Thread for your website-related questions

For discussion directly related to ConwayLife.com, such as requesting changes to how the forums or wiki function.
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Thread for your website-related questions

Post by bubblegum » April 22nd, 2021, 3:57 pm

More of a discussion thread for the website (forums, LifeWiki, landing page) then a strictly question-related thread, I guess. There isn't a general thread for website discussion and I feel kind of ɨ creating new topics for small things. i just feel ɨ creating topics in general

I think the landing page https://conwaylife.com/ and the forums' colour palettes should probably be the same. The page at the moment looks a bit drab and outdated in design to me.
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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by Schiaparelliorbust » April 22nd, 2021, 4:47 pm

Ok this is a question I've had for some time. When I look to see who's online doing what, and click "Display guests", it says that some of them are replying to messages. What does that mean?
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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by BokaBB » April 29th, 2021, 6:44 am

Schiaparelliorbust wrote:
April 22nd, 2021, 4:47 pm
Ok this is a question I've had for some time. When I look to see who's online doing what, and click "Display guests", it says that some of them are replying to messages. What does that mean?
I guess that they are trying to reply but do not know that they need to register and sign in.
Have a good day!

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cgoler2
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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by cgoler2 » April 29th, 2021, 8:13 pm

How do you edit LifeWiki on the Kindle Paperwhite? It looks like the LifeWiki icon is covering up the edit button.

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by muzik » April 30th, 2021, 6:14 am

Would it be possible to have Rule: namespace pages not use wikitext processing such that the rule can be copied and pasted into Gllly and be fully functional without having to click the edit button?

Perhaps with a select all button much like code boxes do?

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by dvgrn » April 30th, 2021, 7:51 am

cgoler2 wrote:
April 29th, 2021, 8:13 pm
How do you edit LifeWiki on the Kindle Paperwhite? It looks like the LifeWiki icon is covering up the edit button.
I'm not sure if anyone around here has experience on the Kindle Paperwhite. I tried some quick experiments with a Paperwhite emulator but wasn't able to get any realistic-looking output. Have you tried changing the browser zoom level, or maybe the orientation, to see if you can get the Edit link out of hiding?

Alternatively, any article link like https://conwaylife.com/wiki/Glider will have an edit-page URL like https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?title=Glider&action=edit, so you can just build your edit links by hand and see how that works. Should be fine for simple typo fixes, just don't try any editing that requires complex layouts, since what you see won't match what anyone else sees.
muzik wrote:
April 30th, 2021, 6:14 am
Would it be possible to have Rule: namespace pages not use wikitext processing such that the rule can be copied and pasted into [Golly] and be fully functional without having to click the edit button?

Perhaps with a select all button much like code boxes do?
That would be nice, but I have absolutely no idea how it could be done, and nobody but Nathaniel would have the ability to do it anyway. Sometimes LifeWiki just does what the MediaWiki software is capable of, and these Rule: namespace pages are articles so they get displayed like articles. Nathaniel's time is usually fairly limited, so if there's a high likelihood that a coding project will break something mysterious, and there's an adequate workaround already in place, that project probably isn't going to happen.

One workaround would be to look up the rule in LifeViewer (Alt+R), and copy it out with Ctrl+J. Another would be along the same lines as the answer to cgoler2's question: set up a shortcut in your browser to the LifeWiki Rules namespace, like this -- https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?title=Rule:X&action=edit -- and just replace the X with the rule you're looking up. It's not pretty, maybe, but it works.

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by bprentice » April 30th, 2021, 8:35 am

muzik wrote:
April 30th, 2021, 6:14 am
Would it be possible to have Rule: namespace pages not use wikitext processing such that the rule can be copied and pasted into Golly and be fully functional without having to click the edit button?

Perhaps with a select all button much like code boxes do?
Problems with the Rule: namespace pages have been mentioned before:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1622&p=103608#p103608

This is an important issue and key questions about the rule definitions database need to be addressed:

What is its purpose?

What should it contain?

How should it be formatted?

Who owns it?

Where should it be placed?

How should it be managed?

So far all I've seen is waffling!

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by dvgrn » April 30th, 2021, 10:59 am

bprentice wrote:
April 30th, 2021, 8:35 am
Problems with the Rule: namespace pages have been mentioned before:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1622&p=103608#p103608
This is an important issue and key questions about the rule definitions database need to be addressed:
- What is its purpose?
- What should it contain?
- How should it be formatted?
- Who owns it?
- Where should it be placed?
- How should it be managed?
So far all I've seen is waffling!
This should be easy to clear up, since I'm not aware of any waffling.

