User talk:Nephele/Archive-2007-10

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Spammer?[edit] seems to be a spammer. I didn't know what to do with him. So I am reporting him to you. --Mankar Camoran 16:09, 30 September 2007 (EDT)

Not a spammer, just a garden-variety vandal. A warning will suffice. (For future reference, the Administrator Noticeboard is the best place for this sort of thing.) --TheRealLurlock Talk 16:16, 30 September 2007 (EDT)
Thanks for the info, Lurlock. --Mankar Camoran 08:10, 1 October 2007 (EDT)

Welcome Back?[edit]

I hope you had a good break! I'd ask if you now feel revived and enthusiastic but from the way you're reviewing every change made since you went away I think that must be true! We've all missed you. --RpehTCE 03:28, 14 October 2007 (EDT)

Thanks :) Just trying to get caught up on everything that happened while I was gone... --NepheleTalk 12:53, 14 October 2007 (EDT)
You're making me feel guilty about all the stuff I missed! Back on IRC soon? --RpehTCE 15:15, 14 October 2007 (EDT)

Hi Nephele! It sure is nice to have you around again ;). Hopefully we haven't been slipping too much in your absence! --Eshetalk20:38, 14 October 2007 (EDT)

Welcome back :). Of course, now that you're here, I'll just go back to not doing anything again. --Ratwar 22:18, 14 October 2007 (EDT)


Thank you and others for this cite!Do you know how much I learned about Oblivion thanks to you?A lot! :)))

also to report one thing: in the quest "Ghosts of Vitharn",I did all the things and still the quest doesn't update to go to Cirion

You're welcome :) If you're having a problem with a specific quest, it's best to post the information on that quest's talk page (in this case, at Shivering talk:Ghosts of Vitharn), with details of the problem (e.g., what was the last quest update you got? What specifically have you done so far in the quest? What happens if you just go talk to Cirion anyway?). --NepheleTalk 20:14, 20 October 2007 (EDT)

Merc template[edit]

Hey, I noticed you noticing my Merc template, wondered if you could help with something. Originally when I made that, I was trying to do a {{#expr:}} thing with '<' '>' things in order to split the values up. I never got that to work and was forced to use a much-less-efficient {{#switch:}} function instead. It works, but it still bugs me having to do it that way. Think you could take a look at it and see if there's any way to streamline that a bit better? --TheRealLurlock Talk 14:40, 14 October 2007 (EDT)

