X-COM Wiki


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#21 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 12:23 PM

Do we have to have the '(UFO Defense)' bit tagged onto the end of the items on the main page? I get the impression either no pages should have that, or they all should; at the moment, it's pot mix. That might cause problems later.

For example, there's already a cross referance - there's a 'Heavy Weapons Platforms (UFO Defense)' page, as well as a 'Category:Heavy Weapons Platforms' page, as well as a 'Heavy Weapons Platforms' page, too. See where I'm going with this...?

I'm currently in 'dump information' mode at the moment. I can see that what I type will need to be re-formated; I'm just throwing in raw material, as such.  :huh:
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#22 GazChap

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 01:03 PM

Bomb Bloke, on Mar 5 2005, 12:23 PM, said:

Do we have to have the '(UFO Defense)' bit tagged onto the end of the items on the main page? I get the impression either no pages should have that, or they all should; at the moment, it's pot mix. That might cause problems later.

I can see where you're coming from. However, obviously there are going to be Heavy Weapons Platforms for different games - UFO Defense and Terror from the Deep I know have them, not sure about Apocalypse.

The idea was to have game-specific pages and general pages that encompassed all games - so "Heavy Weapons Platforms (UFO Defense)" would just be HWPs from UFO, and "Heavy Weapons Platforms (TFTD)" would be from Terror.

And then "Heavy Weapons Platforms" would just be all HWPs from all games.

Category:Heavy_Weapons_Platforms should not be used, I don't like the way MediaWiki sets out category listings.

#23 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 08:42 AM

Ok, I vote we go through and convert all pages thus far to  '(UFO Defense)' format before it gets out of hand.  :huh:
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#24 NKF

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 09:01 AM

Hmm, how about the sections that are common to UFO and TFTD? Like the stats and a heap of the mathematical formulas?

We also need a team of editors, who can come along and rework a lot of the information that is dumped into the page into some form of standard, or just make it sound better.

I myself am terrible at this and tend to write ideas down at random (as can be seen with my recent entries).

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#25 Zeno

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 11:17 AM

What an excellent way to maintain information!  An online, group-input database!  Your website may be a good continuation-point for the XCOM Field Manual, which has really fallen by the wayside during the last year or so.

What kind of protections are you using?  Is there anything to prevent people from cluttering the data with inane and pointless (or even worse, wrong) entries?  Is there any protection on the type of information entered--in other words, could a morally degenerate individual enter bogus entries in the Base Facilities section, or could a confused person place HWP data in the Craft section?  Could a malicious user simply go through and delete every entry by "editing" them and updating with blanks?

There are several ways you could (or maybe already did) implement security, either controlled by you or controlled by the user community.  I'm not intimately familiar with Wiki, but you should prepare your site for the future--with more people entering data than you have time to read, duplicate entries, erroneous entries, and chaos in general.  Anything you can do now to address these issues, before the site is too widely publicized and running out of control, would be wise.

--Zeno
The highest-probability X-COM hazards are here:
Murphy's Laws of X-COM

#26 NKF

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 12:11 PM

Apparently the database appears to have a safeguard that may save it from being indiscriminately erased by malicious individuals. If I'm not mistaken it it keeps records of all the previous edits that were made to any page. So if someone comes along and messes up, they should be recoverable from the archives. Although I don't know how far back the database will be able to keep backups.

After having a few goes at it already, I feel the Wiki actually seems like a handy thing to have in general, even as a personal journal or notepad on your own PC to keep all your ideas and notes in order and to be able to add and remove pages and references here and there at will without having to muck around with actually creating new files to link to and all that. Of course, I can still imagine that the organisation would end up being a bit of a nightmare even for one person.

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#27 FullAuto

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 01:03 PM

Quote

could a morally degenerate individual enter bogus entries in the Base Facilities section

Drat!  Foiled again!

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#28 GazChap

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Posted 08 March 2005 - 05:54 PM

NKF, on Mar 8 2005, 09:01 AM, said:

Hmm, how about the sections that are common to UFO and TFTD? Like the stats and a heap of the mathematical formulas?
In that case I would suggest the pages to just be named as "Mathematics" or whatever without any suffix.

