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- 1 Thanks
- 2 Your TA:Spring Review!!!
- 3 JAMWiki
- 4 Keys which worked in TA but which are missing in TA:Spring
- 5 TA Spring Sync Errors
- 6 Can We Link It?
- 7 New with MediaWiki
- 8 Development Request
- 9 Please contact me re: development
- 10 Customizing Printed output
- 11 TIDY for MediaWiki 1.11
- 12 Identity of KHL2109
- 13 Thank you Nick
- 14 Thanks for the Tweaks and Preferences
- 15 Graphical md5sum generation
- 16 Hello
- 17 KHL 2945
- 18 Wikipedia suggestion tool
- 19 Basic concepts of quantum mechanics
- 20 Your Wikipedia Cartogram: Creative Commons and Sources?
Thanks Nick for re-awakening my enthusiasm for skiing again -great commentary made it real! Cheers, janine kirkwood
- Hi Janine, Glad that you enjoyed the skiing write-up, and I'm sure if you go to Japan that you'll love it. -- All the best, Nickj 10:21, 20 July 2006 (EST)
Your TA:Spring Review!!!
You claim to call it a review, but I think the more accurate word would be "Critique"
You did not actually discuss any of the depth and complexity of the tactics and strategy involved in the game. You did not discuss how enjoyable (Or not!) the experience can be. You did not outline at all what a multiplayer game of spring is actually like to play. All you did was state some facts concerning the engine and its capabilities, a few positive aspects of the game's design, and then you went on to criticize its many faults.
Thus you cannot truly call your writeup a "Review" as you failed to accurately depict the TA:Spring experience textually, and you failed to state what is truly good about the gameplay... Though you had no problem pointing out its many issues. If I were not already an experienced veteran of Spring then I would come away from reading your review of Spring thinking that it is a buggy mess and I would not bother playing it.
The fact is, I am an experienced Spring player and while it has its problems, the truly immense fun factor inherent in this game far far outweighs the problems which plague it... problems that can easily be overcome with a bit of time and practice. Your review does not seem to reflect this at all.
If you're going to point out exactly what problems exist in a game in a verbose and detailed manner, and counterweight that assessment with the vague and unspecified assurance that "It's fun," what do you feel readers are more likely to think?
This is not intended to be a flame, or to be insulting. Do not take offense. This is a critique of your review.
If you did not feel you knew enough about the game to comment on any of its other merits then perhaps you should have played it longer and gotten to know it a tad bit better. As it is you devoted far too much of your "Review" to pinpointing the game's issues and far too little of it to vaguely mention some of the game's strong points. This gives readers a highly jilted idea of what playing Spring is really like.
- Thank you for your comments! I appreciate your candour, and I don't take offence at what you have said. The truth is that the review really does reflect my experience of playing the game. There was good stuff, and there was bad stuff. And some of the bad stuff, most especially the sync errors are killers; they destroy gameplay. Really getting into a game with 8 people, and then having that progressively fall apart until everyone is playing a separate game is just not fun. I agree that some of those things you get used to (like the mini-map not working, the key-bindings, the units that get stuck, the visual feedback, the keys that are different, the polish stuff). Those things you learn to workaround. However, having played this game at a LAN weekend where I could see people's reactions and discuss it with them first-hand, I have to say that these things did put people off, until at the end of the weekend some people were refusing to play TA:Spring because of these problems. So if I had asked them at that time to summarize their impression of the game, it would be overwhelmingly bad. Some people liked it however, so their impressions were overall positive. I've tried to strike a balance between those two extremes by saying what was good and what was bad. Of course it's personal impressions and personal impressions of others around me, so there is a definite degree of subjectivity - but I should mention that to make the "bad stuff" list, multiple people had to dislike it, thus I feel making it more objective. Anyway, I'm sure the game will get better with time (it certainly seems to be doing that so far) and I hope the bits that bothered me and others will be resolved - at which point I'll be happy to redo the review, or at least add a whooping great big notice that it's completely out-of-date. Thank you once again for your comments and thoughts. -- All the best, Nickj 16:39, 25 August 2006 (EST)
Hello, I suggest you use a screenshot of a map that is NOT speedmetal for your critique, if you want any real Spring players to pay attention to this at all. Speedmetal results in games that are all basically identical; its gameplay results not from strategy, but rather from who is able to spam lvl 3 units the fastest. It is viewed by proper players as the absolute lowest possible form of play. As for all of your complaints as to key binding differences, I suggest you put thought into the fact that Spring is an entirely new engine, not TA...It can run content from TA, yes, but the two main ta-style mods' (XTA and AA) gameplay is quite different from that of TA. It is more or less headed in a direction away from being TA-oriented, with more unique mods being spawned every week. -P3374H
- No worries, I'll see if we can get a better screenshot at our next LAN weekend. I quite liked the TA key-bindings, but I understand what you're saying about it being a differente engine, with one particular application being more as a reinvention / reinterpretation of TA. Also thank you for your updates of the incorrect / out of date items in the article, it is appreciated. All the best, NickJ.
