- This page needs cleaned up in the following ways: 1. Organized according to date posted (newer towards the top), 2. Repeat info (if any) removed, 3. Headings worked on, 4. Archives made
- 1 Data Types
- 2 The Navigation Bar
- 3 Further Organization
- 4 Renaming the title page
- 5 What I have learned
- 6 A suggestion re: the wiki attack bots
- 7 So far, so good :)
- 8 Work in Progress section
- 9 Good idea
- 10 Ok
- 11 Other (non-archive) formats
- 12 Sounds good
- 13 Is okay
- 14 Cool
- 15 Another Idea
- 16 Spamming
- 17 Yep, Something else... (new system)
- 18 Check it out
- 19 BMS Extension Tutorial posted
- 20 BMS extension update
- 21 Bad_Behavior hack
- 22 WIKI code upgrade!
- 23 Working on BMS hack
- 24 Countering Spam
Hey Mr.Mouse, something I've not yet gotten a handle on are data types, as used on the WIKI. I understand char and byte (I think it's byte) perfectly well, but all the uint stuff has me mystified. Could you clue me in on all the data types the WIKI uses?
I've seen a request for customizing the sidebar somewhere, but I can't find it again. In any case, I was browsing the MediaWiki Manual for a totally unrelated topic (changing my signature, specifically), when I ran across this page. In any case, the navbar can be edited via MediaWiki:Sidebar.
--Dinoguy1000 20:24, 10 September 2006 (EDT)
I know : - ) , I had not felt the need for it yet. If you do have this need, what do you propose?
--Mr.Mouse 14:57, 13 September 2006 (EDT)
I don't have any need for it myself, I was just posting it for whomever had requested it (I think it might have been Watto)...
EDIT: And of course, it WAS Watto requesting it... Lower down on this page, as a matter of fact. Feel free to slap me silly... =P
I've been researching on MediaWiki further information on editing topics, concentrating on Templates and Categories, and in light of what I've learned, I'm planning some further refinements to the system I established. In the process, I've noticed how ambiguous it can be as to whether a page is a GRAF or another page, therefore, I'm proposing the use of the pseudonamespace GRAF: for all GRAF pages, similar to the pseudonamespace News: I created for news pages. If y'all like the idea, I'll rename pages as I go through the WIKI making updates. Any thoughts?
--Dinoguy1000 19:47, 17 August 2006 (EDT)
*bump* Anyone? Mr.Mouse?
I like the idea, I would like to see an example implementation of this. It could be worth the while indeed!
--Mr.Mouse 03:11, 6 September 2006 (EDT)
Hmm... On further research into namespaces, I've found that you can create custom ones for your WIKI. However, it requires access to the files on the server, but it should be a 5-minute job setting it up, at the most. Instructions can be found here.
One major advantage of using a custom namespace over a pseudonamespace is that talk pages will work correctly. For instance, with the pseudonamespace GRAF:, a normal page would be something like GRAF:PageName. However, the talk page would be Talk:GRAF:PageName. Using a custom namespace, though, the talk page correctly becomes GRAF_Talk:PageName (or whatever you happen to name it).
--Dinoguy1000 15:34, 6 September 2006 (EDT)
Sounds like a plan to me. I'll code it into the wiki.
--Mr.Mouse 13:05, 7 September 2006 (EDT)
Is it done yet? If so, what is the exact name for the namespace you used?
--Dinoguy1000 21:12, 8 September 2006 (EDT)
Sorry, lack of time. But it is done now. This is also important for the WIKI support in MexCom. If you go about moving pages, I better go in AFTER you and add the BMS on those pages to the database. If you change one that is already referenced in the database, then viewers in MexCom will visit the wrong page (if you would delete it).
--Mr.Mouse 15:00, 13 September 2006 (EDT)
Hmm... I saw your test page, it looks alright, except that the Talk Page is :Contents , not GRAF_Talk:Contents (or what have you)...
And now that I look at it, the WIKI would treat the talk pages as part of the Main namespace (click on the red discussion link at the top of GRAF:Contents, it'll ask you if you want to view or restore one deleted history (or something like that))...
That should be fixed now.
--Mr.Mouse 16:10, 15 September 2006 (EDT)
Very good... I'll get the new categories and layout templates written, and then I'll resume my work updating all the GRAF pages.
Renaming the title page
Game Extraction Central is fine, but it might be something a bit more generic, like Game File Format Central. It's really about formats and structures, not so much extraction. Wouldn't you agree? So I propose a titlename change.
