User:Apple Bottom/TODO

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Tools for writing articles:


  • On Link* and Cite* templates: these exist not just to make linking to/citing certain sites easier, but also to avoid having to manually update hundreds (or thousands) of articles if a site moves.


TODO notes, ideas and so on, not necessarily just for myself.

  • Apple Bot:
    • User:Apple Bot needs bot and trusted flags.
    • Edit to also read Bob Shemyakin's glider synthesis list.
    • Perhaps equip the script with the ability to update these data files from the web (--update), and to suggest doing so if they aren't found.
    • Automatically editing articles to reflect the best known glider syntheses isn't a good idea, as Dvgrn points out: the synthesis RLEs would also have to be updated.
    • MediaWiki::Bot has various warts, including an inability to log in (see issue 83). The author writes that it is unmaintained, but patches are welcome. Consider submitting one.
  • Ongoing project: gather references on
    • Others are on this case.
  • Catagolue browser extension:
    • Put this on Github.
    • Consider adapting it for other browsers, e.g. Firefox. (Or invite others to fork the repo and submit pull requests.)
    • Finish the jslife work, and release a new version including that.
      • Well, it's not finished, but at least it's released.
    • Rowett asked about including the LifeViewer. Great idea, but for licensing reasons (GPL) this would require unobfuscated code for the LifeViewer, which is not currently available.
    • Chris_C suggested (here) automatically generating glider syntheses for still lifes.
    • More in the extension's own TODO file.
  • Glider synthesis generator CGI script:
    • Also basically Chris_C's suggestion. Something resembling Oscillizer, perhaps hosted on Someone else will have to handle this.
  • Catagolue-related scripts and files:
    • Beat these into shape and put them on Github as appropriate.
  • Catagolue:
    • Backups should go on
    • Is there a public repo of the Catagolue codebase? Are pull requests accepted, e.g. to add a "list of all rules ever investigated" page?
  •, image_gen:
    • Beat these into shape and put them on Github.

LifeWiki TODO


  • Methuselahs:
    • Methuselahs with lifespan less than 10,000 (see List of long-lived methuselahs) do not have f= and mcps= filled in in their infoboxes.
    • Various methuselahs are missing descriptions/censuses of their final patterns.
  • The various "category" templates (e.g. Template:OscillatorPeriod) all take differently-named parameters; this is confusing ("was it 't='? Or 'n='? Or 'c='? Or 's='? Or..."). Tweak all these to also (alternatively) accept a nameless parameter.
  • Template:GrowingSpaceship does not categorize (and thus has no supporting category infrastructure) based on the extra parameters, fs, bs, fp and bp.
    • Should it? Unlike with e.g. oscillators, it might well be that most of these categories would only contain one article, so there might be no point in having them.
    • Same for Template:MovingBreeder.
    • And quite a few others.
  • Software that needs articles:
    • osrc ("Preliminary attempt at a zfind-like oscillator searcher"), Aidan F. Pierce, [1]
    • ofind ("search for oscillators in semitotalistic cellular automata"), David Eppstein, [2]
    • lifelocallookahead (spaceship searcher), Andrew J. Wade, [3], [4]
  • In Template:Oscillator, separate oscillator-specific parameters (period, heat, volatility etc.) into an "Oscillator parameters" section (like "Pattern files" etc.), expanded by default.
  • User:Scotgot appears to have used strict volatility instead of volatility for the v= parameter when creating oscillator pages. Check every such page they created and correct any wrong numbers.
  • The cellular automaton article currently only talks about CAs defined on a square lattice. This needs to change; there are CAs on all sorts of tilings, both regular (hexagonal, triangular) and less regular (Penrose, hyperbolic, ...). We're currently fudging hexagonal tilings by defining a "hexagonal neighborhood" on the square lattice (e.g. creating a "bricklayer's tiling"); but while that's fine (software such as Golly does hexagonal CAs this way), it's essentially an implementation detail. It should be noted, but CAs should be treated more generally.
    • Related: the article currently goes on at length about both CAs in general and Life-like CAs in particular. This needs to be disentangled, and Life-like CAs given their own article that introduces the basic concepts as required to understand them and otherwise refers to the general cellular automaton article.
  • Modify external link templates to all take title=, name=, pagename= and patternname= (as synonyms). It's not very useful for the parameters to have different names in different templates. (And some users even use entirely non-existent parameters without even so much as checking whether they do in fact have an effect.)
  • For that matter, saner external link templates in general. No hidden surprises, no things that don't work (but should), no inconsistencies, no making-the-user-jump-through-hoops-to-use-them, and so on. (See Template talk:LinkForumThread.) Also, cleaner template code that is more conducive to being edited and doesn't present itself as a thorny thicket of punctuation.
  • Add an "identifiers" section to pattern infoboxes, listing e.g. apgcode, Niemiec number/identifier, Pentadecathlon (Koenig) identifier, stamp collection indices (jslife, DRH), and so on.
    • Create Template:PatternIdentifiers and use it in pattern infobox templates.
    • Add jslife/DRH/... stamp collection indices etc., in an appropriate manner.
    • Add identifiers to articles.
  • (This is being discussed at the LifeWiki:Tiki bar.) Figure out how to best use LV:Viewer in articles in a way that's both useful, accessible, and well-integrated into the existing article layout.
  • Create missing articles for Life Lexicon entries, or redirect to existing ones (as appropriate). See below for a list.
  • Go through pages for common objects.
    • Also make a {{CiteFlammenkampCensus}} citation template. Unnecessary, Template:citeAchim already exists
    • Move statements about how common they are to a new section, and note that the data is from Achim Flammenkamp's census.
    • Add data on common-ness from Catagolue.
    • If possible, find a copy of the results from Nathaniel's census and add data from that as well. (This is referenced on a few pages anyway. Check, or ask on the forums.)
      • Discussion thread for this census: [5]
      • The last copy on dates from May 10, 2011, and lists 154 still lifes and oscillators, plus 4 spaceships. Images are broken, but the RLE encoded in the URLs can be used to identify (unnamed) patterns.
      • Unnamed patterns on this page are at User:Apple Bottom/Nathaniel's census (names via Catagolue).
      • Nathaniel himself may have a more recent and/or complete results. (He doesn't; data was lost in a server crash.)
      • Add data on commonness from Nathaniel's census.
    • There's also a census by Andrzej Okrasinski. Mentioned here. - DONE, thanks User:Lewis!
      • Last copy: 2009-10-27, [6]; PDF of results [7]
    • Were there any other censuses/soup-search efforts?


