to help and participate. But I don't know, that's only my opinion, maybe it's something that should be discussed with the people that are currently working on those projects.

I think I got that service theme now... but would the help of Carlo have it's own article for example?

J McKalling
2013-01-01, 20:27
A single article for descriptive and/or promotional purposes could do fine on it's own. But whether the project leaders see merging the project as a whole fit at all, could be discussed. I'm also one of those leaders, if you consider the forum's Knowledge Base (http://forum.magicball.net/forumdisplay.php?f=62) a project as well, but I can't decide on this myself.

I imagined the KBT to be an ultimate solution for merging everything together, so these different projects would definitely apply for a merge in my opinion. I can help organizing it, but the decision to do so is not/never mine unless it's a project of my own. Doing so is naturally a lot of work and involves relocating and converting sources (files, text, images), and I can't tell anyone what to do with what's not mine. I merely offer the KBT as a new medium for everything LBA related. :)

So in short, I can't answer any ideas or questions about (merging with) different projects. These should be made to the relevant project leader. I've already acquired permission for merging with the Twinsunica and LBA Wikia, and have discussed it for Zink's File info.

...
I think I got that service theme now... but would the help of Carlo have it's own article for example?

Seems a bit overkill huh? :p I don't know the answer to that yet. It's a new initiative after all, and that particular example does seem insufficient for a new article. Maybe we should start a discussion about the exact definition of a "service" with a (partial) listing of potential articlenames as a subproject (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Category:Twinsuniverse_-_Subprojects) (later). We don't need to have service articles yet.

Location articles for instance might be more important right now, because they are referenced everywhere. I haven't imported any location article at all yet, but this is something I'm focussing on myself. It is a lot more difficult to categorize them, seeing they also need to be able to "contain" articles of other subjects, like "inhabitants" or "characters at location" etc. I think we need the Semantic MediaWiki extension (http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Semantic_MediaWiki) for that, which is too complex for me right now to implement. This is my first wiki after all :)

Salvatoor
2013-01-01, 22:53
Oh but I didn't mean to move the entire projects to the Twinsuniverse, like files and all that, I had just though of simple articles describing the different projects, and maybe with links to the projects here. Just so that people know of the projects and get interested in them...

J McKalling
2013-01-01, 23:02
Maybe you didn't mean moving the entire projects, but as soon as you brought them up, I thought of it :p

Adding just simple articles about the projects would be fine, I don't need permission for doing that. But I don't know a lot about them, so somebody else will have to write them later. And for the same reason I won't be able to design their infoboxes. For the record, I think they do fall under the "external links" subject, for which I haven't created a physical category/infobox structure yet, but I could do that if there is demand.

Salvatoor
2013-01-02, 01:02
Yeah, if all the projects have their own page maybe it could fall under links... but anyway, this is just a triviality that can be discussed later when there's more progress. Tomorrow I'm going on a trip for a month so I won't be around here to see the initial phases...:(

But well, I have high hopes for this projects, I think I'm going to find a lot of progress when I come back :)

J McKalling
2013-01-02, 09:41
Too bad you'll be away, you could have been valuable in these phases!

I'd like to get some feedback on the system, so I can finish the remaining infoboxes etc. Currently I'm sort of stumped about what to do for the Locations, Services and Transports.

I hope you'll have fun during your absence, and we'll see you when you return ;)

Zink
2013-01-04, 09:33
The site looks amazing. I like what you have done here. I haven't seen much, only like two pages, but it all looks very promising and well-designed. Can I borrow some of your solutions to improve my page (the one that it's a secret but you have seen it)? :)

J McKalling
2013-01-04, 09:50
Glad you like it! Hmm, I can't remember you showed me any secret page, but I have no problem with sharing any of my techniques. It's an open source project after all :)

Would you be talking about File info, the base that we discussed about merging?

Btw, I might have forgotten because it was supposed to remain a secret, if this was the case.

Zink
2013-01-04, 18:41
Would you be talking about File info, the base that we discussed about merging?