Hey, fine by me... It'll just take some getting used to. ;)
Dinoguy1000 18:07, 13 August 2006 (EDT)
What I have learned
For anyone who has been paying attention to the changelog, I've been experimenting with templates, and I think (THINK) I've got the basics down pat. In any case, we have a new system for submitting formats that will hopefully save new members some confusion and trouble, and older members some annoyance. I've also started playing with categories, in preparation for a sweeping, WIKI-wide reorganization. However, I'd like y'all's thoughts on it before I proceed any further.
P.S. I think I've also started the convention of placing newer discussions higher... don't let the flame die. =)
Dinoguy1000 22:05, 17 Feb 2006 (EST)
A suggestion re: the wiki attack bots
Mr Mouse / Captain,
Obviously the attack bots are annoying - maybe there is something we can do to try and limit their effect rather than the more difficult task of preventing it from happening. One suggestion might be to try and implement a timer much like on the forums - for example, a user can only make 1 change every minute. If you see the recent changes, all the changes are done by these bots within the same minute, so this should be a sure fire way to help the problem.
Another suggestion - is there any way we can delete all posts from a user at the same time. This could be a good thing.
Oh, something similar - when a bot attacks we can quickly find out all their changes by clicking on the "My Contributions" link at the top of the page, and changing the name in the address bar to the name of the spammer. For example, it usually comes up and says target=WATTO for me, just change it to target=XXX and it will show all posts by the spammer.
These are all just suggestions - I don't know if anything can be implemented, but this might spark a few ideas anyway.
You can click on Dif when viewing latest changes and then click on contrib for that user. Example : http://wiki.xentax.com/index.php?title=GRAFs&curid=938&diff=2054&oldid=2034&rcid=3654 Then you will see all this user did. I agree that these bots get annoying. I will look into this matter.
I like both the time block and mass edit/revert options.
At this rate, all the good names will have been used by these bots, and (real) members will have to register with sucky names, like 'Dinoguy1000'... =D
Not to mention that we will undoubtedly eventually be spending more time deleting pages, reverting edits, and blocking bots than doing any real work on the Wiki.
P.S. Not that this is the place to ask it, but what's the difference between a Sysop and a Bureaucrat? This is something that's been bugging me for a while.
P.P.S. (or perhaps P.S.S. ...?) I think we need to separate the true members from the bots. I was thinking a notice on the main page that all new members post some content on their own page (even nothing more than, say, hfihjk) so we know, with a certain degree of incompetence, who is and isn't a true member.
I'll look into time blocking, but this won't stop a determined spammer.
The only extra power a Bureaucrat has is the ability to turn other members into Sysops or Bureaucrats, or revoke those rights. There's no super secret control system behind what you can already see.
Mr. Mouse and I are looking for more structural solutions for the spamming problem. Captain
I've installed a spamfilter (http://www.ioerror.us/software/bad-behavior/). I propose we give it a few days to see if it actually works. If it isn't adequate, I'll look into blacklisting and other mentioned solutions. When making suggestions about the wiki, please note that since both Mr. Mouse and I don't have a lot of time to do this kind of stuff, we prefer software that already exists (in the form of mediawiki extensions, for example). Cheers.
Captain 17:03, 18 Dec 2005 (EST)
So far, so good :)
Looking good so far - I realise that we don't really have time to program the wiki, so hopefully this extension will do the trick.
Now some comments on what/why I was deleting pages, for those that are wondering...
When I did the restructure of the GRAF page a week ago, I created a heap of new pages to house the individual file extensions for the games. Consquently, this meant that many of the original game pages were no longer needed. I had originally just left most of the pages on the wiki, just removed all the links to them, however I found out that when you search for a game in the box on the left, it will search through these old pages too. I therefore removed most, of not all, of these old pages today, so that users can't access them and they will instead be pointed to the new restructured pages. On a similar note, I added a larger and more obvious link to the main page that directs users to the game index - I identified that it wasn't particularly clear as to where to find the information people want.
Thats all I think. Any problems - just ask.
Just a quick question (probably for Captain) - wondering whether I am able to change things in the background functioning of the wiki. For example, am I able to change the links in the Navigation on the left. I thought it might be appropriate to include some of the main pages such as the GRAF and Tools pages in the navigation, and probably remove some like the community portal or current events.
I know how to access the general MediaWiki: pages, but I couldn't really find anything there which would let me do it, so I am assuming it is in the backend programming somewhere. If this is the case - don't worry about it - I just thought maybe some things like that would be possible for me to perform.