What is its purpose?
The Rules namespace provides a central repository of Golly rule tables that are relevant to the conwaylife community.

What should it contain?
The Rules namespace, like the rest of the LifeWiki, is community maintained, so anyone is free to add rule definitions that are "common use" -- e.g., that have patterns posted in a forum thread that make use of that named rule.

Obviously if anyone adds a rule table definition to the LifeWiki that doesn't match that rule name's current "common use", or edits an existing rule to be incompatible, that edit will probably get reverted as soon as anyone notices the problem. Again, this is the exact same kind of collaborative maintenance that happens everywhere else on the LifeWiki.

How should it be formatted?
Create a new rule page in LifeWiki by searching for "Rule:{rulename}", or edit an existing one. Paste in a valid Golly rule table definition -- no changes to the standard format are needed. Hit Save. Everything will be fine -- LifeViewer will then be able to use that rule definition.

There are a few additional nice-to-haves. It's a very good idea to have the comments at the top of the rule definition include a link to the forum message where the rule was originally posted -- if there is any such link. And if a @TREE definition is included in parallel with the @TABLE definition, LifeViewer will be able to run simulations a good bit faster. But @TABLE-only is a good starting point, if that's all that is available.

Who owns it?
The Rules namespace is community-maintained -- see above.

Where should it be placed?
The LifeWiki Rules namespace seems like a fine place to keep this data, since it allows for easy community maintenance.

How should it be managed?
The current users of LifeViewer seem to be reasonably happy with the way things are being managed right now. LifeViewer usually "Just Works", and if it doesn't, someone can easily dig up any missing rule table definitions and add them to the Rules namespace -- with a little practice, of course!

TL;DR:
The LifeWiki Rules namespace is absolutely just a kludgey workaround, that allows our existing community members to use the same editing functionality used for other LifeWiki articles, to collaboratively maintain a Rules database. Everyone involved freely admits this. The disadvantage of somewhat mysterious editing methods is offset by the advantages of simplicity and easy of use for people familiar with the system.

That said... as kludgey workarounds go, the Rules namespace actually a pretty darn good kludgey workaround! So it seems unlikely to change any time soon unless somebody volunteers to do a lot of work to set up a whole new system. Honestly, though, it's hard to see how a new system could really be significantly better than what we have already!


Here are some additional questions from the linked post:
bprentice wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 8:19 am
What is the correct URL for this important list of rule definitions?
https://conwaylife.com/wiki/Special:All ... space=3794
Is the list considered part of Pattern Viewer or part of LifeWiki? If it is considered part of LifeWiki, how do you get to it from here?
https://www.conwaylife.com/wiki/Main_Page
I don't know of an easy way to do that from the Main Page. Anyone who wants to add a "Rules namespace" article to the LifeWiki is free to do so, and then that link would be a good thing to include in that article. Probably a disambiguation section could also be added to "Cellular automaton", which is the article that the term "Rules" currently redirects to.
bprentice wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 8:19 am
Why doesn't Golly use the list of rule definitions?
Golly uses a different design model from LifeViewer. If you're using LifeViewer, you're probably online, so it makes sense for LifeViewer to look for rule definitions in the LifeWiki rules database.

Golly is a desktop application, and it uses its own Rules folders to run patterns. The user maintains control over those Rules folders, so there's never any unexpected behavior where a random definition from the Internet is suddenly mysteriously used to run a pattern.

Of course we could change that. We could add a new feature where Golly looks at the LifeWiki Rules namespace to figure out an unknown rule definition. That might be a good new feature. But Golly is also community-maintained to a large degree... and it so happens that nobody has tackled that particular maintenance job yet.

The LifeWiki Rules namespace is actually quite a new addition, as these things go, so uses of it are still getting worked out, and will continue to evolve.
bprentice wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 8:19 am
I tried to get the rule table for the following rule in order to run it in Golly yesterday.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4699#p103544

I was successful, but it was challenging and confusing. It would be useful if the Pattern Viewer Help described the rule definition list and how to use it.
This is probably more of a LifeViewer feature request than a website feature request, but it's certainly a good idea.

Click "Show in Viewer" on any sample pattern using the Morse rule, click inside the LifeViewer window, and hit Ctrl+J. LifeViewer does the lookup of "Morse" in the LifeWiki Rules namespace for you, and sends it to the clipboard in the correct format.