  • Write articles for common patterns from Catagolue.
  • Where appropriate, move references out of main article text for further readability/editability.
    • See [8] for an example.
  • Citation templates:
    • Make a {{CiteLifeLine}} template that can be used to cite LifeLine issues easily without resorting to {{cite web}}. - already exists.
    • Use Template:CiteLifeline where Lifeline is currently cited directly.
    • Make Template:CiteForumPost. Use Template:LinkForumThread, with format=ref.
      • Use it wherever Template:Cite web is currently used to cite forum posts.
      • Also use it where forum posts are referenced without a citation template.
    • Make a list of citation templates, transclude it in their documentation. Better yet, use DPL to generate it automatically.
  • Most population 12 still lifes have no entries.
    • Given how many there are, consider discussing up to which size still lives should have entries at all.
  • Transcribe further LifeLine issues.
    • Modulo community consensus, update existing transcriptions to use LifeViewer and on-wiki RLE snippets instead of static images.
    • Also see Lifeline/project.
  • Add entries for various "well-known" (i.e. well-investigated) rules, especially named ones.
  • Write articles for "Pattern of the Year" nominations (see forums). Any pattern thus nominated is clearly important.
  • (Perhaps) write articles for all patterns in the various "stamp collections" floating around, notably jslife and Dean Hickerson's stamp collections.
  • Make sure all oscillators/spaceships have animated images, and create/upload missing ones.
  • Add rule parameters to spaceship pages.
  • Double-check oscillators starting with $, 0-9, A, B to make sure rulemin is correct.
  • Add rulespecial= parameters to oscillators, still lifes and spaceships where appropriate.
  • Add an "in other rules" section to pattern articles.
  • Make Template:CrawlerNavbox and use it on the crawler-related categories/templates instead of the generic PatternMainNavbox.
  • Add a symmetry option to Template:Pattern (and related templates) and display the pattern's symmetry in the infobox, and also put patterns into the right symmetry category automatically.
    • This should be discussed at the Tiki bar first.


  • Check oscillator pages and ensure the infoboxes have rulemin and rulemax parameters.
  • Most population 11 still lifes have no entries.