Yes, that is possible
In the latest version of MediaWiki. I've already asked Captain some time ago to look into the matter of updating the WIKI version to the latest one, so we can also change the navigation bar. I've done this on another wiki I work on as well, and it's really easy. However, we will have to update the XeNTaXWiki software for this. The MediaWIKI guys say it's just a matter of overwriting the old software. Hold your breath while we work this out. ;)
OK cool, well maybe this is a good time to ask whether it is possible to get a dump of all the pages in the database, or a raw database dump or something - I would hate to have put in all this work for nothing.
I know there is an XML dumping tool that I can use to do this, but it requires me to enter the names of all the page names 1 at a time.
Anyway, if we do upgrade to the newer wiki software, i don't envisage any problems, and then I look forward to making some minor modifications.
Alright alright I'll upgrade the version
And another proposal: Since this spam filter seems to be doing its job, maybe it's a good idea to reopen anonymous comments. We can always close it again if it doesn't work out.
EDIT: Watto, what are you trying to accomplish with the database dump? Would an SQL dump work for whatever you want to do? Because that would be pretty easy for me.
Reason for SQL dump
Firstly, yeah we can give the anonymous posting another chance if you wish - i have no problems with that.
Now, re: the SQL dump - I basically wanted to know whether it was easy to grab the contents of the database, mostly for the following reasons... 1. A backup incase there is a problem 2. I would like to have access to all the stuff I have written 3. If, in the future, I need to write some of this stuff into another wiki somewhere, I would prefer to have a copy that was already "wiki formatted" rather than having to do it all again.
If it is too much trouble, don't worry about it, and I certainly don't have a need for it at the moment, i am just kinda looking ahead into the future and trying to see what possibilities there are. I would be happy with any kind of dump really - I am not sure how the wiki software works, but if you could dump the contents of all the pages it would be great (don't really need the history of each page - but like I said, I don't know how its all stored in the DB), otherwise a full SQL dump or anything - the main thing is that I would need the actual database content rather than the structure.
Thanks mate, and if its too much hassle or whatever, don't bother - just thought it might have been relatively easy to do. Good luck with the upgrade of MediaWiki.
Reason not good enough
We already have backups, and this wiki will last. I don't see any reason for SQL dumps at this point in time. Sorry. --Captain
Yeah thats fine
Yeah thats fine - just thought I would ask about it anyway - like I said, I didn't really need it at the moment or anything. Plus, like you, I expect this wiki to continue into the forseeable future - it seems to have stuck around alright so far and some people are starting to join in which is excellent!
Work in Progress section
I was reading this thread where some people got together on another forum and tried to work together to figure out the format for Guild Wars. I was thinking about suggesting this wiki for them to gradually add stuff they figured out on some sort of GuildWars 'under construction' page.
In the event they want to use the wiki, would it be better to place that page under the normal GRAFs area, and tag it 'under construction,' or is it maybe an idea to create an 'work in progress' area? The area would feature a list of grafs that are not yet finished, and also a request list where other people can add requests for different games.
-Captain 00:48, 2 Jun 2005 (EDT)
I like the idea of a Alpha Work In Progress section. Should be a bit similar to the GRAFs section, with an index maybe. --Mr.Mouse
Seems ok to me. --Elbereth 06:53, 2 Jun 2005 (EDT)
Other (non-archive) formats
I was just wondering, what do you all think of the idea of a section that has format specs and whatnot for some of the more common non-archive formats, ones commonly used in games? Perhaps like BMP or WAV... I'd like to know what you think! Dinoguy1000
I think it would be benificial if there's not only info about the archive structures, but also the structure of files that can be found within archives. If they're common, like jpg, 3ds or whatever, they should just be linked from a new dedicated section for that type of stuff. If they're specific to a game, they should be linked from the GRAF page on that game. I also want to hear Mr. Mouse's thoughts on it.
We may need more of that kind of info before we can dedicate an entire section to it though. How much info have you got between you guys?
