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  • This thread is to help us plan some major changes to our wiki. We have started some of these changes but not finished them. We have discussed some of these changes but not started them. We have thought about some of these changes but not discussed them. The longer we wait to get things under control, the worse they will get.

    So, let's talk about this. What things do we need to improve? Once we have a more concrete idea of what we need to do, we can start organizing and dividing the work.

    Here is a partial list of things we've discussed or have already started.

    • updated Style Guide (Manual of Style) - Our community and our wiki are so large that we need clear guidelines to create consistency. I'm working on a draft version now. When it's ready, we can all discuss it, change it as needed, and start using it.
    • updating templates - Mostly, this means our major infobox templates (train, wagon, trainset, shop), although some other things are included, also. We need to update some of the parameters because of game changes. We need to improve the way some of the output is displayed. And other stuff.
    • pages of tables - Wikia's best practices clearly state that wikis shouldn't build entire pages out of big, long, complex tables. In spite of this, their "don't list" accurately describes many of our pages. We need to find out if there are other, better ways to display this content. If we find a better way, we need to update all those pages.
    • making us mobile-friendly - More than 50% of our users visit using some kind of mobile device, but they can't even read huge portions of our content. The most popular pages on our site are contract lists. Yesterday, I spoke with an iPhone user who said Alan's page never loaded for him. It just showed him a white page with grey lines.
    • cleaning up categories - The categories we have are appropriate. The problem is that we need to organize them better. For example, instead of having Category:Contracts contain contract lists, contractor shops, contractor stories, and every building and decoration from every contractor's shop—ever—we could use subcategories to make things easier to find. Maybe we create subcategories for shops and stories. Definitely we create subcategories for shop items. And so on.
    • interlanguage wikis - Currently, German and Dutch versions of our site exist, but they're too small to be useful to people who speak those languages. We can help them duplicate our current content and add new content as we create it, all while linking every page on each site to every other language we have. We have one or two Danish-speaking users who want to translate our site, and there may be others who ask for translation once we make that part of our site more visible.

    What other ideas do you have to make TrainStation Wiki better?

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    • Well in my opinion we should also update the Title Page. I mean the visual style but also content as well. The latest tweets and FB posts are nice features, but I miss some more actuality in the content. For example, the Image Gallery and the Navigation only show old images and not the current state of the game. Maybe these could be updated. Also a News feed of current changes would be nice, since many users want to know the latest changes, such as contract rewards on recently released contracts or seasonal Achievements. Another fetaure would be a link to a First-Steps-Tutorial or a Tipps and Tricks Section (more present than now) for newbies on the game. I am not an expert on Wikia Design Possibillities and do not know what is possible and what is not. But for example, the HP wikia Page ( http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page) has a more present navigation and more relation to current activities on the wiki, than this.

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    • BeCutter, that is great feedback! That is exactly the sort of thing we need to hear. Thank you!

      Another item we need to address is licensing, mostly of images. Many of our images are marked with Wikia's default {{fairuse}} template. That's okay, but more specific information would be better. Many other images, especially older ones, have no licensing info at all.
      The contractors' story pages are nothing but pure plagiarism. We definitely need some kind of notice there. .... And so forth.

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    • I edited the main landing page. No, BeCutter, I did not include any of your suggestions (yet). Instead, I made the page into an announcement of, and request for help with, our major revision project. We have a large number of anonymous users, who won't see the notification about this thread. Directing people here from the title page allows us to involve the entire community in the discussion.

      The previous content is still in the page's code. I put comment markers around it instead of deleting it. That way, when we change the page again, we can restore, modify, or delete the previous content, as desired.

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    • I'm not sure if you have seen the contractor's pages of my Dutch version, but maybe it's a good idea to put the station info on the same page instead of on a separate page When i'm done translating the contracts, i add the max pass. info below the contracts, so visitors don't have to switch pages I've altered the contractor's profile templates to have a menu of all the parts on the page, contracts, max pass., rewarded train sets, and images of finished contracts. I'm thinking of also adding street size info too, but i'm afraid that'll be too much work for now while i'm still behind (knowing i'm on it all alone! lol)

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    • TrashTerrier, actually, I was on your site two days ago, and I did notice that. It's not a bad idea to have everything for one contractor on one page (except the shop and the story, of course). That's the point of one of the things I wrote on the main landing page today.

      When the TrainStation Wiki started, the game was new. More importantly, the game was small. Much of the structure here was designed to accommodate a small game. As the game grew, the wiki grew even more, because we have analytical data and we keep historical data—all on top of the new content that Pixel gives three days every week. Having one page with all "Max passengers" info was fine when things were small. It's less practical now. We'll discuss that idea.

