Village Pump (proposals)

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Revision as of 04:56, 16 April 2014 by fred gandt (talk | contribs) (→‎Interlinking via "See Also": FACEPALM!! Explaining my recent activity (if anyone cares))
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Discuss new proposals regarding the Wiki that are not policy related.

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Topics that do not fit into any other category.

Request for 'Search' button

I request that a separate search button be (re)implemented, OR change the default searchbox behavior -automatically loading what it thinks is the closest match- to instead do a proper search. This makes it extremely difficult to search for related topics, especially considering the improving, but still fragmented nature of this wiki. Examples:

  • Search for 'CfgVehicles', you'll never find CfgVehicles_Config_Reference (a far more useful document) - If you change the search to all lower case, you can find that page.
  • Search for 'find', you'll get the find command, and never see: findCover, findDisplay, findEditorObject, findEmptyPosition, findEmptyPositionReady, findNearestEnemy - oddly enough if i search capital 'Find', ill instead get 'find' unlike the previous example.

I do miss the search box on the left with the 'Go' and 'Search' buttons. I saw no reason for its removal.

thanks for your time --Strangepete (talk) 22:53, 20 February 2014 (CET)

When I search exactly "CfgVehicles" I see as the first suggestion CfgVehicles then CfgVehicles Config Reference as the second, then "containing... CfgVehicles" as the common last option which in this case links to this search page.
Equally a search for "find" offers a list of possible pages including findCover and findDisplay etc. and the common "containing... find" search link.
Is this behaviour recent (since you asked for it)? Is this issue resolved?  -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 15:04, 11 April 2014 (CEST)
By unchecking "Enable simplified search bar (Vector skin only)" in Preferences > Search you'll get those 2 buttons "Go" and "Search" back again.
The default mediawiki search is quite limited. When searching for find only exact wikitext matches are returned. By searching for find* at least words with prefix find are matched, too - but searching for *find or *find* isn't supported.
But when searching for name no results are returned at all - probably the search index could need a complete rebuild or something else is broken.--Master85 (talk) 14:07, 12 April 2014 (CEST)
thanks Master, ill try that. Fred, in response, i do still see the same action today as when i originally posted, except i noticed a couple things: one of my computers will not show the search-suggestions dropdown while typing (didnt even know it existed on the wiki), so all you can do is type a word a press enter - in the case of "CfgVehicles" or "find", pressing enter will send you directly to thoses respective pages, not a search page
Making it more confusing, the odd-case matching: "find" and "Find" go directly to the find page. "CfgVehicles" will goto its page, where "cfgvehicles" will goto a search page...--Strangepete (talk) 00:03, 13 April 2014 (CEST)
Ah. Skins. Urgh >.O
The default works as well as the MediaWiki version can, and usually has all the good stuff, but for slower connections and edge cases like if you're using a screen reader or are colour-blind etc. the alternative skins can be useful. It's a tradeoff though - as you are seeing (by the sounds of things).
If you set your prefs to the default skin and still have problems, try deleting any relevant cookies and local storage etc.
And of course - always use Google Chrome :-) -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 00:17, 13 April 2014 (CEST)

Mirror of the VBS2 wiki

I maintain a number of VBS2 machines that are, by policy, forbidden to ever touch the internet. I would like to keep a local copy of the wiki for reference. Is it possible to obtain an offline snapshot of the bistudio wiki?

Wikipedia provides this at

Try to track down the wiki export script of CrashDome. --.kju 23:41, 12 May 2009 (CEST)

What is a CrashDome? Is this wiki export script something 'out on the web' or buried someplace in the BI wiki/forum/blog pages? What I'm looking for is an SQL dump of the pages so I can build a functional, searchable mirror of the wiki off-line.

First google hit for 'crashdome wiki export': :) --.kju 23:12, 14 May 2009 (CEST)

I am not allowed to install any programs on my internet-connected computer. I can work with the bureaucracy to have the script installed, but I imagine that anything named "Crashdome" will be frowned upon. I am looking for something I can fetch, burn to DVD, and carry to the off-the-net computers. If there is an SQL dump like from wikimedia/wikipedia, I can work with that. If there is a .zip file with the results of the crashdome script, I can work with that. (I could go home and install crashdome, but exchange of data from home computers to work computers is also frowned upon by the bureaucracy.) To make things more fun, the "VBS2" computers are not even in the same room as an internet connected computer.

