Wiki: Current and future

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Wiki: Current and future

Postby ssilk » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:31 pm

I start this thread, because I'm currently the most maintaining person in the Factorio wiki

I have made many thoughts and tried many stuff out. I tried to clean up some information and currently I'm at a point, where I begin to have a vision about how this may continue. So please lean back, take some coffee, make a snack, because this will get lengthly. :)

Where do I begin? I describe the current state.

Current state


Positive

We have some concepts, which are really fine. I like the concept of the "networks", which reflects very well the internal structures. This is a big gain, compared to many other documentations I've seen.

Then we have the whole entities/items more or less well documented.

Most of the known and sometimes very astonishing tricks are documented (like the trick with the renaming of train stops).

The information is brought into a much better structure and most includes the changes to v0.8 (some of it was very old), but many linking is missing and the subpages are not filled yet.

We had begun to make space (mods/-subpages) for the modules and some are already documented.

Not so well
A pic is saying more than thousand words. Currently we have many pages, with walls of text. But for example the block-signals for the trains could be explained much easier with pictures or even better with a video.

Also the old pics are ... outdated. Some new players won't recognize, what happens in the pics. So we have to replace ALL pics.

When two concepts are very interacting like the pipe- and electrical network, this becomes also difficult and it needs careful tweaking, to not mix both. As examples there are the "Conceptual" and "Special" pages, which don't fit into the "Networks". I would like to make this different, but have currently no better idea.

Updates of the game will not be reflected in the wiki. The pages need to be updated by hand. This is not useful, because this increases the number of

The entities include in most cases more information then documented. For example how much energy they consume in maximum. We could say it's documented in form of lua-files, but ... well it should be made better.

The docu couldn't be used in the current state as a in-game documentation. I try hard to come to a point, where it might be possible to open a documentation in the game, which links to the factorio wiki of that entity or whatever. But this means also, that the pages are small, not so much info, more linking to other pages, but at some point, this becomes a mess, when the number of links per page is big. One small change could force you to change some dozen other pages.


Ideas & Targets


Make the wiki an own server
The idea is in some way important, because some other things depend from it: The wiki should be a own virtual server. Currently it is http://www.factorioforums.com/wiki/, but it should be some of http://wiki.factorioforums.com/ or better http://wiki.factorio.com/
The point of this is, that the URLs then could be much smaller, like http://wiki.factorio.com/Solar+panel instead of http://www.factorioforums.com/wiki/inde ... olar_panel ) and this is important, when we want to link out of the game directly to the documentation. Because at some point, the wiki-server might get too small, too many people will read on it etc. and to be prepared to that days, when there might be needed a new server or to make urls easier this is an important point. And there are some other those issues, which won't be a problem, when the wiki is an own server.

The different "views" into the docs
Well, as far as I can see, we have four views.
1. The Beginners
They are those type of gamers, which are interested in the game and now want to start as fast as possible. Things, that are explained in some "Let's play", but much more compressed. As far, as there is no good tutorial mission, this is the first reference to come into the game, besides the mentioned videos etc.
They want also see, where are more informations and how to dig deeper. Some FAQs are here. Links to News, Forum etc. are obligatory.
2. In-Game Documentation
Every entity, item, research etc. should have a docu-page. My idea about this is: Hover an entity, press H and a Help-Page pops in a own console. This page explains in very short words (or better some pics) inside the game, what this is and links to other pages of how it is used, how it interacts etc. It is just a small and simple browser in the game. In general there are the small pages of an entity (aka basic transport belt) and they link to bigger summary pages (all types of transport belts) and up to all types of belts (splitter etc.).
As a reference how this might look in the end you can look into Railway network. The many red links on that page are all the little In-Game-Pages, which should contain only one or two pics and some small text.
The pages get bigger, more text, the more general you are digging until you are in the
3. Detailed Documentation for the power-gamers
I don't want to make a hard cut between the In-Game-Docu and the detailed docu. The question is eventually, how much of the docu comes with the game and how much is online, but this is something, that might be added at the end. This docu is about every aspect of the game and mainly it is the right linking to the right place, but also very detailed info, like how to calculate the throughput of the logistic bots. How does a rail signal really work? What side effect did the implementation of circuit network have.
As example how this might look at the end, some can look into the Robotic network.
From here we also link into the
4. Game-Documentation
This means the game as whole. How to install, programming, modding etc. But also about the changelog, default options, the map-editor, scenarios, starting-options of the exe and some more.