      On a related topic, I admit that I'm a little bit embarrassed. I went to your site two days ago for the purpose of leaving you a message about getting our two wikis connected and letting us help you. You said you're all alone over there now, and translation can be difficult work. There's no reason why you have to build the site AND translate it.

      We can help you transfer all of our current content so you don't have to build everything from scratch. You're free to change it however you wish, of course. After all, that wiki belongs to you and the other members of the Dutch-speaking TrainStation community. It's much easier to change than to build, though. Going forward, we'll obviously share our new content and our revisions, as well. I'll discuss the details with you on your wiki. I'm going there now.

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    • Okay, everyone, I created some very basic content for the mobile landing page. Right now, it has links for contractors, achievements, and offers (SO/VO). There's not much to it, but at least it should bring our most viewed content somewhere near the front for people.

      A major problem with this layout is that our system of categorization sucks. For example, it's intuitive for a user to click on "Contracts" and see a list of the different contractors, with links to each one's contract list page. The good news is, those pages appear there. The bad news, so does every. other. page. that deals with contracts.

      • contractor shop pages
      • contractor stories
      • every item in every contractor's shop in every place in the game

      Although the first two items don't help, that last item is the biggest problem. This weekend, I'll be house-sitting, so I should find some extra time to work on the Style Guide and on proposing a revised category structure.

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    • I think we need to be careful on how much we dive into modifying the existing site for the sake of a mobile site. I have not seen a stats output for our site specifically that shows the number of mobile users. Additionally, what content is really the most applicable for someone viewing the site on a mobile device. I don't think it should be the enitre site but a subset of the high traffic sections. 

      Please don't mis-misunderstand, I like the idea and I don't deny that a mobile section is important, but I don't think we should be sacrificing feature / functionality of the full site for the sake of the mobile. The categorization we currently have does alright (yes could use some improvement) for the full site. Maybe we can modify so that it works for both full and mobile or maybe we need to add some tags just for the mobile (Contract List for example to isolate contract pages). 

      Not having played with the mobile, is it exclusively category driven or can it be link driven and build out similar to the full site. Again I would be curious to the actually break down on mobile vs non-mobile views for our actual site. There are other items like the revised shop template that might be a bigger 'bang for the buck' in terms of improvements.

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    • TrashTerrier wrote:
      I'm not sure if you have seen the contractor's pages of my Dutch version, but maybe it's a good idea to put the station info on the same page instead of on a separate page

      That's a good idea. I think the challenge is finding a balance between like information and the length of the page. Giovanni for example has 100 contract tasks which when adding street size and makes for a rather long page which is why we originally put a link to it in the title block. Mrs. Wilma on the other hand is very short and the additional street information fits nicely but then that would be inconsistant with the longer contracts. My personal bent is towards shorter pages where it makes sense. Maybe a middle ground is combine the shop and street page for a given contract. That way you have the building requirements in addition to what is needed to maximize the street.

      Other items that might be useful on the contract pages would be the total XP earned, XP earned through building, trains earned (which we already do on some), just to show what is gained besides the final reward. Some could be in the title block, others at the end of the page. Again finding that balance between page length and consistancy among contracts and like information.

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    • BeCutter wrote:
      Well in my opinion we should also update the Title Page. I mean the visual style but also content as well. The latest tweets and FB posts are nice features, but I miss some more actuality in the content. For example, the Image Gallery and the Navigation only show old images and not the current state of the game. Maybe these could be updated. Also a News feed of current changes would be nice, since many users want to know the latest changes, such as contract rewards on recently released contracts or seasonal Achievements. Another fetaure would be a link to a First-Steps-Tutorial or a Tipps and Tricks Section (more present than now) for newbies on the game. I am not an expert on Wikia Design Possibillities and do not know what is possible and what is not. But for example, the HP wikia Page ( http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page) has a more present navigation and more relation to current activities on the wiki, than this.

      All great ideas. I have a bunch a screen captures to update the gallary but was always low on the priority list. In addition to the tips on game play I think it would also be cool to come up with some relavent Top 10 lists. Most profitable buildings, best locomotives, etc. The goal being to help new players with some of the lists and for other lists to provide some context to the 'value' of current SO/VO offered in the game relative to history.

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    • Mhommer wrote:
      ... Giovanni for example has 100 contract tasks which when adding street size and makes for a rather long page which is why we originally put a link to it in the title block. Mrs. Wilma on the other hand is very short and the additional street information fits nicely but then that would be inconsistant with the longer contracts. My personal bent is towards shorter pages where it makes sense. Maybe a middle ground is combine the shop and street page for a given contract. That way you have the building requirements in addition to what is needed to maximize the street.
      is there any option to collapse content? For example when you visit the mobile page of Wikipedia, the minor important section like references are capsuled in collapsed and can be expanded by clicking on the section header..as a result, you get a better Overview of the Page.