  • Use DPL to automatically populate the list of link templates.
  • Add rule parameters to still lifes. - DONE
    • Oscillizer also works for these, since they're really p1 oscillators.
    • Snippet: |rulespecial=[[Conway's Game of Life|Conway Life]]|rulemin=B/S23|rulemax=B/S012345678. Fill in B conditions for rulemax. Note: rulemin may also be B/S2 or B/S3.
  • Use {{CiteLexicon}} where appropriate.
    • Grep an XML dump of the current revisions to find what needs updating.
  • Make images for Symmetry illustrating the various kinds of symmetry, à la Alexey Nigin in the linked thread.
  • Format infobox transclusions on pattern pages for readability/editability.
    • See [9] for an example.
    • Make a local helper script to handle this.
    • Category:Patterns: $, 1-9, A-Z - DONE
  • The RLE/Plaintext/Life 1.05/Life 1.06 files for Killer candlefrobras are wrong, encoding the "Killer candlefrobras eating an HWSS" reaction instead of the pattern itself.

Needs admin assistance

General ideas for LifeWiki

  • Would be nice to have better integration of RLE. Perhaps an extension to handle it, either in its own namespace (RLE:) or as parser tags (<rle>). Images could also be auto-generated from RLE then. Extension:EasyTimeline might serve as a base.
  • LifeViewer integration would also be nice, ideally tied into the above. See [10], [11].
  • Information on patterns etc. could additionally be encoded in a semantic format to facilitate automated processing. See [12]. Alternatively, would a Wikidata-like repo of facts be useful?
    • This could be done in Template:Pattern etc., and would be transparent to human users; articles would still render as before, and their source text wouldn't need to be changed.
    • What would be the best solution for this? Generating machine-readable data in some XML- or JSON-based microformat, Semantic Mediawiki, or a Wikidata-like repository?
  • Would be nice to handle other rules in some way.
    • How would articles be named? Prefixes/namespaces (e.g. HighLife:Bomber or B36/S23:Bomber)? Suffixes (e.g. Bomber (HighLife) or Bomber (B36/S23))? What about patterns that work in several important rules, such as the Moon (which is in both Seeds and Live Free or Die, not to mention various other B2 rules)?
    • How would pattern categories work? Different category trees for each rule?
    • Might be better to keep wikis for different rules separate (though they could share the same MediaWiki codebase, the way that the Wikimedia Foundation runs many different wikis). But this would lead to duplication of effort for templates etc. Would a central template repository be useful? (What if different wikis want to tweak the same template in different ways? The repo could act as a shadow repo only providing templates not present locally, but this would still mean templates would likely diverge instead of being edited globally.)
  • MediaWiki supports Lua scripting. Would be good to have, to replace the more complicated templates and to do things difficult to do with templates at all.
  • Combatting spam:
    • MediaWiki has various rate-limiting features etc. to combat spam. These could perhaps be used to do away with the "you manually have to request the trusted flag to edit" bit.
    • Alternatively, or in addition, it's possible to limit editing to auto-confirmed users.
    • There's also stable versions and patrolling.


AlgorithmAllan Wechsler


Objects seen and named in APG's Catagolue that do not have LifeWiki articles (incomplete; also note that names with underscores, question marks or square brackets in them are excluded):


Period 2

Beacon on somethingBeacon on table with tailCis-bipole and dockCis-bipole and tableG and spark coilGriddle and capGriddle and pondHoneycombinatorial spark coilLightbulbsLoaf tub test tubebabyMolten test-tubeMonoboat spark coilMonotub spark coilSad faceSpark coil on distant-boatsSpark coil on distant-shipsSymmetric griddlesTrans-bipole and dockTripole on boatTripole on ship

Period 3

4 blocks on starCandlefrobra on cis-boat-upCandlefrobra on cis-pondCandlefrobra on ortho-loaf-upCandlefrobra on trans-boat-upCandlefrobra on trans-ship-upDock tub eaterKeys variantMoving omnibusSym boat keys

Period 4

4 tailsBlinker with 4 tailsCis-mold and dockCloverleaf +1Cloverleaf +2Cloverleaf +3Cloverleaf +6Octagon IV w block

Period 5

8 barges harbor8 boats on harborBoats-fumaroleShip-tie-boats fumaroleTubs-fumarole

Period 8

Blocker on capPond in a bottle

Period 10


Period 15

Bi-pentadecathlon 1Bi-pentadecathlon 2Bi-pentadecathlon 3Bi-pentadecathlon 4Bi-pentadecathlon 5Bi-pentadecathlon 6Bi-pentadecathlon 7Bi-pentadecathlon 8Bi-pentadecathlon 9Bi-pentadecathlon 10Bi-pentadecathlon 11Bi-pentadecathlon 12Bi-pentadecathlon 13Bi-pentadecathlon with blocksFourfold buddleiaPentadecathlon on dock on blockPentadecathlon on eaterPentadecathlon with eatersPentadecathlons hassling long bargePulsar-on-pentadecathlon IPulsar-on-pentadecathlon IITri-pentadecathlon 3Tri-pentadecathlon 7Tri-pentadecathlon 12Tri-pentadecathlon 15

