User talk:Confocal

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Removal of "No longer considered important/interesting"

Hello! I've re-edited or reverted a couple of edits you've made recently, in what seems like a campaign to avoid ever saying what's interesting and what isn't. I'm tempted to undo a couple more edits, but I'll think about it for a while first and see if other people want to chime in.

I understand the impulse to be careful not to accidentally make judgments on behalf of the community. But on the other hand -- well, take pure glider generators for example. The community has been pretty much universally uninterested in pure glider generators for about forty years, ever since it became clear that they're ridiculously common, with untold billions of them inside a 10x10 bounding box -- and mostly there's nothing to recommend one of them over another.

It seems to me that the sentence you took out was a very good gentle warning to newcomers to the community, not to get too excited about going out and discovering some new pure glider generators and trying to name them and get them put on the LifeWiki. Dvgrn (talk) 20:24, 8 June 2022 (UTC)

  • I think there are seven pages where I did these edits. I did not find any other similar claims by searching for "interesting"/"important". I'm not going to make further similar edits. Here are my thoughts. The part "no longer considered important/interesting" seems problematic in a wiki article (which is supposed to be more objective and more time-independent than an editor's opinion). Would it be better if that sentence was referenced? Would it be an improvement if it was clearly stated since when and why these patterns are no longer considered important/interesting? I do not have answers to these questions. I saw that people here often just make edits without much public discussion (here or on the forums) and I decided to follow WP:FIXIT and remove such claims. The expectation was that if some of these edits happen to not be improvements after all, they will be simply reverted (WP:BRD) or improved further by someone else who will be able to do better. Confocal (talk) 21:38, 8 June 2022 (UTC)
Sounds good -- I was just a bit worried that those seven edits might be the start of a larger campaign.
I'm generally in favor of a "bias toward action", as long as there are enough active editors around to review people's work. In my mind there's kind of an exception here, though: when an edit just removes information wholesale, without leaving any sign that it ever existed in the article, it becomes a bit less likely that other readers will notice the problem and fix the damage -- and until they do, there's information missing. I guess maybe there's a "bias toward more information" as well as a "bias toward action" operating here.
That said, I'm not trying to complain or say that you did anything wrong here -- this kind of discussion is all part of the wiki editing process, and other people may well disagree with my point of view.
I do think that it would be possible to find forum-post references that make general statements about why these various categories are commonly considered not-interesting. They'll each be written by a particular person -- I've written a bunch of them myself! -- but it's rare that anyone speaks up to contradict one of these community-consensus summaries, so it seems as if there really is a community consensus.
The fact that these posts keep having to be written ... pretty much explains why it seemed like a good idea to put those "no longer considered interesting" statements into those seven articles. Those are useful pieces of information, and it's better not to remove any of the ways that people can find out that information. Dvgrn (talk) 12:22, 9 June 2022 (UTC)
I too think more info is better. Which means a sentence explaining why something is deemed not interesting or unimportant and, if applicable, what might change that, is useful. As we ended up with in Wire. Collaboratively, I might add. Book (talk) 17:30, 9 June 2022 (UTC)
It seems interesting to me to know how to deal with these kinds of claims in a reasonable way, so that no knowledge is lost, and existing knowledge is stated clearly. Honestly, saying that something is deemed not interesting or not important sounds to me pretty much like someone's opinion and not an objective knowledge. Of course, it may well reflect some objective knowledge, or at least it may be an attempt to document an existing knowledge - but it sounds like an opinion. It might be better (?) to state only that there was no (known) deep investigation of something, instead of saying that there was no interest in doing so or that it is not important enough to do so. Maybe someone already was sufficiently interested and did a deep investigation of some subclass of pure glider generators - it's just that this knowledge did not yet reach the forums/the wiki? Confocal (talk) 18:11, 9 June 2022 (UTC)
That's a reasonable point of view, and it somewhat matches my own instincts when I see relatively new but not completely new people on the forums write dismissive responses to posts by "true newbies". It's usually better to avoid saying that something is not interesting.
Maybe the idea that people are trying to get across when they say "not interesting", about things like glider turners or vanish reactions or pure glider generators, is "there are just way too many of these things, it's very easy to find more of them, and so far no one has found a reason why any one of them is more interesting than any of the others". Dvgrn (talk) 19:22, 9 June 2022 (UTC)

