Template talk:NPC Summary/Archive 1

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Semi Protection
This is an archive of past Template talk:NPC Summary discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page, except for maintenance such as updating links.

There should be an alternative to the "city, house/store" combination for NPCs that live at other locations such as camps or dungeons. -- JustTheBast 11:40, 10 March 2007 (EST)

What should it be called, in particular in the infobox? "Location"? I'll plug in a |loc= option for now, that will show up with the label "Location"; we can always change the label easily later. --Nephele 11:56, 10 March 2007 (EST)
"Location" seems most sensible, since it's sort of the catch-all for dungeons, camps, what-have-you. I'll start using that and go back to edit those pages where I noticed it was needed. -- JustTheBast 12:03, 10 March 2007 (EST)

Faction link

I've changed the Faction(s) header to [[{{NAMESPACE}}:Factions|Faction(s)]] after another editor attempted to add the link to the header on an individual NPC page. Might cause an issue down the road since some namespaces don't have a Factions page yet (Tribunal, Daggerfall, etc.), but I don't believe any NPCs in those namespaces use the template yet.

Hope that wasn't too forward of me.  :) --Deathbane27 21:59, 6 May 2007 (EDT)

Of course not; thanks for doing it! The only thing to be cautious of with this particular template is that because it is used by thousands of NPC pages, it takes the server 10-15 minutes to process all those pages each time the template gets edited. So it's one where you want to doublecheck that you didn't make any mistakes before hitting save ;) But obviously you did that, so no problem! --NepheleTalk 18:59, 7 May 2007 (EDT)
Ah, so that's why the server wouldn't let me verify on an NPC page for 10 minutes after I hit Save. :o I will bear that in mind as well in the future. --Deathbane27 19:09, 7 May 2007 (EDT)
I have been using this template for Tribunal and Bloodmoon NPCs, so this might be a slight issue, though faction pages can presumably be created for these namespaces, even if they're just redirects to the Morrowind page. (I'm not sure if there are any factions of note in Tribunal - certainly no joinable ones.) Daggerfall, I have no idea. --TheRealLurlock Talk 19:30, 7 May 2007 (EDT)
After looking at the Daggerfall pages, I'm thinking Daggerfall:Factions should redirect to Daggerfall:Guilds_and_Reputation. That seems to be as much of a faction system as Daggerfall had. --Deathbane27 19:36, 7 May 2007 (EDT)
One option would be to change the factions link to use the namesp variable, in which case for Tribunal and Bloodmoon the link would still be to Morrowind:Factions. I don't know that it's worth modifying the page right now to do that, but I could try to remember to implement that next time I need to tinker with it.
And right now the template definitely isn't being used for Daggerfall... if we ever get to that point, there will be a lot of pages/redirects that need to be figured out. --NepheleTalk 19:39, 7 May 2007 (EDT)
Tribunal doesn't, but Bloodmoon does have a Factions page. Not very much on it, of course. Checking Tribunal in the CS, and it does indeed have 3 factions - Dark Brotherhood, Hands of Almalexia, and Royal Guard. As I said, though, none are joinable, and one (Dark Brotherhood) has only one named NPC in it. (The rest are just generic respawning thugs.) (Interesting since there are actually characters who are supposed to be in the Dark Brotherhood in Morrowind, but this faction does not exist without Tribunal.) Anyhow, all Tribunal NPCs will have some red-links for now until somebody feels like creating those pages. --TheRealLurlock Talk 19:48, 7 May 2007 (EDT)

I Hesitate to Suggest This But...

The recent edit on this template did its usual trick of killing the server. The (almost) downtime is getting longer too - it was over 20 minutes until I had decent performance from the site, which is why I didn't revert. So my question is this: should this template (and other server-killers) be at least partially protected? I'm aware that the wiki community in general likes to make as little use as possible of page protection because it goes against the wiki spirit, but on a page that can be used to take the site down by any script kiddie with a modem and a grudge perhaps discretion is the better part of valor? --RpehTalk 08:45, 1 August 2007 (EDT)