Btw, I might have forgotten because it was supposed to remain a secret, if this was the case.

Yes, I mean the secret new File info page that is meant to be a secret for now.

It's a secret, don't tell anyone!

:D

J McKalling
2013-01-04, 19:01
You're not talking about this one (http://lba.fishos.cc/fileinfo/), are you?
Because you posted that link in a public forum.

Zink
2013-01-05, 12:32
You're not talking about this one (http://lba.fishos.cc/fileinfo/), are you?
Because you posted that link in a public forum.
Of course not. That's the public one and definitely non-secret :). I even have this link in my sig.

xesf
2013-01-05, 16:06
LOL
Zink, when do you plan to release it?!

Zink
2013-01-06, 09:09
I don't have any exact date in my mind, but It won't be very long. Fishos does not visit MBN any more, so he was not answering my PM for a long time, and I wanted to know his opinion (since the current site is his initiative). Now I already talked with him, and the only obstacle now is that the page structure is not yet finalized. I need to transfer more information to see how it works and make adjustments. Also recently I saw the Twinsuniverse site and was amazed how the whole service can be made better by using proper solutions. So now I am also going to implement some of them before making it public.

J McKalling
2013-01-06, 12:57
...
Also recently I saw the Twinsuniverse site and was amazed how the whole service can be made better by using proper solutions. So now I am also going to implement some of them before making it public.

Are you talking about automatic categorization? :)
Well it's quite obvious actually. I discovered you could also transclude categorizing links, which categorized the page they were rendered on rather than the template they are in. So I simply designed a system that was completely based on that principle, by writing the Categorizer template. It categorizes the calling page under a specified category, and displays a link to the category as well. Useful as headings in an infobox. Furthermore, I designed a Categorylink template for it, which renders the visible link in a similar way Wikipedia renders meta-links within an article (I call them "superlink"s, because they're in superscript). :p

This system now automatically categorizes articles that use an infobox, and that specify some predetermined values per heading. If at some point someone should decide one of those categories should be renamed (categories still cannot be moved using MediaWiki), one only needs to change the category reference in the specific template that calls the Categorizer, and physically create the new category page. In the Twinsunica, this process also involved editing each and every article using the infobox, and changing all their categorizing links manually. On a side note, this kind of change (I noticed) does not take effect immediately, because it makes use of MediaWiki's automatic jobqueue. It will update every article automatically later at some point.

Zink
2013-01-07, 08:35
Are you talking about automatic categorization? :)

No, as you said, the automatic categorization is quite obvious and I already use it (though to a lower extent).

I am mostly talking about infoboxes structure and look, and the site map on the main page. These are the basic things I noticed on the first visit :).

J McKalling
2013-01-07, 09:52
Oh, alright. Then please tell me more about what specificly you liked about the structure and look of the infoboxes :D It's so long ago for me already, I forgot how excited I was when I designed it.

Specificly, the Twinsunica used a special design made by Torch for the main page, but never got to reuse the design for the rest of the site. So I happily converted those navigators on the main page into infoboxes, and used the original design for those instead to be able to reuse it everywhere.

Zink
2013-01-08, 07:24
So now I will just steal your work, mwuhahahaha :lol:

The first time I saw the site I was stunned by the idea of a navigator on the main page. Yes, I thought about it before, but I didn't have a concept how to make it to be actually useful. And their design is really nice, a lot nicer than my current infoboxes. And they are more flexible and constructed better than mine. Also your wiki gave me inspiration to improve my sidebar too.

J McKalling
2013-01-08, 09:52
Thanks! Haha.
Well it's just fine to 'steal' my work; because I'll be changing it completely within a few days}-)

More seriously, I have big plans for the infobox to actually include a theme switcher. This has been a huge quest for me the last few days, as to how to implement this. But I've finally made a plan, and to make it work, I need to move code a lot and insert a new level of template in between. So even if you'd simply copy the code now, later you might be stunned again :x

I specifically wanted editors to be able to add their own new themes to the collection, and make development of new themes a lot easier. As mentioned before, designing a new combination of colours for an infobox had been a very difficult task. At first, I wasn't able to do this because of feature restraints of mediawiki, and I even asked one of the mediawiki developers to help me, but it seemed my idea was yet unsupported. Now I've decided to take an easier approach, and hence the need for an additional template layer.