Size of LifeViewers

Is there any particular reason you shrunk the LifeViewers in LifeWiki:Spaceship Search Status Page? Gzaytman (talk) 17:56, 4 August 2022 (UTC)

  • The viewers were too wide to fit the screen, even on my desktop. Probably it becomes worse for readers browsing the wiki from mobile devices. Confocal (talk) 18:02, 4 August 2022 (UTC)
One can barely see anything at this size. Also, what LifeViewers on other pages, e.g., 2-glider collision? Gzaytman (talk) 18:12, 4 August 2022 (UTC)
  • I think that one is too large as well. I think it is better to avoid wide viewers and wide galleries (as a rule). Sometimes it might be possible to split the pattern into two or more smaller RLEs (an exception is when the pattern is meant to be shown exactly unchanged as a whole). Sometimes the pattern is just too big to expect that it will fit the screen with all details visible. Sometimes it may be better to include a footnote with a reference to an external webpage where the pattern is displayed in a better way than what is possible, given the inherent limitations of wiki. Confocal (talk) 18:19, 4 August 2022 (UTC)

Times template

What is the advantage of Template:Times over typing the Unicode character × directly? HotdogPi (talk) 10:37, 15 September 2022 (UTC)

The template {{times}} currently uses non-breaking spaces around the "times" sign, which will (hopefully) prevent cases when the string specifying dimensions of something is broken in the middle. Using a template helps to maintain consistency in the future, just in case it turns out later that the formatting should be changed again due to some reasons I cannot predict now. Confocal (talk) 10:46, 15 September 2022 (UTC)

There are no occurrences of this still life in final patterns of collisions in octohash, octo3obj or octo3g databases.

For whichever still lifes apply, can you please add:

  • This is the rarest 12-cell still life by itself in the octohash database.
  • This is the most common 12-cell still life by itself not in the octohash database.
  • This is the rarest 12-cell still life in final patterns of collisions (plus junk) in the octohash database.
  • This is the most common 12-cell still life not in final patterns of collisions (plus junk) in the octohash database.

And the same for the other two databases, and possibly also for the 11-cell still lifes. You can omit the cell count if it applies for all still lifes regardless of cell count. I don't know which ones they are, or else I would do it myself. HotdogPi (talk) 12:36, 2 November 2022 (UTC)

  • Thanks for suggestions. I might try something along these lines later on another pass through the pages (which is probably inevitable anyway). Confocal (talk) 12:46, 2 November 2022 (UTC)

Viewer Config

Is there an issue with odd- vs. even-numbered ZOOM settings? I seem to recall you changing one from odd to even and noting it. Book (talk) 23:15, 2 November 2022 (UTC)

