User talk:JeffLane

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Team Fortress 2: item_teamflag

There has been an issue brought up here which drew my attention. My question would be that is there a not-in-FGD input which instantly returns the flag to its base position, and if not, is it possible to do this otherwise? --Baliame (talk) 14:40, 30 Dec 2007 (PST)

No, there is no input like this on item_teamflag. It may be added at some if there is a specific need. --JeffLane 18:48, 2 Jan 2008 (PST)
By the way, is there any chance valve will fix up and release a flag model? I realize you guys left in the tfc flag model, but not sure if it can be used at the moment. --Frostbite 19:26, 2 Jan 2008 (PST)
We would release a different flag model other than the briefcase if we shipped a specific new game type that required it. --JeffLane 18:12, 3 Jan 2008 (PST)
Aww, come on >.> could you at least add support for flag model replacement? >.> --Frostbite 18:03, 4 Jan 2008 (PST)
I want it too but we should pester Robin about this instead of Jeff. --wisemx 18:38, 4 Jan 2008 (PST)
While I do agree with that, Jeff is the more or less the only Valve representative I see online. (unless the others are stalking in the shadows) --Baliame (talk) 04:15, 5 Jan 2008 (PST)
There are some TFC flag models, for replacing the intel, here and here but they may be illegal goldsource ports, or custom, you will have to check your self. --Dan.S 01:00, 30 Jun 2008 (GMT)
Well that model was left in the tf2 gcf, although the skins are from tfc. Although with help of a friend we made our own flag model a long time ago.. --JakeB 18:23, 29 Jun 2008 (PDT)

Moving a "Category:" page

I've noticed that the "Move" button is not available in any Category page. Is this an "admin-only" option, or does it not exist altogether? I'm asking because there are some categories of other languages that could (and should) be moved to their "proper" page: Category:<page>:<lang>, to help documentation maintenance. Other than that, would the only solution be a plain-old nasty copy/paste to the new page? --Etset 15:42, 18 Jan 2008 (PST)

Categories are not real pages. If you add the [[Category:Something]] to any page, the category is automatically created if it doesn't exist. Likewise, if you remove it from all pages and the category doesn't have any custom text, it will disappear. --Baliame (talk) 08:57, 19 Jan 2008 (PST)
Yes, I am aware of that :) What I would like is a suggestion as to how to move the content in one of these Category pages, without doing it through an ugly copy-paste method (which, as we know, kind of ruins the point of the "History" section of a page, etc). I though there might be some "admin-side option/button/tool" that could accomplish this. If not, well copy-paste will have to do... --Etset 09:07, 19 Jan 2008 (PST)
PS: Found this at Wikipedia: "To change the name of a category, one needs to change all category tags, and copy the editable part." Seems like copy-paste it is then... --Etset 09:41, 19 Jan 2008 (PST)
Yes, I believe the feature was omitted from Wiki to avoid confusion. --Baliame (talk) 15:20, 19 Jan 2008 (PST)

Alyx gravity gun choreography

How was the scene at the beginning of Episode Two with Alyx using and handing Gordon the gravity gun choreographed? Were the elements put together in Face Poser or burned into the animation? Specifically, was Alyx holding the GG one single animation or was it the Alyx model holding a separate GG model? Noclip 08:25, 19 Jan 2008 (PST)

Well I do know Valve animators work in XSI where they use multiple models to animate the most of the scenes, so they probably used a prop_dynamic and have that being animated along with alyx, and then once she hands it the gun to you, it turns into weapon_physcannon. --Frostbite 12:42, 1 Feb 2008 (PST)
I did not work on that particular scene, but I believe it was done with a bodygroup on Alyx for the grav gun. I will ask the animators and get back to you. --JeffLane 13:54, 2 Feb 2008 (PST)
Try decompiling the Black Mesa East map to see how it's done (that's what I did) When you look at the vortigaunts cooking dinner, (elevator scene, as you pass with Judith) each has a chef's hat and cooking utensils. Those are both dynamic props, and can be attached using a special form of SetParent. Unfortunately, they need to be dynamic props, but if I'm correct an upcoming update will allow just about anything to be used as a dynamic prop.--Katana314 12:34, 26 Feb 2008 (PST)
So will prop_dynamic_override. ;-) --TomEdwards 13:01, 26 Feb 2008 (PST)