New layout
Well, I would state it as low prio task and it depends on many other stuff. This point is only for mentioning it. :)

New pictures
As said above: A pic says more than thousand words. I had many plans to make pictures. My current is as follows:
1. Wait until v0.9.stable comes out.
2. Create a map/some maps. Every map contains some scenarios. Every scenario is one picture for the wiki.
V0.9 is because of the blueprints. This blueprints are needed as hell for that job, cause it takes up to hours to create a scenario, which can be used for pics. I can then reuse them for a nearly same picture, I need not to rebuild all to show the same situation but with other prequisites. I also can catch some nice stuff from a game an paste it for that into this wiki-scenario-maps. But the most important think is: I can redo all, if the grafix changes.

I think most of the In-Game-Docu are only some short-commented pics.

Automatic generation of docs
Most parts of the entity-docs could be generated automatically! I mean this must be done, but I don't know, which might be the best way. I've some fear to use the prototype-files directly. I need the structure as whole and I don't want to be bothered, from where. I need it in a form, which hides incompatible changes.

My dream here (and I think the only solution) would be to use XML.

I think so: We have the prototype files. That keep. Or might change. But then we also have some XML. Either those XML is delivered with the archive or - much better - it is generated by the factorio.exe (or some converter), so that every mode can make it's own XML.

I have many experience with that and I really mean, that this is the most useful way, because when having XML, there are so many tools (XSLT...), which makes work with those big structures very easy. A converter, which outputs some wiki-pages are a really simple task and also really simple to change. For that task, we can parse with XPATH to get the needed informations or use XSLT for that.

Other example: With XML it is absolutely easy to find the right informations. For example calculations about needed resources for an item or a simple output of all informations about recipe are made in seconds. That's all solutions, on which I'm very, very sure, that they will work and keep working in some years.

Best example: Because all is one big structure, and I can operate on it as in a big database, it's not so difficult to write a program, which computes, if all recipes and research are matching together, or if an item can be produced with the given research. Currently this is a mess.


More linking between Detailed Docu and Lua
This is important, because that will help in creating really useful new ideas. Some example: http://www.factorioforums.com/wiki/index.php?title=Time

Meta-Documentation
Something like this: A docu about the docu. What for whom and where?


To those, who want to help

Mods
I would like to have more information about the mods. But because I barely play with mods, I'm the wrong person for that. :)

Readers

* English natives
I'm a German and my English is sometimes ... :roll: ... and also stuff from others. No shy. If there is something you want to change do it. Tell me. Ask for account to the wiki. Make a post. Anything is fine.
* Short texts
It's really complicated to make good texts short. Not my strength. I tend to make it loooong. :)
* Structure
You mean that a power pole has something to do with the circuit network: Change.
* Correctness
Inputing one iron into a furnace sometimes will put out unicorns?! Cool 8-)


So I hope for some discussions. :)
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby cube » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:51 am

ssilk wrote:Automatic generation of docs
Most parts of the entity-docs could be generated automatically! I mean this must be done, but I don't know, which might be the best way. I've some fear to use the prototype-files directly. I need the structure as whole and I don't want to be bothered, from where. I need it in a form, which hides incompatible changes.

My dream here (and I think the only solution) would be to use XML.

I think so: We have the prototype files. That keep. Or might change. But then we also have some XML. Either those XML is delivered with the archive or - much better - it is generated by the factorio.exe (or some converter), so that every mode can make it's own XML.

I have many experience with that and I really mean, that this is the most useful way, because when having XML, there are so many tools (XSLT...), which makes work with those big structures very easy. A converter, which outputs some wiki-pages are a really simple task and also really simple to change. For that task, we can parse with XPATH to get the needed informations or use XSLT for that.

Other example: With XML it is absolutely easy to find the right informations. For example calculations about needed resources for an item or a simple output of all informations about recipe are made in seconds. That's all solutions, on which I'm very, very sure, that they will work and keep working in some years.

