Community Projects > The FreeSpace Wiki Project

Why so many missing things?


I go looking at the Celebration of Freespace page. So many beautiful things. Models, weapons, backgrounds, etc..

Yet only half of those things are at best on the wiki.

C'mon people....

Dude, seriously? This is a modding community. At the rate the people make things from all categories of modding, it would take a team of people that only work on the Wiki. Weapons and backgrounds are often not individually released, but only VPs of finished mods. You would need people to download each mod, scrub it for cool stuff and then upload it and put it on the Wiki. Not only that, but there's a substantial amount of things shown off in the Celebration thread that are unreleased because sekrets or whatever.

Black Wolf:
The wiki is very much the red headed step child of the HLP community. Sure, we all know its important, but editing the wiki isn't fun, creative or prestigious, so it largely gets ignored, or, perhaps more accurately, simply gets assigned a lower priority by the people who would be best suited to keep it up to date.

I've tried, unsuccessfully, to get people enthused about specific projects, but they typically go nowhere. There are a few small projects ongoing (like the User-made Weapons page, that I was supposed to work on last break, before personal issues ate up the majority of my time), but for the most part, I think people see adding things to the wiki to be the job of asset creators, while, for the most part, asset creators can generally find other things to do with their time than fiddling around with the wiki.

As a very rough estimate, the wiki probably needs between fifty and a hundred man hours to get it right back to to scratch and current - possibly significantly more if you include the effort of finding all the various mod and things that should be up there. That would be fine if we had fifty to one hundred active editors, but we don't, so its just going to have to wait until one of the very small number of active people find themselves with enough free time and inclination to start to chip away at that boulder.

Feel free to become one of those people, by the way - the time taken to post this topic could have just as easily have been spent on improving the wiki.

Also, in a functional way, when you're looking for a new campaign, it's often easier to look it up on a thread like the released campaigns thread.   And it's also easier to make a thread than update the wiki because right now wiki pages for released ships have to include pictures for the ship and table info but a thread of links to released models is simply a list of links.

The best thing that the wiki does, I think, is get newbies up to speed on FS, teaching and refreshing the lore, listing references, showing them the basic structure of files and scripting, etc.  It's a pretty good resource in that respect.  And between the table pages and reading the nightlies as they come out, you can have a pretty solid grasp of what you can do in the engine if you want to pick up modding, as well as having a place to get started picking ships and a reference for technical questions before having to resort to asking question on the forums or IRC.

EDIT: As an aside, as a person who has tried and pretty much failed to mod, it might be worthwhile to create a utility that can assist with table writing and maintenance, based on the ability to read the source code for future proofing and the ability to read data from the tables that already exist in a mod.  If it had detailed descriptions (of known features), all the information could be put together in a way that is actually superior to a wiki that could allow more mods to get released.

Not trying to get anyone to do this idea.  It's just something I've thought of before since mod table edits can be confusing, technical and tedious if you're just starting out.   Balancing can also be difficult if a separate file of values isn't maintained.  If I ever have the time and feel like learning a real programming language, I might try it out.

Another awesome utility would be one that tells you if a specific resource is in use by a mod, like specific textures and sounds, to allow you to figure out what you can safely move or delete.  That was always such a barrier.

Back on topic, more detailed descriptions of sexps is a worthy project.  (Like including do's and don'ts)


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