Dwarf Fortress Wiki talk:Article Consolidation

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From DFW:Centralized Discussion[edit]

Will any articles be pruned away or merged? In the jump from 40D to v31 a lot of articles that used to be served well by tables seem to have become their own articles, which really clutters the place up and scatters information all over unfindably. Stones, ores, and gems are the most obvious, they really only need three tables instead of hundreds of articles. --Corona688 19:53, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Gems are definitely going to have to be consolidated into their own article. Ores and other valuable stones have too much relevant information to stuff in a table, although the worthless stuff like microcline or slate should definitely be relegated to Table Land (presumably we'd have a Stones page, with extra pages for stuff like obsidian or hematite). I think following the example of articles from 40d is a good idea. --
What is there to know about Hematite except what it makes and where it's found? What makes it so useful is the metal, which is better described in the Iron page. Seems perfect for a table to me, alongside the myriad other ores that get mined and smelted exactly the same way. Obsidian on the other hand has a fairly unique property that wouldn't be well-described in the valuable stones table alone. -- 06:28, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree that ores/stones/gems should be in combined articles. I think I could work on something like this today. Mason (T-C) 16:26, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Minerals having their own pages is fine with me. There's a bit of information that can be included on the odd page as well as values, pictures and a wikipedia link. Time is better spent elsewhere. One area that could use some looking into is which material is best for each weapon on the weapons article. It currently doesn't have any information on this at all. Richards 16:40, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
What are minerals? *SCNR* --Birthright 19:43, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
The "best material" thing is likely to be in flux for some time until Toady gets the damage calculations and so on working. Eventually I'd expect to see something like this in the weapon articles though, naturally. Oddtwang of Dork 12:31, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Generally I don't think "stubs" are a bad thing. Fish cleaner, fishery and fish cleaning may be put in one article+2 redirects, but there are other topics where there is not much to say, and that's just fine, too. With barely 1000 articles it is also rather silly to talk of clutter. How does Wikipedia manage then? Making additional guides and summarizations is of course useful (and linking to them).

Stubs that stay stubs are a bad thing. They bury searches in useless results. Wikipedia does not have the problem of filling in hundreds of EMPTY articles following a premade structure that may no longer be relevant or even sensible. And if they're staying stubs, really, they don't deserve a page. -- 01:09, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Er, that was me. --Corona688 01:11, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

I am not sure why microcline should have it's own article..actually, it should. What I - and a lot of players? - like to do is dig down, find a new stone, look it up. Not just if it's valuable, but also in what layers it appears and if its worth to dig through it into the base layer that may contain interesting or specific stuff. So even when i see that microcline really is everywhere i may decide to not dig on there when I'm looking for, say, platinum. In any case I didn't like the way the table for "generic" stone was organized in the 40d space. As for gems I think we should have both. An article for every gem so i can just check it's value when I find it (before I mine it) without needing the browser search function to find it in a pages-long table, but a table too so we have a central place where one can compare gems with each other. --Birthright 19:43, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

A table would accomplish all that a lot better than an eternally empty stub or a fancy illustration of microcline would. Why couldn't it have a column for value? --Corona688 01:11, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I'd also add that when you did a search for, say, Diamond, it would bring you to /whatever/page#Diamond but for some reason not forward you to Diamond in the page. That could probably be fixed, so the search would work for you too. -- 03:30, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
That'll be because there's no heading "Diamond" on the Gem page, so the #Diamond part of the URL is effectively discarded. It'd be great if it could jump you to the right part of the table (i.e. where you end up when you hit Ctrl-F and type it in again) but I suspect that's a non-trivial job. Oddtwang of Dork 12:31, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Are we clear on the definition of the word 'stub' here? If all there is to say about, say, granite is captured by the table (it's a low-value layer stone, these are its melting & boiling points, whatever) then does the fact that there isn't much text to go with it actually matter? The pictures from Commons and real-world info are nice (and don't fit into a table, though links to WP do of course) but they don't add game value to the article.
I think I just convinced myself I ike having both pages and tables. Oddtwang of Dork 12:31, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

By all means, create your giant tables and combined articles. Nobody will be against more useful content. However, please don't destroy the already existing stone and gem pages. If you really want them gone, we can discuss it after you've made a suitable replacement. VengefulDonut 04:42, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Well of course we'd want to replace them with a more useful resource before we remove them, and I also see the potential value in having specific pages, and also table pages. So I might start working on that DF2010:Ore / DF2010:Gems / DF2010:Stone Mason (T-C) 13:33, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Lumping everything into a table just means more work for a new player to find the information they are looking for. Sure, it seems obvious to anyone that's played for more than a day that microcline is pretty but worthless, but new players shouldn't be forced to scroll through potentially confusing tables to find what they want. But big tables DO have value players both new and old, so having BOTH mega-tables and individual pages is the best solution, in my opinion. The individual pages should however have very clear links to the main stone/gem/ore/etc. pages, plus any information that may be unique to that object. Don't make it hard on newcomers just to "tidy things up" or whatever. A wiki is about getting the relevant information to the user, and if the user wants to know about microcline, it should be as simple as typing it into the box. (on an unrelated note, I apparently don't understand talk pages? why isn't mine signed like everyone elses?)