Best example: Because all is one big structure, and I can operate on it as in a big database, it's not so difficult to write a program, which computes, if all recipes and research are matching together, or if an item can be produced with the given research. Currently this is a mess.


For some of my experiments I wrote a small loader for the lua data files, maybe that would help you for autogenerating the wiki.
I've made it into a package, so it can be used more easily: https://github.com/bluecube/factorio-hi ... loader.lua Example of how it is used: https://github.com/bluecube/factorio-hi ... erator.lua (just search for "Loader")
I have no idea what I'm talking about.
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby ssilk » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:18 am

Cool. Will have a look@weekend.
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby CherryKiss » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:19 pm

A bit long...I'm afraid I have to admit I did not read through it, but I wanted to just say I think the top thing that will make the wiki stronger is simply increasing the community!

I can't wait to see this game greenlit and available on Steam, because I think the community will take off then. I guess timing the release on Steam is something to consider carefully though...but I'm really impressed with how this game handles so far, and when I look at games like Prison Architect which have been in early access on Steam FOREVER it seems, I can't help but think this game should have its place in the sun too, and with a more powerful wiki driven by thousands of fans! :D
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby cube » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:37 pm

So, today while I was having a day off from factorio, I created this: https://github.com/bluecube/factorio-lua-tools
The repository has a little bit updated loader (the one I was talking about before) and a script to create dependency graphs from recipes. Something like the graph in FFF some time ago, but this time separated by a target item.

The original idea was to make a tool that calculates perfectly balanced (no machines waiting) assembly lines for a given item (I was doing this thing manually when playtesting 0.8.x, it was kinda hard and then my awesome science factory never ran, because of copper shortage and later 0.9), but I realized that the oil industry complicated stuff and it is no longer easy to do this. Anyway the script is here, if someone wants to use it for anything, feel free. Also if anyone wants to work on it, PM me and I'll give you write access to the repo.

...and some pictures:
noname.gv.19.png
science pack 3 graph
noname.gv.19.png (167.64 KiB) Viewed 16923 times

noname.gv.14.png
car graph
noname.gv.14.png (72.23 KiB) Viewed 16923 times

noname.gv.12.png
smart chest graph
noname.gv.12.png (41.75 KiB) Viewed 16923 times
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby ssilk » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:37 pm

super! Just cloned...
I'm just too stupid to use it with mac...
Can you explain me, how this is normally used, then I can surely adopt that for mac. is it used within the game console or external?
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby cube » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:05 pm

Yeah, sorry for the lack of documentation :-)

It's external to factorio, requiring only the core mod (for the dataloader).
I launch it this way:
Code: Select all
lua recipes-graph.lua ~/Factorio/data/core ~/Factorio/data/base | dot -T png -O
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby ssilk » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:54 pm

Wha. Well. Of course externally.

I have a bit of virus and my brain works slower as normal. Or runs in automatic mode... I hoped to work on that, but sleep is much more attractive.
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby sparr » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:16 am

cube wrote:So, today while I was having a day off from factorio, I created this: https://github.com/bluecube/factorio-lua-tools


We should join forces! https://github.com/sparr/factorio-data-extract

I'll clone yours tonight or soon and see if it makes sense for me to abandon mine and work on a fork of yours, or if I'll suggest the opposite.
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby tiggyd » Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:46 pm

Hey guys, sorry I am a complete newbie regarding coding, I am halfway through my first programming course, I chose to start with Python as I am working towards web development, next I will do Java and JavaScript :lol:

I just wanted to ask how I would execute these extractors you guys have provided. I have downloaded an LUA interpreter, but I have no idea as to what to actually do to start testing your scripts. I have done some quick researching and found that you can execute a script by opening it with the interpreter (drag-and-drop) but this does not work. Am I supposed to have loader.lua and recipes-graph.lua in the same location as the base mod files for Factorio?

If the explanation requires too much context and an in-depth understanding of LUA, then don't worry I will take the time to learn it. However, if it is a simple step I am missing, please enlighten me!

Namaste!
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby ssilk » Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:03 am

The scripts from above work best in the command-line.