OK, I've got it working. If that's all you care about, you can stop reading ;)
Although from recent changes it might look like these edits were painless, in reality the half-hour intervals between saves were filled with hundreds of previews and error messages. I think I learned a few things, so if you want some nitty gritty ugly details of template code, you can try to forge through the rest of this! And maybe someday I'll translate some of this into a help page somewhere so I can remember what I learned next time I hit this type of problem :)
  • ifexpr vs if-expr I started off by using {{#ifexpr: instead of {{#if:{{#expr:, thinking that might have been the initial problem. If I'm reading the documentation properly, boolean tests with #expr return a value of either 0 or 1. But #if checks to see whether the value is empty or non-empty. Neither 0 nor 1 is empty; both are characters. So the #if should always get evaluated as being true, no matter what you plug into the expression. #ifexpr bypasses that problem, so my first set of tests on the Morrowind half of the template were successful.
  • really annoying error messages Luckily I started off by doing the Morrowind half of the template, because once I started on the Oblivion half I started tearing my hair out. When previewing the template, I kept getting error messages about "unexpected < operator"... even using the exact same code that was working for Morrowind; if I hadn't known that the code really did work I probably would have given up. Looking back through the first couple versions of the template, you obviously triggered this error, too, and your subsequent edits may have actually just hidden the message instead of eliminating it. The basic problem is that you can't use #expr/#ifexpr operators on empty strings. In the template itself, {{{1|}}} always gets converted into an empty string. So {{#ifexpr:{{{1|}}}<25|...}} gets evaluated as {{#ifexpr:<25|...}}, which throws up the error message about unexpected operator: it wants to see a number appear before the < operator. It's somewhat of a bogus error, because as long as the template is used properly (i.e., a numeric parameter is always provided), it will never appear anywhere except on the template page. So the Morrowind stuff, that I was only testing on real pages, all worked out fine.
  • using expr safely The moral of the story is that before using #expr and/or #ifexpr you really need to start with a test that your input is legitimate. Otherwise editors can end up accidentally making impossible-to-understand error messages appear out of nowhere. Therefore the current version of the template starts with some ugliness that's there just to trap bad input:
{{#if: {{#ifexpr:{{{1|}}}>=0||negative}} | {{{1|}}} | ... }}
    • the inner part of this, {{#ifexpr:{{{1|}}}>=0||negative}}, checks to see whether the input ({{{1|}}}) is a positive number. There are really three possible outcomes of this test. (1) If {{{1|}}} is a positive number, the #ifexpr will be true, and it will return an empty string (the emptiness between the ||). (2) If it's a negative number, the #ifexpr will be false, and it will return the text "negative". (3) If {{{1|}}} isn't a number or for whatever reason makes the wiki code unhappy, then #ifexpr will return some type of error message (e.g., "unexpected < operator"). Here I really don't care what the error message actually says; I basically want to hide the message from the readers and make the code do something boring instead of blowing up.
    • the {{#if: now takes that output (empty, "negative", or error message) and decides what to do with it. Anything except for an empty string is translated by #if as "true". So negative values or error messages are caught by the "true" part of the #if; in this case, the result is that it prints out {{{1|}}}. An empty string is translated as "false"; this only happens if the original input was in fact a non-negative number (>=0). In that case, the code goes into the guts of the template (the ... section here) and actually uses the validated number to produce legitimate output.
Now that I've worked through it all myself, I can see that the info is there on the wikipedia page, but I know I didn't understand what the wikipedia page was really saying the first dozen times through ;) Maybe my explanation will make a bit more sense to someone! --NepheleTalk 01:39, 17 October 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, you ran into the same problem I was having - got an erroneous error message every time, couldn't figure out why. The < operator would only work if you specified hard-coded numbers. (which in my mind made it basically useless - why would you ever need to compare two hard-coded numbers?) I'm wondering if maybe you'd need to put in a default value, so like, {{{1|0}}}, meaning it will substitute a 0 if the first variable is an undefined empty string? Might be a simpler solution than what you were forced to do? The only way somebody could screw it up then would be to put something into the template which is not a number. (Which might be an issue for the few NPCs who change their Mercantile value as a result of a quest or something in order to offer you better prices.) Anyhow, thank you for figuring this out - and for explaining what the problem was, also. Now if I'm tempted to try using this feature again, I'll at least have a working model to base it on. --TheRealLurlock Talk 02:08, 17 October 2007 (EDT)
Yep, you could plug in something like {{{1|0}}}. Even just {{{1}}} would prevent the string from being empty (although for this particular example that just changes the error message from "unexpected < operator" to "unrecognised punctuation character {"). But as you say, even {{{1|0}}} only fixes the one case of an empty string; it doesn't fix any other type of bad input. Having spent so much time figuring out what the problem was, I figured I might as well come up with a more bullet-proof solution now while the information was all fresh in my mind. So if in future you need to do something screwy like "|merc=apprentice (30) except on Tirdas" it shouldn't break the entire template.
And it's really good to know that my explanation actually made some sense to someone else! :) --NepheleTalk 02:31, 17 October 2007 (EDT)

Book Summary Template[edit]

I give up. Take a look at Oblivion:Battlehorn Barracks. It's missing the ID header, right? Now. Take a look at Shivering:Alyssa's Journal (for instance - could be anything) and do a preview edit adding a "mod=" line. What on earth is causing that??? It's got to be something about the way the template is interpreted if the "mod=" line is included but I'm quite seriously dashed if I know what! I've been trying to work this out for a couple of days and failing miserably. Time to Ask the Expert! --RpehTCE 09:22, 18 October 2007 (EDT)

All fixed :) The only reason I was able to fix it so quickly was because I spent days messing with the same problem on the NPC Summary, so I just had to make sure that Book Summary had all of its line breaks done identically. The problem has to do with the wiki stripping out all white space in various places within templates. It's something they introduced a few revisions ago, presumably in order to allow templates to be formatted to be semi-legible (i.e., the line breaks and indents I added to Template:Merc). But it can make forcing line breaks to appear when you need them to nearly impossible. In this case, unless the whole sequence of {{!}}-}}{{#ifeq is done in exactly the right way, then after processing you end up with:
|- ! ID

instead of:

! ID

In the former, it ignores everything that appears on the same line as |- (except formatting) and therefore the ID disappears. The other way to fix problems like this is to add &#32; at various places in the template to force the white space to not get stripped. Oh, and the places it will strip whitespace from are before and after any | symbols. --NepheleTalk 09:47, 18 October 2007 (EDT)

I spent hours on that!!!!! Thank you :) --RpehTCE 09:49, 18 October 2007 (EDT)


Hey I'm new to this wiki, so is there anything for me to do regarding oblivion, shivering isles and knights of the nine? as those are the only things I know about. thanks. Riley The Great 18:55, 18 October 2007 (EDT)