I don't see how having the individual pages forwarding to these, quiet small really, tables would make it harder to find information. If anything it would be easier to find similar types of that item or other things in the same layer. The signature is done if you type ~ ~ ~ ~ without the spaces and is generally prefixed with a -- like so --Shades 14:58, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
You really think this 40d:Stone is a good way of presenting information, especially to new players? Particularly if they just struck, um, orthoclase? Well obviously you do, and other editors too. Well, I don't. 40d:The Non-Dwarf's Guide to Rock is better, but still far from clearly laid out, complete and easily digested. This is not the editors fault, it's just too much info for a table (so either info is missing or it's bloated). (I do think, though, that both articles are a valuable addition to the wiki) If I enter orthoclase, I want info on orthoclase. I don't want to read 4 pages and then find orthoclase on the 5th, if I'm patient and lucky, and then learn less than from an "empty" "stub" like 40d:Kimberlite. Lets make this wiki usable for all players? --Old Ancient 15:23, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
2 more things:
1) stubs: A WP stub is an article that does not contain enough info or might not even merit an article at all. This does not apply here. The possible lemmata are very limited and this will always be a really small wiki. A lemma is relevant if it is a game term. If there is not much to say about it, then the player has already gained enough from knowing that. Short articles are good if they are complete.
2) "clutter": Only auditors[1] even perceive that. Not users. We have all the (name-)space in the world. I can imagine topics where info can be too fragmented if an overview article is missing, but have a look at how it's not trivial to even make clear what the 40d:Restraint article is actually about; chains, ropes and restraints (AKA "Huh, why have i been redirected here??"). --Old Ancient 15:45, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Right now, when the wiki's just an empty skeleton, users can perceive the clutter quite clearly. And the bigger the skeleton, the more work there is to do. Pages can always be split out later if need be, but consolidation needs to happen now if ever. --Corona688 06:49, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Just chiming in to say all this talk of clutter is utter nonsense. Old Ancient and Birthright have it spot on. There's no point in consolidation if it hurts the target audience's ability to find information quickly and easily. Since the primary target are new players, forcing them to sift through a table for a specific stone they just struck is going to make the wiki far less useful to them. Also, (as OA observed) people seem to be perceiving a problem where there isn't one. Just because there isn't much to say about something, doesn't mean that it isn't saying everything it need to, to deserve it's own article. And one last point for Corona: If the wiki's an empty skeleton now, then it will be always be one. It's unlikely that, even if all the core and bloat items are finished, there will be a HUGE amount of content as compared to now. There will be lots more, definitely, but enough to justify a skeleton comparison between then and now? Not at all. Users only see clutter if they're interested in the overall framework of the wiki... New users simply aren't. If you're concerned about mass-management of articles, might I suggest you work with an Admin on getting a bot or two set-up to do some of the repetitive work done across multiple articles? -Edward 13:50, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

How about summary and individual pages?[edit]

So it seems like we have a lot of points about the value of individual pages, as well as the value of "combined" pages. How about then we take each article that would apply to: DF2010:Ore / DF2010:Gems / DF2010:Stone and put a single line at the top saying something to the effect of:

To view details on all <ore/gem/stones> see here.

I think this gives value to users who want to look up a specific item, and also to users who want to see similar items. Thoughts? Mason (T-C) 16:26, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