I might favor semi-protection on this template, due to its potential to break the site. Also, a warning on it saying something like "Don't edit this unless you know what you're doing" might be in order. Of course, even that would involve another server-choking edit to the page, so I don't want to do anything yet. Maybe better to do this sort of thing in off-peak hours. At any rate, unless it happens again, I think it can stay this way for now, unless there's more support for protection. --TheRealLurlock Talk 09:22, 1 August 2007 (EDT)
I agree that semi-protection on templates like this are probably in order. Given that we advise even regular editors to use extreme caution when editing these templates, I really can't imagine any scenarios in which we'd want anonymous editors to be altering them. And I really don't like the risk of possible malicious attacks against the site using these templates. It is possible to implement protection on the templates without any effect on the server: that does not count as an edit that forces all transcluding pages to be refreshed. But adding the semi-protected tag and/or an additional warning about edits is better left until off-peak hours. In general, the server seems to be really struggling this morning and I can't see any immediate explanation why, so right now definitely would not be a good time to be make those types of edits. --NepheleTalk 11:56, 1 August 2007 (EDT)
Aha! I guess this explains why when I reverted this edit the site slowed down tremendously. The time was 7:50 (EDT), but I don't know how much activity there was in the site. Maybe I should have done it earlier in the morning, since I live in GMT+1 and is not much of a problem for me (right now is 9 am for me). I'm sorry if I caused any troubles. Apart from this, I support protection against anonymous edits for templates and categories as well, since as you said, cause the whole site to refresh. --DrPhoton 03:23, 2 August 2007 (EDT)
Actually, categories aren't a problem. Editing them doesn't cause hundreds of pages to need to be refreshed. Also, templates should now longer be such a problem, assuming that a tweak Daveh implemented this morning works the way I expect. Basically, the server should no longer ignore the rest of the universe until the pages are updated. Instead, it will slowly update them as it gets a chance. For a template like NPC Summary, which currently is used by about 1700 articles, it will probably take 5 hours for all the articles to get updated. I'm hoping that if you explicitly purge a page that one page will get done immediately, so that it's possible to test the result of your edit without waiting five hours, but I don't know for sure yet.
Even if editing these templates no longer crashes the site, I still think they should be edited with caution, which I think still justifies adding semiprotection to the articles. --NepheleTalk 04:08, 2 August 2007 (EDT)

My last edit

Just in case anyone wonders what "Prevent" meant, it was supposed to say "Prevent |Essential=No from adding Essential category", but I slipped on this laptop's keyboard and hit Enter when aiming for the |. Oops. --TheRealLurlock Talk 13:30, 25 February 2008 (EST)

Happens to the best of us. My keyboard could be better, and it needs a thorough clean anyway! --HMSVictory 13:32, 25 February 2008 (EST)

Wrapping Faction(s)

I have tried to prevent the wrapping of the Faction(s) header, but for some reason I couldn't get it to work. All I got is to replace the header with "style:white-space:nowrap". I've undone my changes but the header has remained the same. Is this to do with the cache? Could this also be the reason I haven't seen it work either? --DrPhoton 05:13, 11 March 2008 (EDT)

Yes, it was the cache that prevented me to see the good results after a couple of edits. I don't know why Tribunal:Dandras Vules refreshed on the first edit, but not on the successive ones. In any case, I remembered you can force a refresh by http://www.uesp.net/w/index.php?title=Tribunal:Dandras_Vules&action=purge, and this worked. --DrPhoton 05:23, 11 March 2008 (EDT)
It probably wasn't the cache, but just the fact that making a change to the NPC Summary template forces the server to update thousands of pages. It takes a few hours for the server to work through all of those pages and update them (the alternative is for the server to do them all immediately, but at the expense of not allowing anybody to use the website for half an hour). Until Special:Statistics says the job queue is zero, there are still pages that need to be updated... and at the moment it says there are still 11,000 jobs left in the queue. The most reliable way that I've found to see the effects of a template is to edit a page using the template and do a preview: that preview will always be generated based upon the current version of all templates.
I'm also not exactly sure why the Faction(s) header would have been wrapping in the first place, or why changing the white space would have any effect, since there is no white space in the header to start with. But if it fixed a problem that was occurring, OK :) --NepheleTalk 10:31, 11 March 2008 (EDT)
Another trick that sometimes works if the preview or purge doesn't (mainly when there are categories involved) is to do a null-edit. That is, edit the page and just hit "Save page" without changing anything. This will not show up in the page's history or on Recent Changes, but it can force a page to refresh its category definitions, as well as any other changes that might have occured via a template. --TheRealLurlock Talk 10:36, 11 March 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for the tips. It would be good though to have some sort of preview on the template page itself if possible. That way you wouldn't need to save the template on every edit to preview it in another page, and save a lot of hassle. In any case, I'm not sure it's possible, but I'll think about it.
On the other hand, I don't know why Faction(s) was wrapping, but placing style=white-space:nowrap forces all text within the container to a single line, i.e. the text won't wrap. Don't know why it's called white-space, but it works for all text (see http://www.w3schools.com/css/pr_text_white-space.asp). --DrPhoton 13:00, 11 March 2008 (EDT)
Yeah, I'm quite sure that it will be impossible to allow previews on template pages like that, because pages which use templates rely on the template pages the way they are now, and cannot take into account a non-saved change to a template. One way to make things easier is to copy the template to a sandbox, and use the sandboxed template on another sandbox to test your changes. This is faster, because your template is now only used on one page, and should update immediately. Once you make the change, you can then copy it back into the real template. (And hope it doesn't cause some other complication you didn't account for...) Incidentally, there's a template which can be used if you don't want to type out all that "style=white-space:nowrap" junk - just replace it with {{nowrap|Text I don't want to wrap}}. In this case, it might be better to leave it without using the template, just to cut down on nested-template-complexity. But just for future reference, this method is much easier to use and remember. --TheRealLurlock Talk 15:48, 11 March 2008 (EDT)

