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Question about the Wiki

Post by jenx » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:23 am

Howdy all

I have some questions about the Layout of certain pages of the wiki..

First of all, why is "A" the only Category with a table on this page http://wiki.xentax.com/index.php/GRAFs/All ?

Second, is that page above an automatically generated listing? Because there are many games and formats that i know of that aren't listed

Thirdly, i believe this page http://wiki.xentax.com/index.php/Game_File_Formats would be a great resource, however it is marked for deletion, and hasn't been updated in almost 2 years

The link above is for the formats inside the games (and archives) correct? For example, i was searching around the other day for a .DTX to .TGA converter for the game No One Lives Forever and the only info i could find was installing the NOLF2 SDK and using their World Editor to convert the textures back to TGA. While this worked i would rather a batch converter to be able to do this, as every single one had to be done singularly.

I know that there would be a massive list of formats that are inside games/game archives, but isn't that the point of the Wiki ??

And lastly, is there somewhere on this forum or someone who can point me in the direction of, learning how to identify the formats?
I would like to contribute to the wiki and to this forum in more specific ways, and i fell that being able to identify a format would be a great help to coders and also complete the requirements of me adding to the GRFs and GRAFs in this way http://wiki.xentax.com/index.php/Help:Adding_a_format

Obviously a hex editor is needed i know that much, but could you recommend a specific program that you favour and find easiest to identify formats with?

Regards, Jenx

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Re: Question about the Wiki

Post by Mr.Mouse » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:54 am

Yes, due to time constraints we've not been able to update the wiki as much as we would. You can contact Dinoguy1000 about the wiki as well, he's our wikimaster.

As for Hex editors, I've been use Hex Workhop for years. 010 Editor also is very usuable.

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Re: Question about the Wiki

Post by Dinoguy1000 » Sat Dec 19, 2009 8:01 pm

Aah, sorry I'm so late to this; hopefully you'll see the reply. =/

As Mr.Mouse said, the wiki is in the state it's in due to time constraints. There's a lot of neat stuff I'd like to be doing with it (including further developing the table format you see on GRAFS/A and deploying it to the rest of the GRAFS list pages), but first I really want to get the software upgraded to the latest version and get some extensions installed, and then I'll have to sit down and puzzle out the best direction to take the wiki - in the meantime, though, I've been keeping an eye on recent changes (easy to do when there's less than one edit a week!) and making occasional edits/improvements to random pages.

if you have any further questions on the wiki, feel free to ask them in this thread (since unfortunately I don't check the forum very often, it may be several months before I spot a new thread), and I'll try and answer them quickly! :)
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Re: Question about the Wiki

Post by asmxtx » Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:30 am

And lastly, is there somewhere on this forum or someone who can point me in the direction of, learning how to identify the formats?
In my opinion there is no general rule. Any game developer tries to hide the data of its product in a different way.

As a comparison: if you want to be a successfull collector of mushrooms in a forest then you need a kind of vision where mushrooms could sprout.

The same thing occurs with file formats. Sometimes one can simply guess but more often one has to analyze the way the gardener plants his mushrooms.

Many "file formats" can't be described by a general syntax because they depend on more or less complicated algorithms and not on static formulas.

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Re: Question about the Wiki

Post by FordGT90Concept » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:21 am

Wow, no one has touched the Wiki in 30 days...except me. It really needs a lot work especially in the category department (over 500 uncategorized pages). I'll work on some of it when I have time.

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Re: Question about the Wiki

Post by Mr.Mouse » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:33 am

That would be great, I'm sure Dinoguy1000 would also be very grateful to have some help there, as I have so damn little time. Awesome! :D

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Re: Question about the Wiki

Post by FordGT90Concept » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:42 am

Wikis are indispensible for large, collaborative projects. We wouldn't have been able to completely disassemble Nightfire model files without one. Everything has to be well organized and easy to manipulate though so that using the Wiki is not a burden to contributors but, since it isn't my baby, I wouldn't want to do anything drastic. I do have a lot of ideas though that would be very helpful like a greater focus on file extensions.

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Re: Question about the Wiki

Post by Mr.Mouse » Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:05 am

Well, it took us a lot of effort to get everything in there and when it went online it already had a large amount of stuff, so people would realize the strength of such a wiki. You are more than welcome to make any suggestions and implement them, it is a wiki after all, and it is by a community for the community.