Shivering Isles Map[edit]

I just noticed you were considering the option of adding a Shivering Isles Google Map in addition to the Oblivion map. If you haven't found anyone yet who is willing to make the necessary images than I would offer myself as volunteer to do at least a part of the job. I have not done this before, but I am familiar with the CS and Photoshop's automate tool.
Just out of curiousity I have checked that the used cells of the Shivering Isles lie in x: -16 to 19, y: -19 to 24 (margin excluded).
I'm sorry if this is already discussed on a Talk page, I couldn't find one yet. --Timenn 04:20, 19 October 2007 (EDT)

Wow! I wasn't expecting a volunteer that quickly :) There hasn't been any discussion of it so far, other than a couple informal "wouldn't it be nice if..." chats in IRC, and the post I just made to Daveh's talk page, which it sounds like you've already seen. In which case you probably also know that you can get some idea of what you just signed up for by reading through UESPWiki:Oblivion Map Design. It looks like you'll want to rely pretty heavily on that automate tool, because I'd estimate it'll come out to about 6000 image files and about 100 MB of data (since I think SI is roughly 1/4 the size of Cyrodiil). My guess is that there isn't much more to know other than what Daveh documented on the design page, but it probably wouldn't hurt to wait and see whether Daveh has any additional comments.
It might also be worth considering some of the suggestions at UESPWiki talk:Oblivion Map Design. Obviously, just getting a map up would be a fantastic improvement over the current situation! But there are some ways that the map tiles could be improved, such as blue water and cleaning up some of the boxes and lines that the CS adds. All of which would be pretty labor-intensive, I'm sure, but if the labor is free it doesn't hurt to ask ;) --NepheleTalk 04:49, 19 October 2007 (EDT)
I will try first to do the first few top rows of the SEWorld Worldspace to get the hang of it, before automating the whole bunch. Testing first how much the CS can take before crashing (luckily I got the RAM for this kind of operation) and trying to glue the first few images together to see if they fit.
I think the water and the boxes/lines can wait till the all maps are completed. I will keep the uncompressed but cropped files in my archive. The water seems hard to add, and first we have to figure out what kind of texture we want for the water. I haven't seen lines or boxes yet on the few test cells I exported (you mean those that could be seen on the old Dungeon maps?), but removing them isn't something that is easy to automate. But of what value is a map that was made without manual labour? :-)
When I count the number of cells, I see 36 * 44 = 1584 ~ 1800 (including margin), thus only 1800 images. Where in lies the differences? --Timenn 09:50, 20 October 2007 (EDT)
Yep, doing a few examples first would be good. Then probably you should email them to Daveh so he can doublecheck the format, etc. FYI, it's possible to examine/download the individual tiles for the existing map as long as you know the naming system. For example oblivion/map/zoom15/tamriel-34-24-15.jpg, oblivion/map/zoom14/tamriel-17-12-14.jpg, oblivion/map/zoom14/tamriel-17-11-14.jpg (x-y-zoom; x=0 at left, y=0 at top). If you're like me, browsing through those will probably help to understand just how they've all been set up.
Examples of the artifacts on the current maps can be seen, for example, if you zoom in near Vindasel. To the west (half way to the Ayleid Well) is one yellow box, another one is just southeast of the well; then further west next to Clavicus Vile's shrine is a row of neon green dots. I know some of the yellow boxes mark zones where butterflies or other animations occur; green dots typically are activators. For that matter, the black rocks that appear all over the place aren't too great. None of these are major annoyances (and IMO some of the artifacts such as the red dots where creatures appear are mildly useful), but given that readers have commented on them, I thought I'd bring it up.
The water is IMO a more significant issue. I know Lurlock has fiddled some adding with water to maps, for example Image:OB-Map-Anvil.jpg, and he might be able to share some pointers on what he's done. There probably will have to be some decisions about how we want to do it (e.g., show the underwater rocks or not?). In any case, you're definitely right to suggest waiting until the maps are completed to worry about tweaks.
For the record, it was just a matter of hand-painting a hue-adjustment layer-mask. Easy enough for a single city-map like that one, but it'd be quite a bit of labor for a full continent the size of SI. (And I have absolutely no interest in attempting to do this for the entire Cyrodiil map.) The other problem is that you'd have to first combine all the tiles into one single huge image, add the water, and then cut it apart again, otherwise you'd never get the edges of the water layer to line up perfectly between tiles. This would of course require a seriously beefed up computer just to be able to handle an image of that scale. Not something I'd recommend unless you're really prepared for a major amount of work. --TheRealLurlock Talk 10:30, 22 October 2007 (EDT)
I originally played around with trying to get an automatic water mask working but could not get anything close enough to consistent. Similarily with the map output artifacts. It might/should be possible with more effort but I haven't tried anything recently. -- Daveh 11:06, 22 October 2007 (EDT)
My tile number estimate was very rough: I just took Daveh's figure of 23000 for Oblivion and divided by 4 based on some vague idea that Cyrodiil is 16 square miles and SI is 4 square miles. Although if you're getting 1800 cells that means ultimately 1800 + 450 + 112 + 30 + 15 + 8 + 4 + 2 + 1 map tiles for all the zoom levels. --NepheleTalk 13:26, 20 October 2007 (EDT)
Apropos of nothing, if it were 16 miles squared and not 16 square miles you'd end up dividing 23,000 by 16 rather than 4 and that comes out at 1437 - much closer to Timenn's figure. --RpehTCE 10:48, 22 October 2007 (EDT)