Thanks a ton for all of the bug reports on JAMWiki. I've got about half of them fixed now and will get to the others either later tonight or tomorrow. I've added your Fuzz Tester to the JAMWiki Roadmap as something that I very much want to start using before too long. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help out the Mediawiki project, as you guys have provided a great platform for me to model JAMWiki after, and I'm getting pretty excited about the future possibilities. -- Wrh2 15:57, 4 August 2006 (EST)
- Also, your font on the account creation page blends into the background for me (Firefox 2.0b1) - there's my bug report reciprocation for the day ;) -- Wrh2 16:03, 4 August 2006 (EST)
- Thank you Ryan! I think I've fixed the white-text-on-white-background problem now. The MediaWiki folks seem to be quite on-the-ball, and it seems to me that the best thing with MediaWiki (and life in general I guess) is just to pick an area you're interested in, and do that. For example, they're talking about formalizing the wiki sytnax so that different parsers can be written without having to try and reverse-engineer all the corner-case behaviour (something which may or may not interest you, having written a Parser implementation in Java), but progress seems slow - so if/when that happens I'd probably suggest keeping an eye on that (generally the wikitech-list is where stuff like this would be discussed). -- All the best, Nickj 15:12, 9 August 2006 (EST)
Keys which worked in TA but which are missing in TA:Spring
This refers to the default keys. Infact, almost every hotkey you can think of ("select all aircraft with more than 50% health") can be set up with the included SelectionEditor.exe
you might want to try that out and change your review then... have fun, -knorke
Thank you for your message.
However, I'm not sure it's correct. For example:
- Can you bind the capture key to "C" with SelectionEditor?
- Can you bind the previous menu key to comma SelectionEditor?
- period to Select the next menu for a unit?
- F5-F7 to Map bookmarks?
- B to build menu for a unit?
- N to Scroll to and select next unit off-screen?
My memory could be wrong, or SelectionEditor could have been updated a lot since I last saw it, but last time I looked I think the answer to the above questions was no.
The ones I think you can do with SelectionEditor are:
- Ctrl-S : Select all units in current view.
- Ctrl-V : Select all aircraft.
However, I could be wrong. If I am, please tell me. It won't be the first time I've made a mistake, and I'm sure it won't be the last. :-)
All the best, Nickj 12:19, 27 September 2006 (EST)
TA Spring Sync Errors
Nick, I just played a game of TA Spring with some coworkers (all on the same LAN) and we ended up seeing the exact sync error scenario that you talked about. Did you ever figure out a solution to this? We tried reducing the number of players but that didn't seem to help at all.