For the rest you need to look into the code. Cube's loader class needs the directories of the core and base and other modules-directories as parameter.
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby aussiegaylord » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:02 am

i would be happy to help with how to put some words in to english. im from australia so we only speak english here unless we study another subject at school. but i can help put it into understandable words for the masses if you wish
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby sparr » Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:07 am

You should do "lua recipe-graph.lua" from the command line. Or mark it executable then just "./recipe-graph.lua". It will give you some usage help.
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby tiggyd » Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:51 am

ssilk wrote:The scripts from above work best in the command-line.


For the rest you need to look into the code. Cube's loader class needs the directories of the core and base and other modules-directories as parameter.

sparr wrote:You should do "lua recipe-graph.lua" from the command line. Or mark it executable then just "./recipe-graph.lua". It will give you some usage help.


Thanks alot for the pointers guys, I will look into this when I get home tonight! Much appreciated
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby ssilk » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:38 pm

aussiegaylord wrote:i would be happy to help with how to put some words in to english. im from australia so we only speak english here unless we study another subject at school. but i can help put it into understandable words for the masses if you wish

Well, that's easy: Make a wiki-account (write PM to Kovarex) and read articles. I you find something, which you would change, change it. I work like so and nobody found it unacceptable.
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby aussiegaylord » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:49 pm

i shall but currently it is midnight here and unfortunately i have to work tomorrow but i will see what i can do :)
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby tiggyd » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:37 pm

aussiegaylord wrote:i would be happy to help with how to put some words in to english. im from australia so we only speak english here unless we study another subject at school. but i can help put it into understandable words for the masses if you wish


I'm from Oz also! Currently living in the UK! I'll do my best to give a hand too :)
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby ssilk » Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:43 pm

aussiegaylord wrote:i shall but currently it is midnight here and unfortunately i have to work tomorrow but i will see what i can do :)

No need to hurry. For the docs a continuous, steady work is much better...
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby Smee » Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:22 pm

I've applied for an account.

I read the Wiki pretty much cover to cover the day after watching a Let's Play, and the day before buying the game. In general it's pretty good and a lot better than many games I've seen. Definite credit to those who have put such work into something changing so fast.

Despite reading the appropriate entries, and actually playing with Logistic bots and smart inserters plus red wire yesterday I honestly still don't understand those concepts that well - so as a newb I think those section need some expansion or to be covered carefully in a newbie section. I will put some thoughts towards a guide once I've figured it out myself! :P

I'm a native Englishman so will look out for where I can improve the sentence structure in places. Generally very good though, so this is far from a major issue.
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Re: Wiki: Current and future

Postby ssilk » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:43 pm

Well. Thanks to that. Runs down like oil (German proverb)...

The current state - or how to I (re)name it?

The wiki is ... difficult. You said the logistic bots. That's right. I see that too. The problem appeared with the roboports in V0.8. I introduced robotic network to keep in the same "network"-context. And now this doesn't match so well together. There is

- the logistic network. This is something non-visible, an idea, a concept. Not very descriptive.
- the robotic network. I mean it's not an network, it's an area! Or better: some areas. And I think there come more.
- the roboport. This is much more, than we see. It's the control of all.
- the different bots. And also here there might be more in future.
- And the chests and inserter and some other stuff. But the chests are just chests and they are useless without the roboport.

So, based on my current knowledge I'm willing to give up the logistic network completely. It's not explainable, I can't show good pics from the game, which shows that as concept. it's just a dead end.
Even the robotic network... pfff... I would rename it to roboport-net, or just port-net. That is, what we see in the game. And from that point I want to rewrite all.

Keeping up with the changes

But I say much when the day is long. I think I won't have too much time the next month. The whole wiki is at a point, where the new content needs to be filled in, but that's difficult, some context has changed, some new stuff behaves differently and now belongs to other pages. It's so much work...

Currently I try to document the changes only. The new things in V0.9 for example. I experimented with a news-section, see for example: http://www.factorioforums.com/wiki/index.php?title=News
but I think we need some plugins for that, to be effective on the homepage (see mediawiki-homepage).

Automatic docu and translations

And there is the promised point with the entity-docs. I'm on it. There have been some tries, but all is very slow, because I don't see the way, how I can do it easy.

But what I see are changes from contributing translators. The first things they do is translating entities. :) The entities will have at some time in future all translation in the game and so as it is now, we can create completely translated wiki-pages for each entity, just with a program reading that information from factorio directly.

In my opinion: No translation needed for that.
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