Water areas seem to be harder to recognize on the Shivering Isles Map as most underground is a green color instead of a gray color. Adding a texture for water shouldn't be a bigger problem. If the mask for the water has been created it will only need applying an image (of the same size) to it that has a repeating pattern with a size that is a divider of 256 (256 mod x = 0). --Timenn 08:39, 23 October 2007 (EDT)

Broken Links[edit]

Hi Nephele, Your project here at is coming along very well! The site is a great resource; thank you for all your hard work.

I wanted to let you know that there are broken links from the various pieces of Morag Tong light armor, on this page: They are pointing to bookmarks that have been edited out of the page.


Thanks for the compliments, and thanks for pointing out those broken links. I've fixed them now (the list of items from that mod were all moved to a new page, Oblivion:Mehrunes' Razor Items). If you notice any other problems on wiki articles, you can always use the article's talk page to point out the problems. Or feel free to dive in yourself and edit the articles :) That's what the wiki is all about: letting everyone help chip in and improve the articles. --NepheleTalk 17:39, 20 October 2007 (EDT)


Can editors block IP adresses? If not, could you please check the recent changes to block those guys who have been posting nonsence? What am I supposed to do when reverting the changes of some weirdo? I want to be able to respond to that, to prevent the same user from making edits like that more than once. I kind of panic. I need someone to spell out the procedure for me cause I'm kinda slow when panicky. Vesna 22:40, 27 October 2007 (EDT)

I gots 'em, and no editors can't block IPs, that's purely an administrator thing. -Ratwar 22:57, 27 October 2007 (EDT)

Prod not Speedy?[edit]

I was just about to delete Image:Ghb.jpg and Image:Cat.jpg when I saw you'd prod'd them instead. I'm still new to this, but if an image has been uploaded purely to allow vandalism of a page, doesn't that qualify for speedy deletion? --RpehTCE 17:31, 1 November 2007 (EDT)

Yeah, you're probably right. Since they weren't offensive and at the time the vandal seemed to just be mischievous rather than destructive, I took the cautious approach. But the first criterion listed at Criteria for Speedy Deletion is vandalism, so I was probably just being too cautious. Feel free to speedy delete... unless you'd rather I did it. --NepheleTalk 17:38, 1 November 2007 (EDT)
I've done it (and removed the links above so your page isn't cluttered with red links) - and feel guilty about killing a kitten! Not on IRC tonight? --RpehTCE 17:49, 1 November 2007 (EDT)
I'm at the office right now, which makes IRC somewhat tricky ;) Although I'm having a hard time focussing on work, after just discovering that someone plagiarized all of the Ingredient pages that I wrote, added them all to a gamefaqs article, and stamped a copyright on it claiming that he has legal ownership and nobody else is allowed to use the content. Of course, UESP is not mentioned once in the entire faq. --NepheleTalk 18:17, 1 November 2007 (EDT)
Nah - I think you're just jealous of ShadowDragon777's awesome ASCII art :p He does ask that you notify him at his email address if you see it anywhere else so maybe you should point this site out to him? --RpehTCE 18:39, 1 November 2007 (EDT)
Quick work finding the faq :) Let me guess: copied a phrase or two into google and saw what came up? The details of the Vampire Dust and Enchanted Chest section are particularly revealing (lists deleted without deleting the preceding "see following list" sentence; "this page" instead of "this section of the FAQ"; grammar errors from bad cut-and-paste). Anyway, I've obsessed enough over it for now. And, yes, he'll be getting some type of email later today (but not until I can use a non-NASA email account!) I wonder where he stole the ASCII art from? That's about the only part of the article that isn't copied from UESP! ;) --NepheleTalk 18:50, 1 November 2007 (EDT)