Quote

We also need a team of editors, who can come along and rework a lot of the information that is dumped into the page into some form of standard, or just make it sound better.
Most definitely. I will add as much information as I can but unfortunately I am incredibly busy with work at the moment. Of course, one of the bonuses of using a Wiki is that everyone can contribute so people can pick up where I (and others) leave off.

#29 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 06:58 AM

Is there any way we can set it up so that only account holders can enter information, and account holders must be verified before they are allowed to enter information? That would be the easiest way to prevent malicious users access. The extra time it would take to get a login might well convince them not to bother creating chaos.
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#30 Jman4117

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 10:59 PM

Or maybe post into a pool of info that has to be apporved?
"Guns aren't toys. They're for family protection, hunting dangerous or delicious animals, and keeping the King of England out of your face."
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#31 druid

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 07:39 PM

Pete, on Feb 26 2005, 08:37 PM, said:

Looking good so far, good work! :)

It's one of those things that, when there are loads more entries, I can seeing people wonder how they lived without it :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Pete dude I went an bought UFO Aftermath.....why dos nobody mention it here?
And why dos it suk so much?
I cant belive how bad it is,I dont endorse violence but im beginning to change my mind.

I have the first 3 UFO games are there any more? (I dont include aftermath)

<<<<Mr Fozzie Bear :)

#32 NKF

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 04:51 AM

Aftermath is not an X-Com title per se, so it doesn't really count even though the people who made it have made a passing nod towards the X-Com series. Also if you look at the main list of forums, there is an UFO: Aftermath forum. If anywhere, that's where you'll find any mention of it. :D

---

Re security issues: While I agree some means of securing the information needs to be in place, I think what's more important at the moment is to increase the activity a bit in order to flesh out some sections.

I mean, at this point in time, there's only three or four of us that've actually put anything in - and I'm sure we've only done so on a 'whenever we've got free time' basis.  

A members only contribution system seems like a good start. For now. The finer details can be worked out later.

- NKF
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#33 druid

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 09:42 AM

NKF, on Mar 13 2005, 04:51 AM, said:

Aftermath is not an X-Com title per se, so it doesn't really count even though the people who made it have made a passing nod towards the X-Com series. Also if you look at the main list of forums, there is an UFO: Aftermath forum. If anywhere, that's where you'll find any mention of it. :D

---

Re security issues: While I agree some means of securing the information needs to be in place, I think what's more important at the moment is to increase the activity a bit in order to flesh out some sections.

I mean, at this point in time, there's only three or four of us that've actually put anything in - and I'm sure we've only done so on a 'whenever we've got free time' basis. 

A members only contribution system seems like a good start. For now. The finer details can be worked out later.

- NKF

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thx dude,the penny dropped 10 secs after I posted the above......jeez I am dumb,sry to
waste 30 secs of your life

#34 Zeno

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 10:07 AM

I agree that entering the information is a priority, but security shouldn't be pushed aside.  Also, I'm not talking so much about security as data integrity.  Maybe I've just worked on too many projects where the database has become unuseable--not because of viruses or data thieves, but because of simple human error.

If only 3 or 4 people are entering data, then you won't have a major problem anytime soon.  But with unlimited users, eventually you will have duplicate entries, entries in the wrong place, and a spiderweb structure where finding the data you want may take hours of reading (you know, like finding something very specific in the forums...)

In addition to duplication, you'll also have mistakes.  Not everyone is as careful with their words as the people currently entering information.  People have different versions of the software, people forget that they're using XCOMUTIL, people simply type the wrong number accidently, people aren't fluent in English, people write their assumptions and guesses, people write blobs of text without focusing on organization, people write suggestions they "read somewhere but can't remember the source"...

People make mistakes.  Going through a large database and "cleaning up the data" is not so easy as it sounds.

I think relying on archives, and the history of who changed what, is not the best solution.  Sure, if someone found a way to delete everything, archives are the way to go.  But for the day-to-day maintaining of information, we need some assurance that the data is accurate and stored in the correct place, without duplication.