If you really want to look at the rule on LifeWiki, you can certainly use a URL like this: https://www.conwaylife.com/w/index.php?title=Rule:Morse&action=edit. That's not the easiest way to copy out a rule definition, but it's still fairly easy (once you know the rule about hitting the "Edit" or "View source" button on the article before trying to copy).

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by Nathaniel » April 30th, 2021, 3:55 pm

muzik wrote:
April 30th, 2021, 6:14 am
Would it be possible to have Rule: namespace pages not use wikitext processing such that the rule can be copied and pasted into [Golly] and be fully functional without having to click the edit button?

Perhaps with a select all button much like code boxes do?
I haven't had any luck preventing formatting altogether on the Rule namespace, but I just uploaded a change that at least displays a link at the top of Rule "articles" now, providing a direct link to the "raw" formatting version of that Rule. Let me know if it screws anything up (in particular, if LifeViewer now has trouble pulling in the rule information).

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by muzik » May 4th, 2021, 7:55 am

Nathaniel wrote:
April 30th, 2021, 3:55 pm
Let me know if it screws anything up (in particular, if LifeViewer now has trouble pulling in the rule information).
Can't say I've found any new bugs with LifeViewer ruletable loading that can be traced to this so far. There does seem to be a formatting error that arises in the box for certain rulestrings though, which seemingly also breaks the link:

https://www.conwaylife.com/wiki/Rule:Tr ... 1_emulated

----

As for the original suggestion regarding it not be formatted by default, I was thinking about something along the lines of how fandom/gamepedia handles module namespace pages. An example: https://minecraft.fandom.com/wiki/Module:Sound_table

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by dvgrn » May 4th, 2021, 8:00 am

muzik wrote:
May 4th, 2021, 7:55 am
Can't say I've found any new bugs with LifeViewer ruletable loading that can be traced to this so far. There does seem to be a formatting error that arises in the box for certain rulestrings though, which seemingly also breaks the link:

https://www.conwaylife.com/wiki/Rule:Tr ... 1_emulated
Yup, it looks like rule names that contain underscores are going to cause problems with the current setup.

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by Nathaniel » May 4th, 2021, 8:18 am

muzik wrote:
May 4th, 2021, 7:55 am
There does seem to be a formatting error that arises in the box for certain rulestrings though, which seemingly also breaks the link:

https://www.conwaylife.com/wiki/Rule:Tr ... 1_emulated

----

As for the original suggestion regarding it not be formatted by default, I was thinking about something along the lines of how fandom/gamepedia handles module namespace pages. An example: https://minecraft.fandom.com/wiki/Module:Sound_table
Thanks, I've fixed the underscore-breaking-link issue. Let me know if you find any other rules that cause problems. And I'll look into how Fandom handles their Module namespace.

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by muzik » May 4th, 2021, 3:29 pm

I'd suggest that this also apply to RLE pages as well, for much the same reason.

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by muzik » May 5th, 2021, 2:07 am

I'm not sure if this is a me thing, a viewer thing or a forum thing, but the rules featured in this post really don't seem to be recognised as valid despite existing in the rule namespace, and opening a viewer from another post and manually switching to such an rule makes it load for probably eternity:

https://www.conwaylife.com/forums/viewt ... 988#p87988

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by dvgrn » May 5th, 2021, 7:11 am

muzik wrote:
May 5th, 2021, 2:07 am
I'm not sure if this is a me thing, a viewer thing or a forum thing, but the rules featured in this post really don't seem to be recognised as valid despite existing in the rule namespace, and opening a viewer from another post and manually switching to such an rule makes it load for probably eternity:

https://www.conwaylife.com/forums/viewt ... 988#p87988
The same thing happens to me. LifeViewer doesn't appear to support rule names that contain spaces. Replacing the space characters with underscores in the rule names in the RLE, fixes the problem for me.

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by Nathaniel » May 5th, 2021, 9:41 am

muzik wrote:
May 4th, 2021, 3:29 pm
I'd suggest that this also apply to RLE pages as well, for much the same reason.
Done.
muzik wrote:
May 5th, 2021, 2:07 am
I'm not sure if this is a me thing, a viewer thing or a forum thing, but the rules featured in this post really don't seem to be recognised as valid despite existing in the rule namespace
Yeah, like Dave said, this is a quirk of MediaWiki. The spaces cause problems with the URL that LifeViewer tries to pull the rule from. Nothing I can do on my end -- you can either replace the spaces by underscores like Dave said, or maybe Chris could automatically convert spaces in rule names to underscores before trying to fetch from LifeWiki?