This is of course a good idea. It would be nice to find such info here, and not have to move off-site to find such stuff. However, there are sites out there dedicated to that kind of stuff. With LOADS of formats. Like wotsit.org ! We'd have to have lots of formats to beat them. On the other hand, if we do not wish to beat anyone, we might as well start our own base. And borrow here and there.
wotsit.org is not a wiki. I say we start our own base.-Captain
On another note, it might be very handy to have a list of Format Identity Tags. You know, stuff that you can use to recognize certain formats in a hex editor. Like BMP always starts with "BM" and executables with "MZ" or zip files with "PK", etc etc. Not only tags, but also other ways to find out what resources represent, what encryption/compression might be ID-ed. Mr.Mouse
There should already be something like that. I believe Unix systems have used the first few bytes of files to determine mimetype for years already. That doesn't mean that a signature section shouldn't be handy on this wiki. There are many proprietary types that Unix won't recognize, that should be published here, in addition to 'known' types.-Captain
One of my ideas takes off. Score one for me! Okay, I'm done rambling for now...
Perhaps it's too soon now (or there just aren't enough games), but perhaps we should expand the GRAFs page with console-specific lists (e.x. PS2, GAMECUBE, etc.). What do you think?
Dinoguy1000 22:41, 3 Aug 2005 (EDT)
The spamming is becoming highly annoying. Isn't there some way we can employ preemptive banning or something like that? It seems to be bots posting it... Dinoguy1000 21:38, 26 Nov 2005 (EST)
Yeah it is annoying. But we also want to keep it as easy as possible to contribute. I'm open for suggestions though. Captain 07:58, 27 Nov 2005 (EST)
Well, I've noticed that the majority of the spam uses the exact same div id tag, and the exact same links. If we could find a way to block those, that would solve much of the spam. Dinoguy1000 13:29, 27 Nov 2005 (EST)
Or just eliminate divs altogether. I don't see how anybody needs those in this context. Captain 15:48, 27 Nov 2005 (EST)
Indeed... but we still have the problem of HOW to eliminate them. Though that comes from someone without (direct) access to the server(s), so you've probably got some administrative tool you can use to that effect. Dinoguy1000 21:00, 27 Nov 2005 (EST)
No, I think I'll have to hack the source... Captain 04:19, 28 Nov 2005 (EST)
> Is there a way to forbid the edition of the 'Template:Latest Grafs' page (not all pages) to unknown users ? That way only logged users would be able to edit it... I don't particularly like the idea, but if it can at least slow the spams... Paul Siramy 19:55, 28 Nov 2005 (EST)
I've looked around a bit, but haven't found that level of control available in mediawiki. All I can do is close it to anybody but sysops, or leaving it wide open. There may be some settings I'm missing though. I'm not really familiar with the software. Captain 03:31, 29 Nov 2005 (EST)
Yep, Something else... (new system)
I know, it's still very early to be talking about something like this, but I have been thinking about the current system and have come to some conclusions. I may update this sporadically, so keep an eye on the change log...
Synopsis: current static system works ok, but has several inherent flaws:
- Sorting: lists of GRAFs must be created and maintained manually, so if a new file format/game is added, each list must be updated accordingly by hand (this extends to the "Newest GRAFs" section on the Main Page)
- Other Games: when multiple games use the same format (not necessarily with the same extension, though), each page must be updated when a new game using that format is added --- this problem is currently addressed by the (only partially?) implemented "Filetype Refactoring"
- Game-independant formats: "standard" formats, commonly used in games but not related to them (e.g. ZIP, WAV, JPG, etc.)would have to either be added to every single related game page, or linked from a central section
- Other flaws: I'm sure there's other flaws, but I can't think of any right now.
"What about templates?"
- With templates, some problems are solved (Other Games stuff), but many things must still be updated manually.
Dynamic, form-driven system with the following features:
- dynamically updated game lists with sort options such as Name, Extension, System, etc. - also "Newest GRAFs" section is dynamically built
- Each format stored on its own page, or perhaps on one big page, game pages dynamically built at user request, extension details (date added, extension...) stored with game info (extension also stored with format info, perhaps as commented out list)
- Other features adding up to a powerful, flexible, easily maintained system
- Same extension, different format; and vice versa: How would they be stored and later called? (potential solution: formats stored with a number code or other ID code, extension stored with game info - see above)
- How are formats stored? On one page, or to each its own?