Having a single, or small group, of people constantly checking, editing, and updating the Wiki would require people without offline lives.  However, it seems to me that the people who use the data while playing their game are the best judges of data quality.  

Is it possible to implement a ranking system?  Have users rank an entry as "good" or "bad" (or 1-10, or whatever).  An entry with a high rank would have a higher priority for search results, and appear first when drilling through topics to find data.  Perhaps an entry with a very high rank would become "confirmed information" while all unranked or low-ranked data would remain "pending".  Very low-ranked data should be checked by the administrator(s) for possible deletion.  

I would also recommend that entries not be edited by anyone except the original writer.  Often, the editor will misunderstand the author, and "fix" something incorrectly.  The fix is actually an error, as the author intended to write something else.  

Instead of editing entries, allow anyone to post comments to the entry.  These comments should be reviewed by the author, or the site administrator(s), before editing the entry.  Once an entry is edited, the comments should be archived and the rank reset to 0, pending users to review the newly revised entry.

Some of my ideas for the ranking system can be seen in action here at "Urban Dictionary", a fun site for people trying to learn English slang.  I use it as an example only because it is the people who use the site who control the quality of the information--rather than one editor or group of editors managing the site.

------

I'm sure others here have ideas about data integrity and security.  We need to find a simple, non-invasive solution that doesn't require any one person to do everything.  No offense to anyone here, but if we rely on one person to manage the information, then it'll become another "indefinitely postponed" project when the one person becomes busy with other things in life.

This Wiki thing sounds like a great way to compile and manage all the information users have researched and discovered about the XCOM games.  I would hate for it to become non-useful simply because we didn't think about data quality soon enough.  

If we're not careful, an XCOM Wiki search will be equivalent to an XCOM Forum search--a good tool, but one that requires a lot of patience reading through extraneous, erroneous, and excessive text.  

(Kind of like this post...sorry about the length, again...)

--Zeno
The highest-probability X-COM hazards are here:
Murphy's Laws of X-COM

#35 NKF

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 12:19 PM

Oh, no argument about the security or at least some form of control.

But arguing about security before there's anything much to argue over is a bit like putting the cart before the horse. Or the horse before the cart, or whichever variation you prefer. :)

Hence why I said, a members only system would be satisfactory for the time being. We can work out a better security or content standardis/zation scheme as we go along.

Don't worry about the length of your posts. Some of us are just used to it - or some us just put up with it. :)

I'm trying to kick the habit of writing long wordy essays. A bit of a throwback to my high school days where we were caned if we did not meet the stringent word requirements for an essay that could be answered with one or two sentences but needed 350 - 500 words. Okay, so we weren't caned, but we were threatened to be caned. Some were caned, or others were humiliated (one person messes up, whole class was punished .... aieee). But never you mind that. :D

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#36 GazChap

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 09:00 PM

I can certainly change the Wiki so that you need to create an account to create new pages, but I think that is pretty much the only security system it offers, unfortunately.

Thats the problem with Wiki's in general - the idea of them is that everyone can contribute.

#37 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 01:53 AM

Contribution is one thing. But full access is quite another. For example, if every single user on this forum had admin rights, it would be chaos.

Is there any way we can have accounts verified before access is granted? That would be good enough for me. Just so we can check that the people posting understand the concept of 'grammer', and that non-provable information shouldn't be presented as fact.
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#38 GazChap

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 10:37 PM

Don't think you can do that unfortunately. I'll have a detailed look in the configuration files and see if there is anything like that.

#39 NKF

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 10:49 AM

GazChap, is there an editing reference or whatever to show us what can be done and how it can be done?

So far I've only been parroting what's already been used when it comes to minor text formatting, section headings and lists.

Apart from that, I haven't a clue on how to use any naming conventions for organising the articles into their respective sections. I'm sure some would-be contributors may feel a little apprehensive at adding articles because they don't know how to create the articles. And the editing help page is .. well, it's rather a bare bones help page, if you know what I mean.

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#40 GazChap

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 06:38 PM

Yes, unfortunately it doesn't seem to be incredibly easy to use!

There is a Wiki on the MediaWiki website which gives some useful information on organising and creating articles.

Thats what I used to learn more about how to do stuff.




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