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Re: Question about the Wiki

Post by Dinoguy1000 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:58 pm

I agree with Mr.Mouse, I'm quite interested in seeing what ideas you have for the wiki. Unfortunately, also like Mr.Mouse, I simply don't have the time to really contribute like I'd like to, and it doesn't help that some of the stuff I want to do require the wiki to be upgraded. I don't suppose you have any experience managing MediaWiki installations, FordGT90Concept? =D
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Re: Question about the Wiki

Post by FordGT90Concept » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:05 pm

Nope, I don't. :(

If/when I do start working on it, the first objectives are unified page names (some are "game extension" and others are just "game" with the extension inside) which needs to be fixed in order for it to appear correct in the categories that will inevitably be made (specifically, Category:File Extensions where users can find all games with a specific extension). While I'm working on that, I would also make sure they have proper categories (e.g. Work in Progress/Almost Done/Completed and a few others). That alone will take me a long time...


Why do most pages start with GRAF: in the title? If the page describes a GRAF, shouldn't it be catagorized as such instead of being in the title? :?:

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Re: Question about the Wiki

Post by Dinoguy1000 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:29 pm

Several things, and I may ramble a bit, so bear with me here:

First off, the GRAF: in the title of a few (about 3 dozen, IIRC) pages is a custom namespace that I thought would be a good idea some time back. I'm not so sure about it now (sorry Mr.Mouse! :( ).

I've written some thoughts on naming pages (and some formatting stuff) at Help:Adding a format#Naming the Page. It's been some time since I've looked at it, though, and some of the stuff I've learned in that time may result in changes when I finally get around to looking at it again. The gist of it, though, is that formats, if they have no "official" name, should be named after the game engine or one of the major titles (preferably earliest) using that format, and should include the most commonly-used extension in the title. If there is a fan community which has done work on a format, we should always accede to the name they've chosen for it.

The categories (and templates) are pretty messy right now; I've been working on getting them cleaned up and making sense for some time now, and this is one of the things I'm actually waiting for the wiki to be upgraded for - this is the type of work exactly suited for AWB, but currently it will not work with our installation.

I think that addresses your comments; feel free to ask anything else about the wiki and, of course, make suggestions of your own. :)
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Re: Question about the Wiki

Post by FordGT90Concept » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:56 am

So, you have no problem renaming "GRAF:187 Ride Or Die MFD" to "187 Ride Or Die MFD" for example?

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Re: Question about the Wiki

Post by Dinoguy1000 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:32 am

Nope, have at it. :)

One more thing I forgot to mention concerning file extensions, is that I started making disambiguation pages for them, and also for games - see for instance CAR and Carnivores (many more examples of both can be seen in their respective categories). Unless there's a better way to do this that I'm not seeing, I think it should be applied to the rest of the wiki - thoughts?
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Re: Question about the Wiki

Post by FordGT90Concept » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:23 am

I think Categories (e.g. File Extensions) is the better way except on extensions like ZIP where there are two or more extensions used for the same file type. In which case, disambiguation pages are necessary to pool multiple extensions into one page with the data.


Edit: After some thought, I think your approach is best best instead of categorizing them as "Disambiguation Pages/Extensions" they should simply be categorized as "Extensions" or "File Extensions." This is exactly what I was trying to achive with Category:File Extensions but looks much cleaner (no application names).

Additionally, I think extension pages like 000 should contain the data from Afterlife 000 because Afterlife doesn't need to be mentioned in general unless there is more than one game using the 000 extension. In which case 000 content would move to Afterlife 000 and 000 itself becomes a file extension page like the rest. Doing so also negates the need to have a Games section which would be made redundant (link to 000 if necessary).

Edit2: To sum things up, I think two areas need focus in terms of navigation:
1) The file extension.
2) The game title.

People looking for information on the format will be searching for one or the other. Using the example above, we should have a page titled "Afterlife" and a page titled "000." They must link to each other, Afterlife is categorized as a game and platform while 000 is categorized as an extension and as a GRAF or GRF. 000 contains detailed format information while Afterlife contains general information (GRAFs and GRFs) associated with the title.

The only issue that leaves unresolved is what to do when there are multiple formats to one file extension. The best I can come up with is, for example (these are page titles):
000 (Afterlife)
000 (Another Game)
000 (Another Game 2)

All will appear in the categories and search as is appears above. If you look up 000, you'll find all three results. This is where the disambiguation page comes in which would be named 000 and list those above.

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Re: Question about the Wiki

Post by Dinoguy1000 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:15 pm

I think we should always make file extension pages disambiguation pages, even if there is only one format to list on them at time of creation - this is because we can never be sure when we will come across another format using the same extension, and it is easier in the long run to simply be able to add another entry to the dabpage and create a new page than to move a page, recreate the redirect as a dabpage, and then create a new page. In addition, I have intended for some time to extend the wiki beyond just game file formats; as far as I can tell XentaxWiki is the first, and currently only, file format wiki in existence, which puts us in a pretty unique position for becoming a central place for file format descriptions and discovery (something that could be helped with cooperation with FILExt and TrID (named specifically because I've had prior experience with the maintainers of both)).
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