Need your attention

Could I please direct your attention to the following issues/posts/stuff (just give it a quick look, please):

I believe that would be all, for now. Thank you in advance! --Etset 12:23, 24 Jan 2008 (PST)

Here I am to bother you once more... and once more...
<s>* More users are getting a Loading problem with the Source SDK (see Talk:Loading problem#More Information)!
Again, thanks in advance! --Etset 05:08, 13 Feb 2008 (PST)
  • The Source Engine page is information for engine licensees and will remain protected.
  • Deformable displacements is an engine feature available to licensees.
  • Regarding Loading problem, I'm not familiar with this error and this is not my area, but I will see what I can find out. Questions like these belong in the SDK Forums. Because of the decentralized and unstructured nature of talk pages, a wiki is really a inferior tool for individual questions and answers. That's not what it is designed for. Discussion forums work much better in this regard. As a separate issue, "Loading problems" is also far too general of a question to provide a reasonable answer. I've moved it to a more specific page title. --JeffLane 12:43, 15 Feb 2008 (PST)
Gotcha, and thank you. About the Source Engine Features page, I'm not asking if it could be unprotected, I'm only saying that...
  1. It lacks all of the links that the Source article page has.
  2. Both pages have (almost) the same content (there are some discrepancies), which is redundant. (I suggested using the {{:PageName}} "trick" to load the Source Engine Features article's content to the Source article page., since no one has though up anything else to put there...)
...and that this could be "fixed". Not a pressing priority of course, just pointing it out. Cheers! --Etset 17:10, 15 Feb 2008 (PST)
I understand. The other Source article was created by a VDC user as a duplicate of this page and edited. The original page is linked from numerous external sites and we wish to retain pages like this in their current state without editing and extra links to other sites. I don't think the duplicate content causes any real problem. --JeffLane 18:00, 15 Feb 2008 (PST)

Okie dokie! That's all for now, thanks! :) --Etset 11:32, 16 Feb 2008 (PST)

And again it comes to pass, I'm here to ask:

Confess, you haven't missed me one bit :)
As usual, many thanks in advance! --Etset 04:07, 1 Mar 2008 (PST)

User_Inputs_and_Outputs - Does this article still need a lock? If so, I placed my attempted edit in the talk page there.--Brandished 18:28, 10 Jul 2008 (PDT)

Releasing Shaders

I don't know if you've gotten this request before, but we're having a dicussion (Talk:Shader_Types_and_Parameters) about the possibility of Valve releasing at least the names of all the currently working shaders/parameters to the community (so we don't need to guess at them anymore). I'm referring to parameters like (but not limited to) "$decalscale" and "$selfillumtexture" (not included in the released code, but still used in official materials), and shaders like "alienscale", "jellyfish" and "jojirium" if they exist (because as it is now, we can't tell if they do). (You can answer at Talk:Shader_Types_and_Parameters.) Thank you. --Andreasen 07:03, 25 Jan 2008 (PST)

Repeated spammers

What do we do with spammers that haven't been blocked before, but already have a spammer tag?

1) Leave them alone, with the risk of being overseen.
2) So far I just inserted some spaces with the point being that I can add an edit summary which is then visible in the recent changes.
3) List them here (on this talk page).
4) Add a line to the user page stating the number of times the bot spammed. (Again the point is to have an edit summary visible in the recent changes.)

--Pizzahut 04:19, 26 Feb 2008 (PST)