And I hope I can keep inspiring people :)

J McKalling
2013-01-08, 20:27
...
The first time I saw the site I was stunned by the idea of a navigator on the main page.
...

What I don't understand btw, is that this navigator thing wasn't even my idea. I just enhanced it a bit, but otherwise it was already there at the Twinsunica.
I only changed it to show featured articles instead of the mixed links and added navigable categories at the bottom of each column, and of cource styled it just that bit better. I didn't even change the template name :p

Zink
2013-01-09, 12:35
Thanks! Haha.
Well it's just fine to 'steal' my work; because I'll be changing it completely within a few days}-)

More seriously, I have big plans for the infobox to actually include a theme switcher. This has been a huge quest for me the last few days, as to how to implement this. But I've finally made a plan, and to make it work, I need to move code a lot and insert a new level of template in between. So even if you'd simply copy the code now, later you might be stunned again :x

Okay, I don't need user-defined themes, so I have just copied the code with some modifications, and now only I need to make (or copy) css for the themes and create links for the navigator.

What I don't understand btw, is that this navigator thing wasn't even my idea. I just enhanced it a bit, but otherwise it was already there at the Twinsunica.
I only changed it to show featured articles instead of the mixed links and added navigable categories at the bottom of each column, and of cource styled it just that bit better. I didn't even change the template name :p

Maybe it's because I haven't seen Twinsunica's navigator (or it has not fallen into my memory that much). The reason for this may be that I used Twinsunica only once or twice, and it was long time ago.
Of course I saw wiki sites with navigators, but I never saw any one that I would see fitting for the service like this.

J McKalling
2013-01-09, 12:57
Ok, clear enough. The mainnavigator template might have been designed only after you had visited the Twinsunica, as it was a new addition after all at some point, eventhough now already years old.

I've just finished the theme technique yesterday. It doesn't let users customise them for their own or something, but it allows modifying the colours for everyone altogether. Therefor I removed the entire stylesheet, except for the background images. The stylesheet is now simulated through the use of this themes (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Template:Infobox/themes) template ;)

It's not intended for users to set their own colours, what a "theme switcher" could imply, but the themes are meant to ease development of different colour setups for different instances of infoboxes. The Character infobox for instance has green colours, whereas that of the Enemies is orange. The Twinsuniverse benefits from this because it has so many different kinds of articles, and the themes makes them easier distinguishable.

J McKalling
2013-01-30, 21:43
Ok, so I got the themes thing almost done. It's now very easy to design a new colour pattern for an infobox, and any user could edit it. But the icons are still hardcoded into the stylesheet, because the software has some kind of security fix that prevents these from being inserted the way I wanted it. I will have to modify how the icons work to work around this security fix.

Otherwise, I've finished 88% of all Twinsunica's image files. There's a problem though. While the images were pretty easy to organize so far, the remainder is quite bothersome and would add another seven different file types to the seventeen I already have (http://twinsuniverse.xesf.net/Category:Files_by_type). There are just too many different types. Has anyone a suggestion? I'd like to keep the images easy to browse through, instead of one list that runs in the thousands like at the Twinsunica...
More different ways to organize them besides "adventure" and "type", would also be nice.

J McKalling
2013-02-20, 22:49
It's over 9,000 !!! :eek:

Lol, I've put in more edits in the KBT so far, than all of the original Twinsunica contributors combined... Fun fact! :p

Polaris
2013-02-20, 22:58
You really give it all you've got :)

J McKalling
2013-02-20, 23:05
Aye, only to show I'm absolutely adamant on getting it done.

I've already spent about half a year on it though, and I'm really beginning to feel my boundaries. I may have to take a break for a while soon.