I propose that a downloadable snapshot of this wiki be available from this wiki...

Wiki administrators can create an XML dump of this wiki and compress it and post it for download. The process could be automated with a cron job to run the script as root: php maintenance/dumpBackup.php --current | gzip > wikibackup.gz --Grenadier f 17:42, 8 July 2010 (CEST)
This would be nice if it could be automated. I noticed in the link you mentioned, their last update was over a year ago... so WikiMedia's system isn't exactly up to date. You can download your own copy of this wiki, as an html file, using HTTrack ( The search function of the wiki won't work, but the links will. --General Barron 20:41, 18 August 2009 (CEST)
If your problem is you can't copy files from a physical drive, yet you are allowed to download files from the internet, then I would suggest: (1) download the files at home (using one of the above programs). (2) add them to a zip archive. (3) upload that archive to a free file hosting service like,,, and so on (google "free file hosting"). (4) download the file on your internet-connected work computer, (5) internally transfer that file to your non-internet VBS2 computer. --General Barron 20:51, 18 August 2009 (CEST)

If I fetch using httrack or wget, I end up with a very nice but unsearchable version of the wiki. I have added ht://dig so I can search my internal site, but the search box on the left-side of the browser is too tempting for most people to resist. I am still looking for a snapshot in time of the mediawiki. They provide instructions: If you need automatic, you can have cron run the example php script once a (hour|day|week|month|year) - whatever is appropriate.

A downloadable version of the Wiki (which works in the browser, just like the online version, except for the search function), and which contains about 4,000 pages, is available from my site. --Kronzky 18:21, 8 July 2010 (CEST)

Merging category description pages into category pages itself?

Example we have the Arma 2: Update Guide which is part of Category - Arma 2: Patches & Updates and Category - Arma 2OA: Patches & Updates.

I suggest to merge the A2 part to the respective A2 category page and OA part to its category page.

In more general sense rather to split into an info and a link page (category). Both parts should be rather found in one place.
It would make categories more obvious to the standard user too and therefore promote their usefulness.

--Kju 08:10, 22 September 2010 (CEST)

Bump. Anyone still around? No opinions is agreement and no objections?--Kju 11:42, 19 November 2010 (CET)
I'm having trouble understanding your suggestion. What do you mean by "merge the A2 part to the respective A2 category page and OA part to its category page?" Can you use a sandbox to illustrate your proposal? RKurtzDmitriyev 23:54, 14 February 2011 (CET)

Interlinking via "See Also"

Interlinking pages in such a way that no page is orphaned and all relevant pages are only a click away is vital for ease of navigation and study, but "See Also" is a pain in the ass to manage.

I propose an alternative method be employed.

We have the power of Templates with MediaWiki parser functions, and Categories to do all the heavy lifting for us.

Although I've not got a working example to show at this time, I propose that something as simple as e.g. {{See also}} added in each page's "See Also" section, could transclude an appropriate list of related page links collated via a bot maintained category - or similar.

Before thinking about it more than enough, I'd like to know if anyone thinks this is a good, bad or whatever idea.  -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 15:21, 11 April 2014 (CEST)

I definitely think the biki could use this new organization feature. It would cut down significantly on the amount of editing needed, and help a lot of people find the commands they are looking for faster.  -- Waffle SS. 20:31, 11 April 2014 (GMT)
Thanks Waffle. I hope others agree. We'll see. -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 23:19, 11 April 2014 (CEST)

I thought about it a bit more, and what I have in mind would result in a simple navigation control we could dump on any page and have it transform into a transcluded navbar populated with all relevant wikilinks. There could easily be space for extra (including external) links to be added manually if we felt the need.

It would give the reader a formatted and standardised, easy to gauge comprehension of where they are and where next to go - even possibly as far as prioritising the links.