Number 1 is "too risky".
Number 3 would be one helluva job! If you take a look at how the bot nicknames are being chosen, considering 26 alphabet letters plus 10 digits (36 characters total, considering that nicknames are case-insensitive which I'm not sure about), that gives a total of 36^10 = 3656158440062976 combinations. Now if you presume that half of these have already been banned (which is a very conservative estimate), you still have 1828079220031488 combinations to go (i.e. what I'm aiming at is that this page would be unnecessarily "flooded" with usernames while there are already categories for listing spammers). Adding the spammers nicknames here would have to be done manually anyway, so I present a better solution below.
Number 4 would require either
  1. Changing the {{spammer}} template or
  2. Manually add in a small sentence that states how many times the spammer has struck.
Either way it's a part from what we've done so far to mark these spammers. In fact, a better alternative would be:
  1. A "new" spammer is marked with the {{spammer}} template, which automatically places him under the spammers category.
  2. When an admin wants to ban spammers, he simply visits the spammers category and bans every user that is listed there and changes the {{spammer}} template to the {{banned spammer}} template, which places the spammer under the banned spammers category. Now the spammers category would be empty, so there would be no more "hidden spammers" left to be banned.
Note that even if the admin doesn't wish to go through all the spammer's user pages and change the template, regular users can spot when the admin bans spammers and help by changing the template themselves. Also, if we keep doing this on a regular basis, it will be fairly easy to just visit the spammers category and (using the ban list) quickly determine if spammers have been banned or not.
At the moment this alternative would require some work to be done in cross-checking those spammers (in the spammers category) with the ban list. Until then I believe I would go with option number 2. --Etset 04:47, 26 Feb 2008 (PST)

A bit off-topic, I saw Tom Edwards mentioning Akismet and Bad Behaviour at Template talk:Spammer. Perhaps these tools would help. --Pizzahut 05:53, 26 Feb 2008 (PST)

Bad Behaviour stops almost all spam dead for me: 746 comments in the past week, but when I was more active it's been as high as several thousand. I've only ever had one complaint sent through the error page it sends when it blocks a submission, and that was from somebody using a beta browser that sent wonky HTTP headers. It supports MediaWiki out of the box now - there's no excuse any more! :-p --TomEdwards 08:56, 26 Feb 2008 (PST)
In the next few minutes I'm going to "flood" the wiki with edits. I went through the ban list and changed the templates of all spammers under the spammers category, so that they are categorized under the banned spammers category instead. At the moment, all that's left is to press (around) 200 Save page buttons to submit this. Couldn't have done it without the fox of fire!
Like I said earlier, the idea is simply to turn the spammers category into the place where spammers "rest" before being banned. This makes things easier for an admin: if he wants to see if there's any user left to ban, he simply goes to the spammers category and every user there is to be banned (and have its template changed to banned spammer instead).
I also believe this was the way it was initially intended, since all of the first bans of the wiki are under the banned spammers category.
I'm also going to change the Minor Spammer template to point to a (newly created) minor spammer category, so that my idea can work without problems (because at the moment minor spammers are being categorized under the spammers category as well...).
TLDR:
  1. If a spammer is spotted for the first time, apply the {{spammer}} template.
  2. If a spammer is banned by an admin (and if the admin hasn't already done so), apply the {{banned spammer}} template
  3. If a user is considered to be a minor spammer, apply the {{minor spammer}} template. If that user gets too troublesome, apply the {{spammer}} template instead.
  4. Admins: all that is necessary is to check the spammers category periodically and ban the users that populate it. An empty spammers category means there are no spammers left to ban.
Here it goes... --Etset 14:52, 26 Feb 2008 (PST)
Done. Here are some facts:
  • We currently have around 615 users marked as having been banned.
  • We currently have around 1000 users marked as spammers. Correction: most of these users are under the banned spammers category which means this category hasn't been "updated" yet (on my end), which in turn means that we must currently have around 1000-615 = 385 spammers (I think...)
  • We currently have around 15 users marked as minor spammers (at the moment, at least on my end, the category is not showing any users, but you can check the {{minor spammer}} template and see the user pages that link there).
  • Took me about 11 minutes to submit all the 263 edits (according to the Recent Changes page. Also took me a few hours just to edit the lot ...
  • And no, I'm not crazy... just trying to help! --Etset 15:31, 26 Feb 2008 (PST)

Several comments:

  • Though the work involved is appreciated, whether an account is marked as Spammer or Banned spammer isn't so important at this point, as long as they're marked as one of the two for later reference (when they will be acted upon en masse). We've learned that banning accounts that haven't spammed recently is more or less a waste of time. The spam bot will just use a name that hasn't been used previously, and they can auto-generate and infinite number of new ones. The purpose of banning is primarily to reduce their effectiveness and by reducing consecutive edits and to create auto IP blocks, which slows them down further.
  • The anti-spam extensions currently available are not designed to work with our version of Mediawiki (which is based on 1.4.12).
  • We are actually working on upgrading our Mediawiki software. The upgrade is not trivial and we've run into multiple snags (both hardware and software) that is making it take much longer than we originally intended. I'm told this will be worked out soon so we can do the needed site upgrades, but I can't give an ETA at this point. You can trust that no one is being "lazy" or making excuses, this is something we'd like to solve soon. We appreciate everyone's patience. --JeffLane 17:42, 26 Feb 2008 (PST)
Well then if you don't mind, I'll keep marking those that are banned as banned spammers since it helps in keeping things organized. Otherwise, we wouldn't need two different categories (spammers & banned spammers).
As for the Mediawiki software: two thumbs up! :D ! --Etset 02:59, 27 Feb 2008 (PST)
Nice Job. Spammers SUCK! --JeffMOD 10:11, 18 May 2008 (PDT)
For the record, there is an extension for a supposedly compatible MW version. [1] (I wouldn't be surprised though if the line numbers don't match, so a bit of manual work might be required when applying the diff.) --pizzahut 11:35, 22 Jul 2008 (PDT)

Adjudication needed

I created Think() the other day, but Etset thinks contends that the ()s are bloat and should be removed. I contend that they mark the article as being about a function (like $ does for material commands) and, as long as they aren't filled with arguments, that makes the extra two characters worth having. Keeping the ()s also makes linking to the articles a little easier, as you don't have to worry about redirects. What do you think? --TomEdwards 09:02, 26 Feb 2008 (PST)

Jigglebone...I love you.

Seriously now, thanks a lot for updating the jiggle bone article. I've always had problem with this, hopefully now I can get my Team Fortress 2 Flag model to not collide with the pole. --Frostbite 18:47, 28 Feb 2008 (PST)

Glad to hear you find it useful. We have more QC command documentation that should be coming online soon. --JeffLane 22:08, 28 Feb 2008 (PST)

PNG scaling

I keep hitting the problem of PNG scaling on this server. It's awful! Would you look into it, please? --TomEdwards 05:44, 1 Mar 2008 (PST)

I would suggest using JPEG images as a workaround for now, as they will scale correctly (yes, I know they are lossy). --JeffLane 11:49, 3 Mar 2008 (PST)

Request For Technical Administration

Hi Jeff, I am new here to this wiki. But I do have tons of experience in setting up, administrating, and organizing wikis. I'd like to bring some of that here. A way that some of us non-admin users have handled technical administration (plugins, mods, addons, etc) in the past was to create a page in the MediaWiki namespace that allowed them to make, reason, and even explain the installation process, for such requests. This wiki, in my opinion, has a of great content, but is lacking in organization, and more to the point, it's outdated. I tried to use a rather common, but simple, function to start organizing the notice templates here on the wiki, but I found that the MediaWiki version is too old for even that. There are many things that could be added to this wiki to improve readability and connectivity...but like I said before, the version is a bit outdated. What do you think about having a page of this nature set up in the MediaWiki namespace? It would help the web admins to administer this wiki. (I'm sorry if I hit the wrong talk page, but I saw your name tossed around a bit in the talk pages.) Matthew Dryden 09:52, 24 Mar 2008 (PDT)

See my comments above. Short answer: We're working on it. We're not taking requests for extensions at this time, though we do have the Category:Valve Developer Community administration. Stay tuned. --JeffLane 12:44, 24 Mar 2008 (PDT)
Thanks Jeff, I totally skipped that discussion about spammers--I didn't think it was relevent. Thanks for the response. Matthew Dryden 04:24, 25 Mar 2008 (PDT)

New category for spammers

You can look up all recent spammers here, provided it's getting updated by volunteers:

--Pizzahut 07:22, 26 Mar 2008 (PDT)

The easiest place to find and ban spammers is from the Recent Changes list, because there are shortcut links next to each username allowing admins to apply blocks. Though this category doesn't hurt, since it is auto-generated from the template. The block log is the definitive list of accounts that have been banned. --JeffLane 10:37, 27 Mar 2008 (PDT)

With the auto blocking activated, is this still valid:

"We've learned that banning accounts that haven't spammed recently is more or less a waste of time. The spam bot will just use a name that hasn't been used previously, and they can auto-generate and infinite number of new ones."