- No, unfortunately we didn't find a way of stopping the sync errors. It seemed to happen more with longer games though, so we tried to keep the games shorter, and that helped a bit (of course, it may just be that it happens randomly, and by keeping the game shorter you're just proportinally decreasing the chances of it happening). The basic problem I think is perhaps that they're using floating point math, and different CPUs can have different results for floating point math (i.e. integers may be better). By the way, which version of TA:Spring were you running when this happened? We were on 0.72b1, but if you were on 0.73b1 then that would be good to know because it'd mean the bug was still present in the latest version, in which case the TA:Spring folks have indicated that they'd like a bug to be filed for this. -- All the best, Nickj 12:36, 14 October 2006 (EST)
- We were running TA Spring 0.73b1. In fact, we hadn't seen it in 0.72b1, but we hadn't played with more than 4 players before. This time we had played with up to 7 players and as little as 5 players ... and we ran into it every game we played, about 10 minutes in. However, since that night, we've played multiple times with NO sync errors, up to a max of 4 players. (Thus, I highly suspect the number of players.) The different CPU possibility could be true, but like I said we haven't seen sync errors with up to 4 players. Is there a way to pause the game or resync players when you start getting sync errors? -Zack
- Hi Zack, I have reported this to the TA:Spring folks as http://taspring.clan-sy.com/mantis/view.php?id=328 . Can I please suggest adding any extra details that you think may help to that bug report, and maybe helping to provide the TA:Spring folks with any extra details they need to help resolve this? Certainly the problem is very annoying, and resolving the sync errors would be a big plus. -- All the best, Nickj 17:34, 14 November 2006 (EST)
Can We Link It?
Nick: I just stumbled across your "Can We Link It" page. I have been working on general purpose Wikipedia auto-linking for the last four or five months, and I thought you might find my system interesting and possibly useful. It's designed to add Wikipedia links to more or less arbitrary webpages on the fly. If you want to check it out, you can find it at http://www.golimojo.com, and if you want to drop me a line, I can be reached at curtisb-at-almostinfinite-dot-com. -- Curtis Bartley, 11:58, 20 November 2006 (EST)
- I also stumbled across Can-we-link-it, and it is the best thing ever. I was sitting there thinking "NickJ, NickJ, I know that name from somewhere..." then it dawned on me! see you in Taipei :) -- phoebe
New with MediaWiki
Just started with MediaWiki, how can you change layout(Change Main Page to my personal name), upload links in the default page of MediaWiki? I am making a Intranet at work. Do I have to edit/config in each .php files(from MediaWiki) in the web server doc? Or is there a software to make it easier perhaps Deki Wiki?
I am not sure where to start from, help would be great. Dean - Sweden
- Hi Dean, probably the best resources are mediawiki.org, the IRC channel, and the mediawiki-l mailing list. But to answer your question, the Main page link is changed by editing MediaWiki:Mainpage, and whatever is in there becomes the name of the main page. You generally don't have to edit many PHP files at all - in fact usually just one - most customization is done either by editing LocalSettings.php or by editing MediaWiki messages (the list is of these is on the Special:Allmessages page). Editing other files can sometimes be a bad idea, because when you upgrade you have to reapply those changes - so for making it as painless as possible, just edit the messages or LocalSettings.php . Also, I'm not familiar with Deki Wiki, so I can't offer much of a comparison, sorry. However if you are looking to compare wiki software, there are some good resources for doing this - there's this site which allows comparing the various wikis, and there's also a big table of the wiki options. Basically, there are lots of wiki packages besides MediaWiki. MediaWiki is one of the most mature ones out there with lots of extensions, but it may not be suitable for your purposes, but if not you've got a very good chance of finding something out there is something that is. -- All the best, Nickj 11:02, 2 October 2007 (EST)
- Hi Nick,
- Thanks for the help, you save me time not to edit in php codes, after looking under MediaWiki I think there is a way to change names add new names in Navigation under special pages "system message" but since I try to edit it say "This page provides interface text for the software, and is locked to prevent abuse" How can I make an admin account?
- The one I made during setup, I have login that and no luck.