Could be cool. -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 12:18, 12 April 2014 (CEST)

I've pondered this idea for a while, as some commands are overflowing with see also references, and its easy to miss what you need. first thought was along the lines of a collapsed see-also box - the basics always shown (no more than 1 line, or x# of links), and 'second-tier' or 'lightly-related' links hidden. sub-hidden-tiers could be even structured by just how far from related they are to the command; parent->brother->son->cousin->friend-of-a-friend->reallyreaching
Second revolves around my desire to properly expand and populate the "Commands by Functionality" categories - every command has a purpose, and thus should have a minimum of 1 category. See Also could stay simple, 1 line, below and visually-separate a line with the related Functional Categories. where they are now is easy to miss. we also would need to take a close look at all the commands to determine which new categories need to be added, without going crazy.
I'm not really familiar with templating or anything wiki - for a generated list, would the wiki need a separate list of the relationships, or would the see-also links still be referenced in their original, calling document? (i'm having difficulty phrasing that correctly...).
All said, anything will be an improvement, so if you get any examples working, im looking forward! --Strangepete (talk) 00:31, 13 April 2014 (CEST)
Basically - yep!
Consider this epic list:
And I may very well have missed a few (I've been trying to collate things for a few days and am simply saving lists in local txt docs for now).
So lets assume someone is looking at how to do something very specific with a camera, and couldn't care less about all the other stuff:
  • We have no idea what they consider a priority.
All of those are directly or not too indirectly useful to know about if doing something with cameras.
  • A standard "See Also" would definitely not be suitable.
  • Where prioritization is impossible or expensive to calculate and prone to false positives or flat out failure, we have to assume nothing.
  • "Collapsed" is "hidden".
  • As a rule, people using the internet are extremely impatient, and the best info is the info at eye level.
  • We do have sortable tables though O.o
I have set up a test page, and will start working on a practical demo, but the ultimate solution might need more support than standard Wiki tools (categories, templates and parser functions (which are possibly not available without admin intervention anyway)). I have an idea that might work in PHP, and could thus be just kinda plugged in.
I'm not giving up on the idea of simply transcluding categories, but it could get messy if the attempt is not really up to the job.
  • Almost right, is still wrong.
I am for now though, bleary eyed and achy backed, and need to hit the hay pretty soon. I'll work on the idea for my own jollies, and if the BIKI community are happy to give it a go, we can take it from there, but this might take a while (life goes on and all that). -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 01:08, 13 April 2014 (CEST)

My demo is moving painfully in the general direction needed, but a giant facepalm moment just occurred, and I have to go back many stages and try again and again.

The basic plan for the demo, and the possible eventual system, will require the creation of a few templates and a couple of small changes to {{Command}} (and possibly {{Function}} if wanted), which would result in our having one page containing ALL the data about which pages relate to which others, and each page would include the appropriate list of "see also"s extracted from it.

I'm attempting to make it more useful for the user, by including the description from each page alongside the "see also" entry, so that on each page would be seen - a list of related pages with each reference also showing the description from its source.

However, the actual job of making the change(s) from the current system to the new (if the community likes the idea) will NOT require that we change source code of each and every page.

Howeverer, the demo is like templateception and my brain hurts >.O

I'll carry on working toward the solution, and announce completion if/when I get there, but will obviously stop if asked to by BI. I have no intention of forcing the issue. I'm just trying to help.

If/when this works, we will only need to change the details of ONE page to affect changes to the "see also" sections of every page on the BIKI - making the task a doddle from then onwards.

The end result of the demo can be seen at Fred Gandt/sandbox, and although as I work on it, it will go through many disfigurations, you can track the course of my experimentation and testing there (if interested).

Finally (for this update), I'd like to express my sincere apologies for the use of resources and edit spam. Unfortunately, to test the results of templates, we almost always need to save the page (rather than simply preview it), and this is resulting in many, many edits that don't directly benefit the BIKI. As stated though, my intentions are good, and in the end this work should prove useful. -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 05:56, 16 April 2014 (CEST)