Not asking because of old spammers, but new ones that have posted non-sense instead of spam links. --Pizzahut 15:45, 26 Mar 2008 (PDT)

This is even more true of accounts that haven't spammed recently, because of auto-blocks. For example, it's not worth a lot of time at this point to go through and search for spammers that did not get blocked three months ago. I'm not sure what you mean by the difference between spammers that have posted nonsense versus spam links. I don't differ between them; they both get banned equally. --JeffLane 10:37, 27 Mar 2008 (PDT)

Categorisation

The category index override trick is case-sensitive, Jeff. Look in the QC commands category and you'll see how 'b' and 'B' are different headings. Could you start cat tagging with uppercase letters to avoid this? --TomEdwards 14:10, 28 Apr 2008 (PDT)

The current pages are mistakenly tagged. They should include the full name of the command to be sorted correctly. The capital letter I suppose is optional. That might make sense since page names should generally start with a capitial, so other pages in the same topic will sort together with the commands. Though in this case they're all commands. --JeffLane 14:19, 28 Apr 2008 (PDT)
Actually, I changed my mind, I think they should be lowercase anyway, because the capital letter B and b items get put right next together. --JeffLane 14:21, 28 Apr 2008 (PDT)

Animation Program

Hey Jeff, I've been looking for the Program you guys used to calculate the Model animations for the Cinematic physics. Sadly, I've had no luck. Do you ever plan to ship this program, as I hear it's a Third party tool, and also it's modified by you guys. Aside this, is there anyway to grab the program and/or buy it, then use the modification files you acquired.

What really is lame is the fact that doing this via a normal Modeling program can be achieved, yet it is way more complex, and still very limiting. Aside that, you would have to export a VMF file into a model just to calculate the area correctly for an animation to "bounce" properly. So in the end it's so darn complicated, and would be alot better if we were able to use the Program you guys used. Or even talk to the guys who supplied it for you, then maybe work out a deal.--Gear 00:13, 24 May 2008 (PDT)

SSBump?

Mind adding some documents saying how to create a Self-Shadowing Bumpedy Map? :o --Frostbite 15:46, 24 May 2008 (PDT)

Yeah that be nice, but I'm sure theres alot of those around the internet already.--Gear 16:15, 24 May 2008 (PDT)
Just googled, only a crummy tutorial on facepunch... --Frostbite 16:23, 24 May 2008 (PDT)
Well of course! What do you expect, it's FacePunch! Try Interlopers.--Gear 18:46, 24 May 2008 (PDT)

Is this anti-spam method worth a try?

If you put a redirect into the 1st line of a page, it's safe from the recent type of spam bots which add stuff at the end because in this case the wiki deletes everything after the 1st line. The downside is that the spam bots then use a different page name. E.g. instead of

Talk:Point Of View/wiki/Talk:Point Of View/index.php

they edit

Talk:Point Of View/wiki/Talk:Point Of View/wiki/<<<name of redirect here>>>/

Would it be worth trying to keep adding redirects and hope that the bot won't endlessly increase the title length? --pizzahut 06:08, 25 Jun 2008 (PDT)

Short answer -- I'm not sure it would be helpful. Long answer -- It wouldn't be helpful to have the spambots visit other pages if that's what happens when redirects are added. It will just create more pages to be cleaned up, tagged, and deleted. I'm currently leaving the "spam target" pages undeleted as "honeypots" because if the spambots stick to these pages, they don't fill the edit history of legitimate pages. They can also be deleted en-masse when our anti-spam upgrades and measures go live. --JeffLane 18:22, 25 Jun 2008 (PDT)
So in light of these forthcoming anti-spam upgrades... should I stop bothering to revert these edits on the "honeypot" pages then? --Campaignjunkie (talk) 01:02, 26 Jun 2008 (PDT)
It's up to you whether you want to continue. We assume the links are there to improve the Google rank of the pages, so leaving them there will only help the spammers, even if it's in the short term. --JeffLane 11:31, 26 Jun 2008 (PDT)
I guess the chance for select users to get sysop access is rather low? It's a bit annoying to see how a bot comes back again and again[2], a block could solve this more efficiently. --pizzahut 11:35, 26 Jun 2008 (PDT)
It's possible, though a bot coming back to do multiple edits from the same account in a short amount of time has been a rare case (so far). --JeffLane 13:26, 26 Jun 2008 (PDT)
In fact, no, check this out: link. --Baliame (talk) 13:47, 12 Jul 2008 (PDT)