- User permissions are edited via the Special:Userrights page - you'd enter a username, and make them a sysop (to get the "editinterface" permission), and then they should be able to edit system messages. I would have assumed though it would work out of the box with the login you have already created, but I could be wrong on this. I have had situations where the installer failed though (due to some changes I made), and I had to manually update the database tables to make the sysop account really be a sysop - so if nothing works, manually updating the user_groups database table to get sane permissions is a final possible fallback option. -- All the best, Nickj 09:24, 3 October 2007 (EST)
Made my account Sysop under phpmyadmin and all works great. Thanks for you help :) Dean
Hi again, after 4weeks of playing around Mediawiki 40hrs a week, I am getting there :) Your info to the extensions websites was very helpful, thanks but I want to add my own form_email can that be impossiable or do I have to add a form.php from extension or shall I allow to create my own. How can I put my own form.php up? Dean
Do you do freelance development?
If you do, or if you can pass me on to someone who can - here is my "specification" for a cost estimate...
The install has been done with the following version information.
- MediaWiki: 1.11.0rc1
- PHP: 5.0.5 (cgi)
- MySQL: 5.0.27-standard-log
- The ability to rate articles with the click of a mouse.
- Users must be logged in
- Users can only rate an article once (I like this one, but I'm open)
- The ability to sort article headings ( with interwiki links) by:
- Most popular
- Highest Rating
Nice to Have's:
- Update the Special "User:" Page with a listing of:
- Articles they have ranked (Interwiki link) and the rank value
- Ability to "Change Rating"
- Where the login matches the User: page, provide a "Change Rating" option on the list above that will allow a user to adjust/change their rating.
Thanks for your time on this.
- Shawn G.
- Canada, eh
- Hi Shawn, I do sometimes do freelance development, but on an hourly rate rather than a fixed-cost basis. Fixed-cost projects often have a vague specification, and everything in software takes longer than you anticipate, so fixed-cost is almost always a recipe for frustration. However, it's probably not an issue anyway in this case - check out the Rate Articles extension by Travis Derouin. They used to use this on wikiHow (probably still do), and I played with it briefly about a year ago, so the following is from my recollection and may be incorrect - but, it allows rating articles, not sure about the logged in requirement, and I think it enforces the one rating per user requirement. It also adds a Special:ListRatings page to display the best rated pages. Also I think a new rating overwrites an old one, rather then being forbidden. So, I'd suggest you start with that extension first, and see if it's suitable for your needs before spending any money. -- All the best, Nickj 11:00, 4 October 2007 (EST)
Please contact me re: development
I saw your name on WIKIHR and sent you a message, but I am unsure of how effective that site is so I wanted to reach out directly as well. Did you receive that email? Please contact me at bobbys - at - gmail - dot - com. Thanks, Bobby
- Got the WikiHR message and this one, and have replied via email. -- All the best, Nickj 15:51, 16 October 2007 (EST)
Customizing Printed output
Can someone tell me what I need to edit to change how the printed output looks? The default "Printable View" is almost perfect; I just want to remove the name of my Wiki and the extra footer information that is inserted. I want just the article, with headings, table of contents, etc., without meta information about my wiki. If I can get this working, I can simply print the articles to a PDF printer. I need to remove the 4 bits I don't want, namely the title, the URL, the date, and the page number.
- Hi Dean, Honestly I'm not sure, but there'll probably be a way using the printing CSS file ( /skins/common/commonPrint.css ) by setting the display of those elements to none or hidden. Have a look at that CSS file, but if you don't get anywhere, probably best to ask on the MediaWiki IRC channel. -- All the best, Nickj 12:17, 2 November 2007 (EST)
TIDY for MediaWiki 1.11
Hi, Nick-J ! 1st great to know you, just found you searching around about the topic "TIDY for MediaWiki". I am a great Asian/Japan fan (JUDO). But never have been in your nice country. Your skiing documentary looks really nice (and this high-Tech-Japanes Toilettes, whowh). And it seems you have a cool daddy. Great ! - You should come to Europe so long the climate change let allow you skiing in the Alpes...