Slower patterns

There was no standard before I came here, but I've typically used half the period, rounding up. You've made several changes slowing things down significantly. I can understand it for patterns like airforce that don't follow a common sequence, but you just reduced newshuttle (p28) from 7 to 3 despite it being a typical pre-pulsar shuttle that doesn't need every generation in detail because it follows a familiar sequence. Why are you slowing a whole bunch of them down? HotdogPi (talk) 13:15, 5 November 2022 (UTC)
  • I think many of the oscillators are configured too fast. That results in an animation that is hard to watch and somewhat distracting. E.g. for the newshuttle, compare the two speeds below. I think GPS 7 was too fast. Confocal (talk) 13:22, 5 November 2022 (UTC)
x = 51, y = 51, rule = B3/S23 26b2o$20bo3bo2bo2bo$18b3o3b3o3b3o$8b2o7bo15bo7b2o$9bo7b2o5b3o5b2o7bo$ 9bobo11bo3bo11bobo$10b2o11b2ob2o11b2o2$3bo10b3o17b3o10bo$3b3o9bo19bo9b 3o$6bo13b3o5b3o13bo$5b2o14bo7bo14b2o3$8bo33bo$8b2o31b2o$8bo33bo$3b2o 18b2ob2o18b2o$2bobo18bo3bo18bobo$2bo21b3o21bo$b2o7bo15bobo11bo7b2o$10b 2o15b2o10b2o$10bo9b2o18bo$2o3b2o10b2o2bo10b2o10b2o$obobobo10bob2o10bob o10bobob2o$2bobo14bo11bo14bobo$b2obobo10bobo10b2obo10bobobobo$5b2o10b 2o10bo2b2o10b2o3b2o$10bo18b2o9bo$10b2o10b2o15b2o$b2o7bo11bobo15bo7b2o$ 2bo21b3o21bo$2bobo18bo3bo18bobo$3b2o18b2ob2o18b2o$8bo33bo$8b2o31b2o$8b o33bo3$5b2o14bo7bo14b2o$6bo13b3o5b3o13bo$3b3o9bo19bo9b3o$3bo10b3o17b3o 10bo2$10b2o11b2ob2o11b2o$9bobo11bo3bo11bobo$9bo7b2o5b3o5b2o7bo$8b2o7bo 15bo7b2o$18b3o3b3o3b3o$20bo2bo2bo3bo$23b2o! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ AUTOSTART THUMBSIZE 3 GPS 3 ZOOM 12 LOOP 28 WIDTH 660 HEIGHT 660 ]]
GPS 3 (click above to open LifeViewer)
RLE: here Plaintext: here
x = 51, y = 51, rule = B3/S23 26b2o$20bo3bo2bo2bo$18b3o3b3o3b3o$8b2o7bo15bo7b2o$9bo7b2o5b3o5b2o7bo$ 9bobo11bo3bo11bobo$10b2o11b2ob2o11b2o2$3bo10b3o17b3o10bo$3b3o9bo19bo9b 3o$6bo13b3o5b3o13bo$5b2o14bo7bo14b2o3$8bo33bo$8b2o31b2o$8bo33bo$3b2o 18b2ob2o18b2o$2bobo18bo3bo18bobo$2bo21b3o21bo$b2o7bo15bobo11bo7b2o$10b 2o15b2o10b2o$10bo9b2o18bo$2o3b2o10b2o2bo10b2o10b2o$obobobo10bob2o10bob o10bobob2o$2bobo14bo11bo14bobo$b2obobo10bobo10b2obo10bobobobo$5b2o10b 2o10bo2b2o10b2o3b2o$10bo18b2o9bo$10b2o10b2o15b2o$b2o7bo11bobo15bo7b2o$ 2bo21b3o21bo$2bobo18bo3bo18bobo$3b2o18b2ob2o18b2o$8bo33bo$8b2o31b2o$8b o33bo3$5b2o14bo7bo14b2o$6bo13b3o5b3o13bo$3b3o9bo19bo9b3o$3bo10b3o17b3o 10bo2$10b2o11b2ob2o11b2o$9bobo11bo3bo11bobo$9bo7b2o5b3o5b2o7bo$8b2o7bo 15bo7b2o$18b3o3b3o3b3o$20bo2bo2bo3bo$23b2o! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ AUTOSTART THUMBSIZE 3 GPS 7 ZOOM 12 LOOP 28 WIDTH 660 HEIGHT 660 ]]
GPS 7 (click above to open LifeViewer)
RLE: here Plaintext: here
  • I think we need the opinion of someone less experienced. I've seen so many pre-pulsar shuttles that I can follow GPS 7 just fine. HotdogPi (talk) 13:41, 5 November 2022 (UTC)
  • Probably this is not related to commonness of a sequence - it's just that very quick animations become distracting, and possibly worse than no animation at all. Confocal (talk) 13:59, 5 November 2022 (UTC)

Catagolue job log retrieval

A minor technical question: how to search for a catagolue job log that contains a certain submitted synthesis? GUYTU6J (talk) 06:52, 12 November 2022 (UTC)

Yikes, a two-step process by manual lookup? I thought there is some sort of search function that I missed on gitlab. It must be a lot of scrolling to find a years-old job log, then. GUYTU6J (talk) 07:16, 12 November 2022 (UTC)
  • I think it's not quite "years-old". The Catagolue backup logs seem to be available only to February 2021 (cached copy), which prevents simply doing binary search before that date. 07:27, 12 November 2022 (UTC)