Essential NPCs

I was just wondering about the rationale behind changing the "Essential" link to point to the NPC's entry on the Essential NPCs page (e.g., to point to Oblivion:Essential NPCs#Brother Martin instead of just to Oblivion:Essential NPCs). It seems like everything in the table entry is already provided on the NPC page, generally in more detail than is provided on the Essential NPCs page. What is not duplicated on the NPC page is the introductory information at the top of the Essential NPCs article: what "essential" means. So it seems to me that it's more useful to have the link on the NPC page point to the top of the article, where there's information that's different from what the reader is already looking at and where there's information that helps to explain the word "essential." --NepheleTalk 12:31, 11 March 2008 (EDT)

Agreed. Also, I don't see a reason to make it Oblivion-specific. It's not a big deal to add Linkable Entries to the Morrowind page, take out the whole namespace check, and it'd make it much less complicated - assuming we wanted to do this, which I don't think we do. --TheRealLurlock Talk 20:55, 11 March 2008 (EDT)
The namespace check is there because right now the Linkable Entries are only there for the Oblivion page. It seemed appropiate to test this first with one namespace before doing them all (and using Sandboxes would not have been practical because of the amount of pages involved).
As for the duplication of information; I think I have been put off by pages like Oblivion:Menien Goneld, and not checking if these cases were just exceptions. This still leaves me to wonder whether the Essential NPCs page can be extended somewhat. It could be helpful to have a detailed overview of when exactly an Essential flag is toggled. This is something not covered on the quest pages.
Also, this was an attempt to do something with the badly sorted and long list of the Essential NPCs.
Yes, the introduction is circumvented this way. Perhaps create an extra link instead of changing the Essential link? --Timenn < talk > 08:38, 12 March 2008 (EDT)
Cases like Menien Goneld should be the exception. I think that the NPC page should in all cases have the most detailed information about the NPC's status, rather than trying to find some way to squeeze the information into a massive table on the Essential NPCs page. So in other words, I'd rather fix the one or two problem cases like Menien Goneld rather than changing every Essential link on every NPC page into a less-useful link, and rather than coming up with a way to fit two links into a place where really only one is needed. --NepheleTalk 11:57, 12 March 2008 (EDT)
Okay, I give in. :)
There is still my question of whether the information can be expanded somewhat. Currently it only gives information on what quest the character Essential flag is toggled. Add it to the Essential field, or update all quests?
I will also look into the current sorting of Essential NPCs, which I don't agree with. But that is for a different talk page. --Timenn < talk > 12:05, 12 March 2008 (EDT)

Voice Actors

I was wondering if it might be appropriate to add a parameter for the voice actor in this template. I've seen a couple of entries for voice actors on the site...might be easier to include it in the summary page. Thoughts? --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 16:33, 2 May 2008 (EDT)

My first reaction is that the information is better in the notes than added to the infobox. It's not really a characteristic of the NPC, and doesn't affect gameplay. In other words, it's not something that I'd be trying to look up on multiple NPC pages, where having a consistent location and format helps with finding the information. --NepheleTalk 18:29, 6 May 2008 (EDT)
Also, with only a few exceptions (Martin, Uriel Septim, maybe a few others), all NPCs of a given race and gender have the exact same voice. Even some of different races - e.g. Lynda Carter did all the female Nords and Orcs in the game. Every single one. I don't think it's necessary to indicate this on every female Nord and Orc NPC page. If anything it could be mentioned on both Oblivion:Nord and Oblivion:Orc, assuming we can figure out who did the voices for all the other NPCs. --TheRealLurlock Talk 21:56, 6 May 2008 (EDT)
Okay, you've both got good points there. But of course, that's brought up a new thought: Would we be better served by creating a Voice Actors page? --Robin Hood (TalkE-mailContribs) 00:08, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

Case sensitivity

I didn't change the template, because I wasn't sure what other effects I might have had on this widely used infobox, but couldn't we simply replace

{{{race|}}}} with {{{Race|{{{race|}}}}}}.