Period 30

E-buckarooQueen bees revisiting hiveShortened E-buckaroo with dock on dockShortened Z-buckaroo with cis-boat-and-dockShortened Z-buckaroo with integralSymmetric queen-bee-shuttle 1Z-buckarooZ-buckaroo with integral

Still lives

Population 12

12-loopAsymmetric amphisbaenaBoat amphisbaenaBoat on eaterBoat on long SnakeCis-aircraft on tableCis-barge with nineCis-carrier-tieCis-longbarge with tailCis-mango with tailCis-ship and tableDouble clawEgyptian walkGull with tubHoneybargeInflected long snakeInflexionInverted double clawLong integral with boatLong tub-claw with tailLongboat on boatPara-aircraft and tableRotated tableShip on aircraftShip on snakeSnake and tableTrans-aircraft and tableTrans-barge with nineTrans-longbarge with tailTrans-mango with tailTrans-ship and tableVery long claw with tailVery long melusineVery long prodigalVery very long tub-shillelaghVery^3 long canoe

Population 13

Aircraft on longboatBarge long prodigalBeehive on hookBoat on canoeBoat on long shipBoat on shillelaghCis-boat-down and longhookCis-eater on tableCis-longboat and tableHexagonal keyHook and snakeHouse siamese shillelaghKrakeLong boat-claw with tailPara-eater and tablePara-loaf and tableR-bee on beehiveShillelagh on boatShip on eaterShip on long SnakeSnake and hookSnake on longboatTrans-boat and capTrans-boat-down and longhookTrans-boat-up and longhookTrans-eater and tableTrans-longboat and tableTrans-longboat with nineVery^4 long canoe

Population 14

Aircraft at capBoat on integralCap and tableCis-aircraft and longhookCis-aircraft on longhookCis-beehive and longhookCis-mango and tableCis-mango with nineCis-ship and capCis-ship and longhookCis-snake and longhookEater on longboatHat siamese hatHat siamese loafHook on hookIntegral siamese eaterLoaf on eaterLong inverted double clawLongboat on eaterLongboat on longboatLonghook and tableMeta-hook and R-beeOrtho-aircraft and longhookOrtho-eater on eaterOrtho-hook and R-beeOrtho-hook on loafOrtho-longhook and tableOrtho-R-bee on loafOrtho-ship and longhookPara-aircraft on capPara-hook and R-beePara-hook on loafPara-R-bee on loafPara-ship and longhookPond and tableR-loaf on beehiveShifted R-beeShift-hook and R-beeShip on long shipShip on shillelaghSnake and R-loafSnake on long shipTrans-beehive and longhookTrans-longbarge with nineTrans-longhook and tableTrans-mango and tableTrans-mango with nineTrans-mirrored hookTrans-rotated hookTrans-ship and capTrans-ship and longhookValentine

Population 15

beehive on R-mangobig S with tubboat at table and blockcis-hook and R-loafeater on long shiphook and shillelaghhook on pondloaf on pondloaf on R-loafortho-loaf and longhookpara-hook and R-loafpara-loaf and cappara-loaf and longhookR-bee and shillelaghR-bee on pondR-bee on shillelaghR-loaf on loafsnake and R-mangotrans-hook and R-loaf

Population 16

cap and longhookcis-hook and R-mangocis-mirrored longhookcis-R-bee and R-mangocis-ship and dockhook and Cloaf on R-mangomango on R-loafortho-aircraft and dockortho-hook and Cortho-R-bee and Cpara-aircraft and dockpara-hook and Cpara-hook and R-havocpond and cappond on R-loafR-bee and Ctrans-hook and R-mangotrans-R-bee and R-mangotrans-ship and dock

Population 17

block and anvilcis-R-loaf and R-mangoghostmaple leafortho-loaf and dockpara-loaf and dockpara-R-loaf and CR-mango on pondship on elevenertrans-R-loaf and R-mango

Population 25


Population 28

block on long beehive on long beehive on block

Population 31

damaged skew 30-great-symionic capital

Population 32

chandelierQuartered shieldsolenoidal gull

Population 34

Elf-shoe on elf-shoe

Population 36

Molten beehives-with-tails

Population 38

symmetrical synapse

Life Lexicon

See User:Apple Bottom/TODO/Life Lexicon.

Pentadecathlon dictionary

See [13].