I've noticed that spam bots usually make one edit per day, and respond to reverts, so if you limit the amount of reverts per day to 1, at the end of a day, you can limit the amount of recent changes shown. The problem is that not everybody knows about this, so people would still revert it when they see it (if they care to revert it). Solokiller 08:15, 22 Jul 2008 (PDT)

I've noticed this as well, most of the recent Spam bots are on timed scripts and set to check and re-edit the WiKi on 40~60 minute intervals. Not all of the bots are checking to see if their changes are still there or not, though, I've seen some that just simply add new edits to the same page every so many minutes as well. It makes reverting spam edits rather futile because the bot will just come back and re-edit the same page after a given amount of time over and over again until it's banned.--brandished 08:56, 22 Jul 2008 (PDT)
They don't respond to reverts, they just add spam every 45 to 50 minutes independently if there was a revert or not. Check the page's edit history, you'll see bots making multiple edits even though there was no revert in the meantime.
As for the amount of edits, it doubles when you do reverts. You can collapse the edits to the same page via preferences, "recent changes and stub display", "enhanced recent changes". Not everyone knows about it though and it's not the default setting. :/ Jeff wrote that leaving the spam be will help the spammers' Google ranking, so the idea when writing an anti-spam bot was to reduce the ranking and also keep the VDC clean. If it's too annoying I can turn the anti-spam bot off. --pizzahut 09:16, 22 Jul 2008 (PDT)

Database error

Every time I submit an edit I get this:

A database query syntax error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was:

(SQL query hidden)

from within function "SearchUpdate::doUpdate". MySQL returned error "1034: Incorrect key file for table: 'mw_searchindex'. Try to repair it (localhost)".

The edit is made despite this, thankfully. --TomEdwards 03:13, 1 Jul 2008 (PDT)

Thanks, we'll look into it. --JeffLane 08:47, 1 Jul 2008 (PDT)
Should be fixed now. Let me know if you still see the problem. --JeffLane 10:07, 1 Jul 2008 (PDT)
I think you got it, I was getting the same error earlier today as well, the edit I just did a few minutes ago went through fine.--Brandished 10:18, 1 Jul 2008 (PDT)

Upgrading to a modern version of MediaWiki

I'm sure I've seen discussion about this before, but I can't seem to find it any more. There any plans to update to the 1.11 or 1.12 branches? It'd be great to have a modern version that supports making the first character of page titles lowercase (so npc_breen will actually be npc_breen and not Npc_breen). --coldacid (talk|contrib) 14:21, 14 Jul 2008 (PDT)

I realize that upgrading to anything newer than 1.6 will also mean upgrading PHP to 5.x, but with the exploits and bugs in the 4.x branches that might not be a bad idea anyway. --coldacid (talk|contrib) 14:23, 14 Jul 2008 (PDT)
It's in the #Repeated spammers discussion. --pizzahut 05:29, 15 Jul 2008 (PDT)
Wow, on this very page and I couldn't find it. I need to stop vgrepping and use proper search. --coldacid (talk|contrib) 11:30, 15 Jul 2008 (PDT)

L4D SDK

Jeff -- Will the SDK for L4D be out before the game release so we can work on level design? I am very hesitant to start a level when the textures/models that are not custom will not be in the SDK for L4D. Thanks in advance. ShaneF 09:44, 20 Jul 2008 (PDT)

Most likely no, just base it off the CSS SDK. --JakeB 07:45, 21 Jul 2008 (PDT)

Archived Versions of Dead Links

I've been mostly simply removing dead links from old mod pages and other link lists, but some of them are still viewable via the the Internet Archive's Wayback machine. For example The VERC Collective. Would there be any problems linking to the archived versions of some of the old pages (mainly the mod projects, not web pages that have simply been relocated) that are no longer regularly available instead of just removing them from the VDC?--brandished 19:57, 3 Aug 2008 (PDT)

Seems reasonable, if there's some useful information to be had. It doesn't seem particularly valuable for the VDC to become an archive or directory for unfinished mods (or a directory for even current ones, honestly. Moddb does a fine job at that). --JeffLane 18:27, 4 Aug 2008 (PDT)

Just a quick, goofy question

Hi there, I was just wondering what some of the good people at Valve think of the uncanny similarities that the Large Hadron Collider and Half-Life share. =D Cfive 16:44, 29 Sep 2008 (PDT)