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by dvgrn » May 5th, 2021, 2:06 pm

muzik wrote:
May 5th, 2021, 2:39 am
An offshoot of the original "counting patterns" thread from an hour ago, this one specifically focuses on patterns that as a whole grow logarithmically as they count...
The new thread linked above got reported just now, with the text
I don't think this topic is important to make a new thread and it should be combined with the counting patterns thread. What's the point of making two separate threads?
I closed the post, since there's a nice collection of content in this thread, with reasonably distinct criteria for the two groups. Two threads seems to me like a reasonable way of organizing things.

But that's just Forum Dweller Dvgrn talking, not Moderator Dvgrn, so I'm not really trying to stomp on anybody else's opinion.

The thing is, it's hard to have any kind of reasonable discussion via post reports. Or rather, a post report mostly just opens a discussion between the reporter and whichever moderator happens to look at the post. A report that says "What's the point of making two separate threads?" seems like it's looking from an answer, but not necessarily just from moderators: it might partly be a question to the person starting the new thread, or partly a question to everyone else on the OCA board -- checking to see if this post crosses the highly subtle Too Many New Threads boundary by general consensus, or if it's just one person's opinion.

I didn't want to derail a perfectly good collection thread with a debate about whether the thread is really necessary or not -- or whether it was actually the post report that was unnecessary! So maybe this "Website Discussion" questions thread can become a reasonable holding place for these kinds of meta-discussions, on multiple topics.

Does it seem reasonable to other people, that forum post reports should be reserved more for "things that really need to be drawn to a moderator's attention" -- as opposed to just "things that could maybe have been done a little better"?

I've been closing quite a number of post reports recently, because it didn't seem to me that anything more needed to be done. Then, also, once I had had to waste my time dealing with the report, it didn't seem to me that there was any point in other moderators wasting their time too. Does it make sense for me to continue doing this (and asking people not to over-use post reports so much) -- or would it be better to handle this kind of thing in some other way?

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by hotdogPi » May 5th, 2021, 4:52 pm

Don't switch the wiki to Fandom. It has advertisements and automatically playing videos of completely unrelated fandoms.

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by muzik » May 5th, 2021, 4:59 pm

hotdogPi wrote:
May 5th, 2021, 4:52 pm
Don't switch the wiki to Fandom. It has advertisements and automatically playing videos of completely unrelated fandoms.
Since when was this suggested? I don't see anything requesting this be done.

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by hotdogPi » May 5th, 2021, 5:00 pm

muzik wrote:
May 5th, 2021, 4:59 pm
hotdogPi wrote:
May 5th, 2021, 4:52 pm
Don't switch the wiki to Fandom. It has advertisements and automatically playing videos of completely unrelated fandoms.
Since when was this suggested? I don't see anything requesting this be done.
Nathaniel's yesterday 8:18 AM post

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by bubblegum » May 5th, 2021, 5:05 pm

hotdogPi wrote:
May 5th, 2021, 5:00 pm
Nathaniel's yesterday 8:18 AM post
He just said that he'd look into how Fandom handled their Module namespace, to see if he could apply it to the Rule namespace here.
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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by muzik » May 5th, 2021, 5:06 pm

hotdogPi wrote:
May 5th, 2021, 5:00 pm
Nathaniel's yesterday 8:18 AM post
That post doesn't mention anything about switching the wiki over to being Fandom powered.

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by rowett » May 6th, 2021, 2:05 am

Nathaniel wrote:
May 5th, 2021, 9:41 am
Yeah, like Dave said, this is a quirk of MediaWiki. The spaces cause problems with the URL that LifeViewer tries to pull the rule from. Nothing I can do on my end -- you can either replace the spaces by underscores like Dave said, or maybe Chris could automatically convert spaces in rule names to underscores before trying to fetch from LifeWiki?
LifeViewer now automatically converts spaces to underscores when fetching rules.

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by muzik » May 7th, 2021, 6:05 am

The dying states aren't visible for this example: https://www.conwaylife.com/wiki/Apgcode#Examples_2

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Re: Thread for your website-related questions

Post by cgoler2 » May 8th, 2021, 4:34 pm

What are the bots for?

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