      Otherwise we might add a content navigation on top of these pages?

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    • Yes, there are Table of Contents which allow you to jump down and there are coding options for making collapsable content as well as on page tabs. I guess the best option is to create some test pages with different layout options and see what folks prefer. Maybe even breaking up the contract lists into sections of 10-15 tasks at a time (or maybe 5-10 if that makes more sense from a mobile view).

      Anything is possible, just need to see what works best for the community. 

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    • Regarding collapsable content, i've tried to add routecalculator screenshots in a collapsable table, which worked great, but i heard from someone on a mobile device that its expanded by default, while i made it collaped by default

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    • Regarding Mhommers's suggestion of only having "high traffic sections of the Wiki" added to the mobile version, personally I think that would be idea not only for the mobile site but also content from there should be added as a sub-category to the PC version.

      Example: Recently added/ New content to the game ( Achivements, Contractors, Buildings, Rolling Stock etc) usually attracts the most traffic (what is it? what does it cost? what does it look like? what do I have to send for that contract etc).

      A seperate section to deal with the latest and greatest would address much of that as those things would represent about half of the traffic on the Wiki.

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    • Hi. I'm happy to help out with proof reading. I have a few hours spare most nights and can assist with spelling, grammar and punctuation (there's a bit that needs fixing on the home page !!). My time zone is GMT +12 hrs, so replies won't be instantaneous.

      Currently on level 198 and climbing steadily.

      EJ

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    • EJVideos wrote:

      spelling, grammar and punctuation (there's a bit that needs fixing on the home page !!)

      I doubt that in the most extreme way imaginable. I wrote everything you see there except for the Navigation section and the items on the right. I am tremendously picky about my spelling, grammar, and punctuation at all times. At the same time, I occasionally violate those principles intentionally when I wish to create a certain effect, as currently is true on the home page. I assure that any grammar or punctuation currently on the home page that breaks established rules does so deliberately. Thank you.

      On the other hand, there's no shortage of text elsewhere on the site that needs proofreading. It may be best to wait on those until I finish the Style Guide and the community approve it, though. Otherwise, you'll probably be editing each page a second time, and I wouldn't ask anyone to do that.

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    • So you deliberately left out the full stop ater the word 'changes' in the first bullet point under the heading 'Things we know'. Since you're so confident in your own abilities, I won't mention the other errors and I will retract my offer for help.

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    • Not going to fix everything on my path as i don't have the time for that, but since when is Land Down Under Ethan's theme? (see contract page)

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    • 118.92.184.100 wrote:

      So you deliberately left out the full stop ater the word 'changes' in the first bullet point under the heading 'Things we know'. Since you're so confident in your own abilities, I won't mention the other errors and I will retract my offer for help.

      I was wrong. You were right. I definitely was arrogant. I apologize.

      I have corrected the error you mentioned. I am (now) open to hearing about anything else you noticed.

      Humbly,
      TheRealPella (talk) 06:38, October 30, 2015 (UTC)

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    • Mhommer wrote:

      I think we need to be careful on how much we dive into modifying the existing site for the sake of a mobile site.

      I think you misunderstood my intent. I do not think we should redesign the category structure to improve the mobile experience. We should redesign the category structure because it completely sucks, and doing so will make things better for all users. It just so happens that the redesign will have more dramatic visual and functional effects for mobile users than for desktop users.

      what content is really the most applicable for someone viewing the site on a mobile device. I don't think it should be the enitre site but a subset of the high traffic sections.

      Perhaps. On the other hand, we may be able to make some relatively minor changes that will allow mobile users to see essentially what the desktop users see. Or maybe not. We won't know for sure until we're further along in the project.

      Not having played with the mobile, is it exclusively category driven or can it be link driven and build out similar to the full site.

      No exclusively, but primarily—so much so that the current category structure makes finding anything on mobile very time-consuming, and impossible in some cases. Category pages, like Game Updates, Special Offer, and Contracts, will not display at all in certain mobile implementations.[1]

      Wikia has released separate apps for the most popular games on Wikia. For the rest, like ours, they built an app called "Game Guides". Users can use Game Guides to access any Wikia site in the Games category, and it gives a clean, consistent appearance. Rather than attempting to make our content available and visible for all mobile users, we could just make sure the content works with Game Guides. That would greatly reduce our workload and the difficulty of our coding, and greatly increase our mobile presence, all at once.
      1. Game Guides falls into this category. The app will display articles in a category, but no content from the category page itself.