Head Admin/Bureaucrat

Who is the head admin/bureaucrat (the one who can give admin, founder of the wiki, etc.). PatPeter 22:05, 12 Nov 2008 (PST)

Why?--Gear 19:40, 13 Nov 2008 (PST)
This wiki is only using MediaWiki 1.4.12. It lacks all the amazing features normal MediaWiki wikis have. This wiki badly needs an upgrade to reach its highest potential. PatPeter 21:40, 18 Nov 2008 (PST)
I'm sure upgrading the wiki is not the biggest issue of Valve right now. (Well, it really could be as they just released yet another awesome game.) --Baliame (talk) 05:27, 19 Nov 2008 (PST)
They're working on it. Solokiller 04:48, 19 Nov 2008 (PST)
Dude (Baliame), this wiki is only run on 1.4.12, the newest version is 1.13.2. If this wiki went 1.13 we could install things like the parser functions extension which would allow for better templates, along with a special page called Special:Prefixindex that allows easier searching for advanced wiki users, and pages like Weapon ak47 could have the underscore, making Template:WrongTitle pointless. -PatPeter
JeffLane has mentioned it. Solokiller 09:11, 25 Nov 2008 (PST)
How do you know? Is there an annoucement anywhere? (To Solokiller) -PatPeter 14:30, 24 Nov 2008 (PST)
See "Several comments" under the "Repeated spammers" section above. --brandished 14:35, 25 Nov 2008 (PST)

Revert

Is there revert for normal users? I can't seem to find it but it would really help with removing spam from pages or resetting a page to it's original form after a full spam-delete (currently this is a real pain to do). If there isn't, is it possible to activate it? --Baliame (talk) 10:11, 21 Nov 2008 (PST)

I usually compare revisions with the last revision prior to the spam (unless it's a new page) and save it. In some cases bots spam multiple times at once, so make sure you're reverting to the right version. Solokiller 09:20, 21 Nov 2008 (PST)
Yeah, I'm talking about that save which I obviously missed since it's possible. Where do I find it? --Baliame (talk) 10:11, 21 Nov 2008 (PST)
You go to the history of the page, compare any revision with the one containing the delete notice, and then click the "revision as of" of the delete notice revision. Then edit it and save it as that. Solokiller 10:47, 21 Nov 2008 (PST)
There is a revert function in newer versions of MediaWiki called "(undo)", but I do not think it exists in this version. -PatPeter 14:32, 24 Nov 2008 (PST)

Spammers

This place is getting annoying spam bots lately, especially the bots that change the links to virus links. Means we goto change all the links back, and is a pain, and then to only watch the bots spam again staight after. You or whoever is in charge needs to consider giving some of us admin rights to stop spammers, otherwise we just have to keep doing these annoying reverts the awkward way. --Craziestdan 10:42, 4 Dec 2008 (PST)

A better solution would be to lock the pages the bots target from editing by new user accounts. --TomEdwards 09:43, 5 Dec 2008 (PST)
Or maybe add a captcha to the register page? --JakeB 10:10, 5 Dec 2008 (PST)
Only if they're bots. These accounts seem pretty good at re-inserting their virus links after I remove them. --TomEdwards 12:17, 5 Dec 2008 (PST)

Now that spammers can't use automated systems to spam anymore, will the spam pages be removed? It seems quite a waste of server space and processing power to keep them around. I found the templates used for tagging the pages to be useful to get a list of those pages:

Solokiller 09:47, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Yep, there are plans to remove the spammer pages. --JeffLane 17:20, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

No problem!

No problem! I just made it Users: OtisRanson. Like yours :]

Mapping for L4D

Hey there! I got to the point in mapping where I would like my map to have music. From what I observed so far, the maps use a certain naming convention (l4d_<vs_><campaign_name><chapter_number>_<chapter_name>), and the music soundscripts define events. This brings up a couple of questions, and if it's not a corporate secret, I'd be happy if you answered them for me. :)

First, the definitions are events (far as I understand Events.<eventname>_<campaign_name> - is this correct?) - and I see no reference to them in the maps, unless of course the current methods of deprotection are obsolete. Are these events automatically parsed and executed no matter whether they are defined in the game_sounds_music.txt or the map's custom soundscripts?