- Game LordTalk|Contribs 04:00, 17 May 2008 (EDT)

Could do. And could do with all the others. But the template is already complex enough as it is without adding even more code. I don't believe it's necessary. –RpehTCE 04:23, 17 May 2008 (EDT)
I'll second rpeh. The "simple" change you're suggesting would need to be made a total of 15 times just in this one template, because the {{{race}}} race parameter is used 15 separate times. And the change would make it harder to read the code. The following individual line is already ugly and hard to comprehend; imagine it after every race parameter had been changed:
{{#if:{{#pos:{{{race|}}}|:}}|{{{race}}}|[[{{{{NAMESPACE}}:Namespace}}:{{{race}}}|{{{race}}}]]}}|
The case sensitivity of template parameters is just basically something that editors need to learn to live with, because we can't change every single template on the site to be case-insensitive. We've added case insensitivity in a few situations where common parameters were capitalized differently across different templates (in particular image/Image, imgdesc/ImgDesc), because editors were frequently having problems when cutting and pasting an image from, for example, a quest page to an NPC page. But I think we should restrict this to individual situations where the cases are causing confusion, not as a general rule.
If anything, I'd be more in favour of coming up with consistent site-wide rules for the expected capitalization of all templates, and revamp all existing templates to be consistent... although such a revamp will require a large amount of work and thousands of bot-edits. --NepheleTalk 17:06, 17 May 2008 (EDT)

Remove links from User namespace

Given how many people are using this template on their User pages, it might make sense to alter it such that no links are created when the page is viewed in the User namespace. The recent creation of the User:Health page illustrates the problem with this - the presence of red-links encourages people to create useless articles or redirects. (At least the wiki is smart enough not to make these appear in Special:Wantedpages, but the red-links are still there on all those user pages.) Given that this is a very complex and widely-used template, I don't want to mess with it without saying something first. (Actually, I'd prefer not to do it myself if somebody else wants to take it on - I always feel nervous making any changes to this template, and it might take me several edits to get it right. This template is so complicated it makes my head hurt to look at.) Anyhow, just thought it might be a good idea. --TheRealLurlock Talk 23:54, 5 February 2009 (EST)

Take a look at Template:TestNPCSummary. I've created a new template, SkipLink, and used it on that test page to leave out links to User pages. I've also taken the opportunity to add in the [[Template:ModName]] changes for Tamriel Rebuilt (the quick fix I made previously of adding Tes3Mod to the Namespace template will need to be undone for it to work properly). It seems to work okay. I don't have time to do a full test right now so I'm not even thinking about making it live.
In the longer term, as I've said before, we're going to need to revamp this template in some way. It's over 8K long and, I agree that it's almost impossible to change in any significant way without making mistakes. A lot of the complexity comes from having to handle all the parameters for all the games. If people want to keep using one template for all - and I'm not 100% convinced that's the best idea - then perhaps creating Morrowind:NPC Summary, Oblivion:NPC Summary etc and transcluding those sections would be better?
Incidentally, the wiki is only clever enough to leave those links off Wantedpages because Nephele taught it to do that (after I asked nicely :) ) –RpehTCE 04:31, 6 February 2009 (EST)
Looks like you fixed it - should probably do the same for Creature Summary. Even though the only person currently using that on their User page is our old pal DUMG, the other changes you made will still be necessary when we start doing the creature pages for TR. --TheRealLurlock Talk 10:40, 7 February 2009 (EST)
Yes, I sighed when I saw his name appearing again... I'd spotted the Creature Summary needed tweaking too, but there are a few more questions with that one - which links should go where. I'm still working through other templates at the moment; I'll get to the Creature Summary at some point, unless somebody wants to fix it first. –RpehTCE 12:27, 7 February 2009 (EST)

Namespace & NAMESPACE & Class

I have changed the 'Others' section of the template to use NAMESPACE rather than Namespace, as the latter option produces links for 'Morrowind:Tamriel_Rebuilt', rather than 'Tes3Mod: Tamriel_Rebuilt' for NPCs added by TR that provide services. Do those pages using this template that are currently showing a 'Morrowind:Tamriel_Rebuilt' red link need to be individually edited to correct that link, or will it sort itself out automatically? Example: the (currently) 25 pages listed here.

Also, is there anything that can be done to prevent the (presumably new) class 'Therionaut' from being set up as a Morrowind namespace link in the summary box (on these 8 pages)?

--Gaebrial 08:00, 17 February 2009 (EST)

I'd been planning to try to sort out the last few problems with the template this week, but it looks like you've done most of it with that edit and saved me the job! Firstly, yes those entries will sort themselves out as the job queue is processed. Secondly, with "Therionaut" I was going to use the hack we've already used for Tribunal, Bloodmoon and SI. Look at Queen Barenziah's class, "Queen Mother". That was introduced with Tribunal and is one of only a few classes introduced with that expansion. Basically, the hack is to have [[:Morrowind:Queen Mother]] that redirects back into the Tribunal namespace. Since there's only that one new class, I was going to create Morrowind:Therionaut and redirect it back into Tes3Mod. As I said, it's a hack, but it'll work. — Unsigned comment by Rpeh (talkcontribs)
OK, cool. --Gaebrial 09:35, 17 February 2009 (EST)
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