I am very happy, Sensei Nick-J, that I found you. Because I think, you are the right man to help me with deeper knowledge.
I have started installing my own Wiki since January 2008 (after writing at Wikipedia in 2007). But I come from marketing, media production, you must know. I am confidenced with computers since 1982, and Internet since 1991. But I never went into php/MySQL/Linux/Apache/Perl. (And open to say: I am not real interested to go deep into this IT stuff.) - My simple knowledge let me set up two wikis, one testwiki (.../testwiki) and the regular one (.../wiki). I use herefore a provider already hosting Linux/... etc. with the latest versions.
All the basics of my wiki is running smoothly, and now after 5-6 weeks I am screwing on the details... Import and Export function actually is the big topic actually. So, what's with TIDY ?? - I tried to find the right tool and source on the net, but I didn't. Please read on all details in the "MediaWiki Foum" here...
Hope you can give me an orientation. Greetings from Europe/North Germany... - JayAr.
- Hi JayAr, and thank you for your friendly comments - although I don't live in Japan, I'm just an occasional befuddled visitor there, and my home is in Australia. For the MediaWiki question you asked, I'm not sure what the connection is between Tidy and special:export, or indeed even if there is one. Tidy is a library, which is included in PHP5 when compiled with the --with-tidy option (or can be installed using packages on some Linux distros, e.g. "aptitude install php5-tidy" on Debian), that will fix up errors in HTML (e.g. incorrectly nested tags, unclosed or unquoted HTML attributes, etc). The primary use of tidy in MediaWiki is in taking the HTML output of the parser, and running that through tidy to make sure that the HTML produced is nice and clean and standards-compliant. The special export and import pages deal with producing & consuming XML documents that describe wiki pages (e.g. wiki page name, name of last editor, one or more revisions, the raw wiki markup not the rendered wiki text, etc). So, the short answer is that I an not sure that there is a connection between these two things. However, I could certainly be wrong - so if you want to double-check, probably best to try asking on the wikitech-l mailing list for maximum input. -- All the best, Nickj 18:47, 28 February 2008 (EST)
Identity of KHL2109
Don't know how to edit your page but if you want to include the info I can tell you what the following wine is:
Kemeny's Hidden Label KHL2109 Reserve Victoria Shiraz 2004
The name hidden on the label is James Gosper
This wine is:
Green Point Victoria Shiraz 2004
Grapes were sourced from Yarra Vallley, Heathcote and Bendigo and include a touch of Viognier. The wine won a gold medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2006.
- Thank you! I have added the above info to the Identity of Kemeny's Hidden Label wines page. -- All the best, Nickj 13:10, 7 July 2008 (EST)
Thank you Nick
Your info on installing Adobe Reader was right on the money...I wish everyone I read before was as clear as your instructions. It worked perfectly...
Jay Keating www.JaysPenPoint.com
- Glad to be of help! -- All the best, Nickj 10:28, 13 December 2008 (EST)
Thanks for the Tweaks and Preferences
I really appreciated finding your Tweaks and Preferences page (for Ubuntu, maybe it was Debian?). At any rate it really helped and was easy to follow. Getting the msttcorefonts (and tahoma fonts) installed finally made running Ubuntu worthwhile.
- No worries - it's a collection of things that I found useful for setting up a Ubuntu desktop system, but should probably apply equally to Debian - but the information was scattered all over the net, and I just wanted a step-by-step series of things to do to get it set up in a sensible way. Anyway, great to hear it was helpful! -- All the best, Nickj 14:22, 6 January 2009 (EST)
Graphical md5sum generation
your comment at:
If you just want to see a list of the md5sums, rather than saving to a file, could maybe try this (works for me in Ubuntu 8.04.1) :
/usr/bin/md5sum $NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_SELECTED_FILE_PATHS > $temp_file
zenity --text-info --title="$title" --window-icon="$icon"\ --filename="$temp_file" --width=1140 --height=200
works for pathname : /a/c/file
but not for pathname : /a/b c/file
it doesn't seem to handle spaces in the pathname
is there an easy fix ?