Second, the previous multiplayer games did not use multiple bsp files for the same map. Is there a uniform method for using the same map-based custom soundscript (such as <campaign_name>_level_sounds.txt for all maps instead of <map_name>_level_sounds.txt for each individual map) for all the maps in a certain campaign?

Finally, third, this is a more or less soundscript-unrelated question. In versus mode, both the beginning and end saferooms count as restricted areas, however nothing is indicating (or, well, nothing I actually noticed) the range of this area. Is this determined by a certain entity? If not, what sort of algorythm is used to determine this area? Since everything but the very first spawn is a room, my guess is that if this is a room, it basically incorporates the sealed area behind the door, or if it's out in the open, it's somehow restricted to an area (for example - No Mercy - a walkable roof) or a spherical or cubic pre-set range. Is this assumption correct?

I know that the SDK is not released yet, so I'm basically a fanatic fan working with datamined data, and it's quite odd to support something that's not released yet, but I hope you can answer some of these. Thank you for your time. --Baliame (talk) 09:12, 9 Dec 2008 (PST)

I'm not sure what you mean by "multiple bsp files for the same map", but I think the short answer is that there's no easy way to use the existing L4D music soundscript events in a custom map at the moment.
Regarding restricted areas in Versus, if I recall correctly, this is defined in code based on the CHECKPOINT attribute in the nav mesh, and the distance and line-of-sight between the survivors and the infected. --JeffLane 13:03, 9 Dec 2008 (PST)
What I mean by this is I shall demonstrate using an example:
There exists multiple map files within one campaign, for example No Mercy
l4d_hospital01_apartment, l4d_hospital02_subway, etc.
Now my second question relates to this - would a soundscript called hospital_level_sounds.txt execute for these maps or do you have to make a hospital01_apartment_level_sounds, hospital02_subway_level_sounds, etc. for every one of the chapters within a campaign?
My first question however was not if I could use the existing music definition for my custom map, the question was if I made a soundscript my level would load (I will from now on refer to this map as mylevel), would defining, for example, "Event.MissionStart_mylevel", automatically execute this when the mylevel campaign starts, or is music for the rest of the maps currently hardcoded into the game? --Baliame (talk) 14:49, 9 Dec 2008 (PST)
No, as far as I know, there is no automatic execution of soundscripts based on custom campaign name or map name at this moment. The music events in the soundscript are driven by code that is looking for the campaign name at the end of the event. --JeffLane 17:22, 9 Dec 2008 (PST)

Allowed characters for article names?

I'm still unsure about what the character allowance is for the VDC regarding article titles. I know these are allowed:

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
0123456789
-_:/().

I wasn't sure about these:

!@#$%^&*[]'";\|{}~`><,?=+

I'd imagine some of the ones in the second group might cause syntax/parsing errors upon use and are there any other characters allowed that aren't in either group? Reason I was asking was to try to get a list together for the Valve Developer Community:Alternative Languages article to clear things up. --brandished 19:35, 13 Dec 2008 (PST)

Some of these a technically legal characters for page titles and should be encoded correctly:
!@$^&*"';\~`,
These are definitely not:
#%[]|{}><=+?
--JeffLane 11:38, 15 Dec 2008 (PST)

CAPTCHA to prevent spam

I noticed that there has been a spam problem here for quite some time. Have you considered adding a CAPTCHA extension to the wiki, such as ReCAPTCHA or ConfirmEdit? It might make your job easier :) Matveims 13:42, 24 Dec 2008 (PST)

  • Implementing this has been considered by Valve but the used wiki software is old and current extensions do not support it.
  • Valve plans to upgrade the wiki so they can apply these extensions. However there is no ETA.
  • It was pointed out that there's a plugin which may be compatible[3], not sure though if it was tested. As I wrote above in #Repeated spammers, the line numbers might differ, in which case the lines would have to be matched manually (if that's possible at all).
--pizzahut 11:59, 25 Dec 2008 (PST)
A reasonably accurate summary. The currently available solutions are well known. Still in progress. --JeffLane 13:15, 29 Dec 2008 (PST)
We really need this, it's been odd how the spammers just popped up one day and decided to continually attack the VDC. Then again Valve Time--Gear 16:16, 2 Jan 2009 (PST)