That seems to be the way many people, myself included, are leaning. --Oddtwang of Dork 17:28, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Though should 'Gems' not be singular for consistency? --Oddtwang of Dork 17:29, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
I think this would be the way to go. --Briess 20:40, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Details details ;). Yes, it should. Let's wait for some more comments on this. Mason (T-C) 01:15, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sold on the value of individual pages. Particularly when most of them aren't and won't ever be filled with anything but raws info, except the ones people have helpfully added spiffy pictures to. Most of the arguments against tables here are arguments against ugly table arrangements, not tables in general. If we put them in a table -- a good table with relevant information as one mineral per row, properly fast-forwarded to by the search -- it will be every bit as relevant and informative as the individual article without the search spam. Having both essentially doubles the work and threatens to make the articles go out of sync with each other. --Corona688 06:43, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, there has been some suggestions on having those pages. Having small articles isn't a big deal and shouldn't be taken as harmful to the wiki as a whole as long as users can still get information easily. In that sense I agree the value may be low, and perhaps not widespread, but the cost is effectively zero as long as we have a link to the "general" page... so why not? Mason (T-C) 13:20, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Hard to get them out of sync if the data's pulled from the raws, I'd say. As far as I can see from the stone lookup template the raws in question are being stored somewhere centrally anyhow, so they should always be equal. -- Oddtwang of Dork 09:35, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
If the raws are being stored centrally, there's even less reason to have the separate pages -- they perform no function but repeating data stored elsewhere. --Corona688 14:01, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
I think, having both (table AND individual pages) would be the best solution. Reasons are the same already listed above. New players type hematite in the search and want to find infos about hematite! Looking a gigantic table with tons of info is to much for a little starting dwarf. By the way i think that all infromation about the stones can't be listed in a single table --Used 10:05, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. It isn't feasible to pack all of the information about every stone into one table. There isn't any danger of the pages being destroyed as long as nobody tries it while there's no good replacement for them. This is because you will never get to the point where even the creator of such a table thinks it's a good replacement. But please, carry on discussing what would be good or bad to do if you were ever handed one. VengefulDonut 13:49, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
It's completely viable to pack the vast majority of stones into a table. The only relevant info for the vast majority of stones is "grey, sedimentary, sheets, melts at 13000", why have pages and pages and pages and pages and pages of this? Only the vanishingly few with any characteristics whatsoever deserve their own pages. And, for the n+1st time, finding the hematite entry in an ore table is finding perfectly good information about hematite. It's an ore that's smelted to make iron -- just like all the other ores, identical but for color, weight, layer, and melting points, are smelted to make other metals in completely identical ways. As long as the search fast-forwards properly to the anchors, all they're missing is a fancy picture of hematite. --Corona688 13:58, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Really, that's the one point I don't see being acknowledged by anyone else here. Ores, stones, and gems are all nearly identical, differing in a very limited number of ways. Individual pages thus add no content and make a lot more work. --Corona688 14:11, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
If you think you can do it, my words aren't going to stop you. None of this talk is going to mean anything until (UNLESS) such an all-encompassing table has been made. Your rational choices are reduced to the following: put up or shut up. VengefulDonut 16:16, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
This could be taken more harsh then you probably intended. Just saying. Mason (T-C) 13:26, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
It's meant entirely as harsh as it sounds, I'm quite sure of that. --Corona688 16:47, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
You wanted me to do it? Wow. I got the impression you wanted the precise opposite. Okay. --Corona688 03:52, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I've gotten halfway through making a raws-to-table generator script then got flattened by work and work stress and lack of sleep. --Corona688 16:47, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand the argument "it's more work" when there are people who WANT to make the pages. This isn't a company, we aren't on any sort of deadline, and people contribute what they want to contribute. And if they want to contribute pages for each stone, let them. I myself was quite frustrated with the stone and gem tables when I was first starting DF.-- Turkwise 02:09, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Would you have been as frustrated if they were a) sensible, b) searchable? --Corona688 03:52, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
They probably wouldn't, but I agree that talking about not having pages because they could be replaced by a table which doesn't quite exist, isn't really that valuable. I agree that if you think this table could be done well then give it a shot and let's see how it turns out. It looks like a few others have tried to make such a table but I really don't think it's a suitable replacement as-is, agreed? Mason (T-C) 13:26, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
I,too, can only repeat: The tables (the 3 or 4 on stone and gem I can think of right now) are good, valuable, but not good enough to replace the separate articles for a beginner. So those who want the tables: just go ahead and present some concepts. After all, no one wants to delete tables, so the wiki can only get better? --Birthright 00:43, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Current state[edit]

It looks like the current state is that we think a table article for gems/stones is a good idea and should exist. That if we're going to replace the individual articles with a single one it has to meet some standards the current ones don't meet. Corona688 (anyone else?) is taking a stab at making a suitable replacement. In the meantime we'll continue as-is until we have a viable potential replacement to consider. Everyone on board with this? Mason (T-C) 17:21, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

I am on board with tabling the discussion until a proposed replacement exists. This is not implicit agreement to delete individual articles if a "replacement" is made. Also, I think Corona has given up on making his table (correct me if I'm wrong here). VengefulDonut 04:41, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Separate tables for Gems/Stone/Ore is not such a great idea, because it assumes the user already knows the category. This was often not the case when I went looking for a "You struck <whatever>". I recommend a table that lists everything, with links to the separate articles/sub-tables. Here is an example for consideration - AngleWyrm 03:27, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Name Type Value Location Notes
Alexanderite Semi-precious gem 20
Granite small clusters
Schist small clusters
Marble veins
Almondine Semi-precious gem 20
Metaphoric layers small clusters
Diorite small clusters
Gabbro small clusters
Galena Ore 15
Metamorphic layers veins
Igneous Extrusive layers veins
Granite veins
Limestone veins
Ore of silver(50%), Ore of lead, make billon bars (use ore), make electrum bars (use ore)

If you can make that table use search headers (such that you'll be taken to the specific line when you do a search on the wikibox,) then that would be a good consolidation format. if you can't make it do that, then it's pointless, and just makes a larger mess for a new user to look at, be intimidated by, and decide to walk away from the wiki, if not the game. -Edward 13:58, 7 August 2010 (UTC)