      In addition to the tips on game play I think it would also be cool to come up with some relavent Top 10 lists.


      Maybe even breaking up the contract lists into sections of 10-15 tasks at a time (or maybe 5-10 if that makes more sense from a mobile view).

      Both of these ideas fit well with what Wikia recommends for wikis in general, desktop view included.


      TrashTerrier wrote:

      i've tried to add routecalculator screenshots

      I strongly recommend everyone read this post before using RouteCalculator or uploading screenshots from RouteCalculator.


      122.148.219.120 wrote: Regarding Mhommers's suggestion of only having "high traffic sections of the Wiki" added to the mobile version, personally I think that would be idea not only for the mobile site but also content from there should be added as a sub-category to the PC version.

      Example: Recently added/ New content to the game ( Achivements, Contractors, Buildings, Rolling Stock etc) usually attracts the most traffic (what is it? what does it cost? what does it look like? what do I have to send for that contract etc).

      Agreed. The day Antoni was released, a few users commented to me that a search for "Antoni" from a mobile platform yielded no results, even six hours after his pages were created. Easy-to-find links to the most current content would eliminate that problem.

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    • i want to translate (and, of course i can) the site to russian language

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    • Not sure, but can th esame page on both look good? There seem to be mobile version of websites out there, I think because of that. (I don't use mobile so can't help with that)

      Related: https://www.ampproject.org/

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    • TrashTerrier wrote:

      since when is Land Down Under Ethan's theme? (see contract page)

      No clue. I'm pretty sure it's not. Ethan's station looks like it's in a desert, and someone decided that matched Land Down Under. I compared his station to all the theme images, and I don't think it looks like any of them, so maybe someone just selected LDU just to have something in there.

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    • 109.86.226.12 wrote:

      i want to translate (and, of course i can) the site to russian language

      Excellent! We can and want to help you get started.

      Currently, we also have a user who wants to start a Danish-language version of TrainStation Wiki. Our current major project will affect so many things sitewide that we asked him to wait until mid-December to get started. Our overhaul won't be complete, but we should have completed some of the most dramatic changes by then. Waiting a short time will allow him to start fresh with our major changes in place, rather that creating a site, adding content, then quickly needing to make major changes to the new site.

      For the reasons stated above, we strongly encourage you also wait until mid-December to start a Russian community site. However, if you still want to start right away, we will help you.

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    • 69.50.175.160 wrote: Not sure, but can th esame page on both look good? There seem to be mobile version of websites out there, I think because of that. (I don't use mobile so can't help with that)

      Related: https://www.ampproject.org/

      Of course, the ideal scenario is that all pages on the site have one format that we edit one time and looks great on both desktop and mobile. It's much too early in this process to know whether that will happen, or even be possible. Most of our templates are highly complex, so we'll just have to figure out this one as we go.

      The AMP Project looks amazing! They just started about three weeks ago, so Wikia definitely hasn't yet figured out any sort of consistent integration with AMPP. I'll keep an eye on them occasionally, and maybe we'll be able to use something they generate.

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    • What has happend to the Wiki? I e Ethan II conttract pages looks like shit :-(
      Contrpg
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    • "What has happened to the wiki?" And here I thought the message repeating down the page might have been a clue. Silly me...

      The goal is to make things easier for editors to enter data and more difficult for them to make mistakes. As part of that process, I built a template that displays the page link and image for an item rewarded by a contractor, all with very little input in a consistent format. Then I decided to add the item information to it, plus I had to correct some alignment issues.

      All those changes to the template made Anastasia's page look great, but it broke the other pages where it was already added. I altered the template again so it would display a message on those items to tell users where to go to learn how to fix it.

      No big deal. It's a temporary thing as part of our major overhaul. You can expect to see more pages break before we finish. We're just getting started. ;-)

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    • I was wondering if for maglev in teh shop, you could make a catagorie that is just maglev. It would make shopping for maglev cargo wagons much easier. 

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    • TheRealPella wrote: Another item we need to address is licensing, mostly of images. Many of our images are marked with Wikia's default {{fairuse}} template. That's okay, but more specific information would be better. Many other images, especially older ones, have no licensing info at all.
      The contractors' story pages are nothing but pure plagiarism. We definitely need some kind of notice there. .... And so forth.

      I have been in contact with Simon at Pixels, and he have wrote me back that we are allowed to use the pictures from the game here on WIKI, and that is why I on all the pictures I upload choose the option Permitted by Pixel in writing. and so can the rest of you do.

      How are status on the list on what is needed to be updated?

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    • A FANDOM user
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