I'm a skier from Hong Kong and just happened searching the info about Shiga Kogen and it leads to your homepage. Your ski diaries are great! I enjoyed reading it very much! Keep going!
I've just learnt skiing for about 2 years and have been to Korea, Niseko/Nozawa Onsen/Naeba in Japan. It's really fantastic skiing in Japan in terms of the runs, snow condition, scenery and food. We will go to Shiga Kogen in early March :)
We are eager to go to Hakuba or Niseko (again) next year! Afterall, skiing is full of fun ^0^
- Hi Vivian, and thank you for the great feedback! I've got another something I need to add for another trip we made to Shiga Kogen and Myoko Kogen in Jan 2009. This one is mostly it's just photos though, as doing the write-ups takes a fair bit of time! They were both good, and the people were very friendly (especially at Myoko), but the snow was not so good this year - probably Hokkaido would be a safer bet as regards good quality snow. Also the Aussie Dollar to Yen exchange rate was quite bad this year, which made holidaying in Japan quite expensive compared to previous years. Hopefully the rate will improve a bit. I also have some panoramic photos I want to upload for the previous Shiga Kogen trip, will see if I can get those uploaded at some point. How did you find Nozawa and Naeba? Would be great to hear your impressions. -- All the best , Nickj 14:31, 29 April 2009 (EST)
I don't know if this can be John's Blend, though I have never tasted the latter. The label describes it as a Barossa Valley wine, and John's Blend is a Langhorne Creek wine. Do Kemeny's tell fibs on this scale?
- Thanks for the heads up, Chris, and I have updated it now. It's not Kemeny's telling fibs, they've never told me anything, so everything comes from the label + possible matches from the occasional Google search + tip-offs from good readers such as yourself. If you any info on corrections or updates, please do share :-) In this case I was very unsure what it was, and so added the link with the question mark after it - obviously that guess was wrong though, so it's been removed now. Thanks once again for the heads-up. -- All the best, Nickj 15:23, 20 May 2009 (EST)
Wikipedia suggestion tool
Is your fine tool offline? I can't raise it. Sincerely, your friend, GeorgeLouis
- Unintentionally down, sorry! Out of the office until Tues, but should be fixed on Tuesday. -- All the best, Nickj 22:19, 7 June 2009 (EST)
Basic concepts of quantum mechanics
I can't find the errors on the above WP page. The error message is
Wiki Syntax check failed. Unable to suggest links until the items shown below have been resolved:
Wiki Syntax Line with Unbalanced Syntax Section Template:No section} No section Once the above are okay, you can refresh the link suggestions for this page.
Thanks for your help in the past.
George Garrigues Frazier Park, California
- Hi George, Have responded on WP, and should be good to go now. -- All the best, Nickj 17:41, 16 June 2009 (EST)
Your Wikipedia Cartogram: Creative Commons and Sources?
Hello Nick, i just found the really cool cartogram you did in 2007 (»Rough cartogram of Wikipedia edits by country«). Are you okay with the CC-BY-SA-3.0-Unported-Licence so that i can put the image on wikipedia commons? The german article about cartograms lacks a good image, and this one would fit perfectly :-).
Secondly, your guidance for reproducing it is broken because the first link doesn't work anymore. So do you still have the raw data to open the image in mapresso? I'm asking since the current version of the program can export results as EPS-files, so that one could make a even cooler freely Scalable SVG-version of the image (»Help:SVG« at commons) or update it with more current wikpedia user statistics.
Best greetings, Frakturfreund from the german wikipedia
- Hi Frakturfreund, Yes, happy to have the image under dual GDFL + CC-by-sa, so you're welcome to upload it to Commons. Probably in the comments add a link to the blog post, since it has info about how the image was created. Also have emailed you the Excel spreadsheet with the data used to create the image, with a bit of additional info. -- All the best, Nickj 16:44, 16 August 2009 (EST)