- How to create and edit new pages for GRAFs/games
Check it out
We're on MediaWiki (thanks to yours truely). http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Sites_using_MediaWiki/en#X
BMS Extension Tutorial posted
--Mr.Mouse 17:16, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
BMS extension update
As you can see below, this extension works currently. However, all the code here is OBSOLETE, as during work on MexCom I realized I had done it all the wrong way. The WIKI focusses on archive extensions, and lists games that follow the same rule PER extension. So the archive file extension is pretty high up the ladder, if not on top as far as I'm concerned in the database programming. This I had not implemented at all. I figured people would write their script and then add it, single game, single script wise. I did check if a script wasn't used somewhere already, but in case of PAK files from Doom etc that would be a real pain in the ass to include in the database. We'd have to post every single script in there for each seperate game. In the new code, the games and platform values are linked. That means they both can be a list of values, that are indexed to eachother. So, we can have one PAK script and then add multiple games at once, via "games='Doom', 'Doom 2', 'Heretic', 'Hexen', platform='PC', 'PC', 'PC', 'PC'". That should improve everything a lot AND it is more compatible with the way this type of data is handled in MexCom, where the Archive Extension is at the top of the ladder as well. But.... after I realized I had done it all wrong, I could kill someone. Especially myself. I had to rewrite 90% of it all. And still it may present bugs. But I have to finish it at the end of august.
--Mr.Mouse 18:23, 15 August 2006 (EDT)
Today I have upgraded the Bad_Behavior hack I had previously installed to the latest version. The older version blocked also good people. I hope the new version won't. (And hope it is still good enough to block spammers).
Cool, cross our fingers and hope it works!
Dinoguy1000 18:11, 13 August 2006 (EDT)
WIKI code upgrade!
Yep, I have upgraded the code to the latest version of the WIKI and as you can see, the BMS tag now is ready to be exploited. Thanks to our host for running a few scripts.
Okay, making progress on my local system. The BMS tag is now more or less done, and any additions will be stored in a MySQL database, pretty neat huh! Also, Captain and I are rather proud of "going official" with Xentax now being a foundation (non-profit organisation). :D
--Mr.Mouse 17:45, 29 June 2006 (EDT)
Working on BMS hack
Just want to say you people are doing a great job at the WIKI. Some very cool ideas are currently being implemented. Next up for me will be a hack that 'll make it possible to tag BMS sections like this:
<bms ext="grp" games="'Duke Nukem 3d', 'Shadow Warrior'" author="Mr.Mouse" platforms="'PC', 'PC'" version="1.0"> ImpType SFileSize ; IDString 0 KenSilverman ; Get FC Long 0 ; Set MFC Long FC ; Math MFC *= 16 ; Math MFC += 16 ; SavePos FS 0 ; For TE = 1 To FC ; GoTo FS 0 ; GetDString FN 12 0 ; SavePos FSO 0 ; Get FSI Long 0 ; SavePos FS 0 ; Log FN MFC FSI 0 FSO ; Math MFC += FSI ; Next TE ; </bms>
See what I mean? Then the WIKI parser should save this section in between in a separate base for future reference by other clients.
Thanks for the compliments! As to the tag, I'll have to experiment a bit to be sure, but the necessary attribute values could be included into the template the end-user works with. I'll probably wait till you implement the hack to try it, though...
- Dinoguy1000 17:10, 25 Apr 2006 (EDT)
We should start to protect pages or block anonymous users from being able to edit. Some of them are lowlife spammers that should be shot without trial --Mr.Mouse
Actually, I've fixed it. Now, only logged in users can edit pages. Note, anonymous users, that this is not a way to discourage you to help out by forcing you to register, it's a way of preventing spammers or spambots to have free access. We hope you understand. --Mr.Mouse
Thanks for disabling anonymous posting - that should hopefully make a difference. It got really annoying - I think I blocked about 25-30 people in 2 days! lets hope never again.
Agreed. Too bad it got out of hand. Captain
Hmm... should we unprotect select pages, then? Dinoguy1000
What pages specifically should you want unprotected? Well, we already have our first signed up l0ser spammer called "Bounty". I blocked him for life. 240000 hours should suffice. --Mr.Mouse
Well, we blocked anonymous users, but now bots still log in and spam. The Age Of Empires 3 Talk page seems to be popular. --Mr.Mouse
Yes, but it's a lot less frequent than it was. Captain
A BMS Concern
I would like to propose that pages with BMS on them will we preserved when they are transferred to the GRAF namespace, so I can continue adding the scripts to the database for MexCom to call. In MexCom users can visit the page the script is posted on, and it would be a shame if they got a 404 due to a transfer. OR, all pages need to be transferred before I continue adding. But that's a bit of work, and the new version release is the 28th.
--Mr.Mouse 16:30, 17 September 2006 (EDT)
I will leave the original pages alone as I move through the WIKI, if they have a tagged BMS script on them. Otherwise, I will use the 'Move' option so that the page's history is preserved. And I kinda doubt I'd be all through the WIKI by the 28th...