Template:PCList is the primary repository of production chains on this wiki.
Since it is so central, it should be very predictable to use. Not only does this make it easier for other editors to know what to call, but it also allows trivial composition with helper templates later down the road.
Current Parameter Patterns
The problem is that it is not that predictable. There are 4 patterns in use:
- End Product Name
- For when the production chain has a clear, single population class.
- End Product Name (Population Class)
- For when multiple population classes use this production chain (Timber for example).
- End Product Name_shortItemName
- For production chains coming from the use of certain items.
- End Product Name (Item Name)
- For production chains coming from the use of certain items.
The latter two show a collision: the same use case requires two different call patterns. This is a problem. I recommend choosing one over the other, and I prefer to use the full name version, as that name is also used for calling item templates. If requested, we can extend PCList with aliases for shorter calls, but that would lead to inconsistency in calling code, confusing the editors of article pages. Let me know if you are okay with multiple calls doing the same thing.
My proposal is to edit Template:PCList and rename the `Sausages_Maxime` to `Sausages (Maxime Graves, Delicatesseur Extraordinaire)` and `Soap_Prunella` to `Soap (Perfumier Prunella)`. Also, any calls to these two chains will need to be renamed appropriately. I do not know of any calls to these two templates: They aren't used on Soap Factory or Slaughterhouse.
Since this change may break backward compatiblity, and establishes a new standard for all future editors to adhere to, I have a few questions to other editors:
1. Do you support the standardization of PCList template calls?
2. Do you support this standardization?
3. Do you know of any PCList template calls using the soon-to-be-deprecated parameters? Could you link to the relevant pages?
4. Do you support PCList template parameter alias support?
5. Do you have any other comments?
I hope to move forward with this change for the sake of the stability of the wiki's backend (the template web at the moment, but maybe we progress to a more sophisticated backend later), but I do not want to do so without discussing the topic with other editors. Therefore, please leave your thoughts below.
Thank you for reading.
Appendix A: Partial Production Chains
With the ongoing project to make individual goods pages, it becomes relevant to make production chains for all basic and intermediate goods. What pattern should we use for these partial production chains? The same as for end products? The assembly of these production chain calls themselves can be automated, but we do have a choice to make for the parameter, and I want to choose a useful, predictable, compatible parameter pattern. Please leave any suggestions or thoughts you have on this as well.
I certainly support using the full names of items, that's how I started making those alternative chains and I was going to replace those End Product Name_shortItemName with full item name in the brackets. I was going to do so when making the pages for those relevant goods. As I made only a few goods pages so far, I did manage to get to those yet.
I don't think that those soap and sausage alternative chains are called anywhere, certainly it won't break any of the most important pages, you have my permission to do the changes.
I think the chains should be called only in one way, in my opinion having aliases which call for the same chain can only create a mess with little benefit to editors.
When it comes to chains for intermediate or basic goods, I would make and name them just like final goods chains. So "Wood" for wood chain, "Tallow" for tallow chain etc. If there are alternatives it would be also the full name in brackets "Good (Full Item Name)".
I am surprised and astonished by making an entire blogpost about a change of how alternative chains are called, which in my opinion isn't that important to make a whole discussion out of it. But I definitely prefer a discussion and asking others about opinion than making some wild crazy changes on your own ;) I am also very surprised by how official that blogpost sounds, as if the wiki was some kind of very serious project, which my entire career would depend on. I guess my approach is just more casual. Btw. don't expect to get feedback from too many people other than me, only a few people ever touched the chain template or used those chains anywhere on other pages. They are used only on production chains, goods and building pages, which mostly you and I were taking care of.
Thank you for your input. I have changed the parameter calls on Template:PCList, and will change the docs to be explicit about this afterwards. When it comes to needless blogposts/offical tone, I guess I took a cautious approach to discussion in case that formality was expected. In any case, the formality does leave little room for error or ambiguity so that is a benefit. I think you may be right on limited feedback, the wiki has certainly calmed down since when we started it and much fewer people are active editors these days, it feels like.
Still, I would like to see this wiki be everything it could be, so I continue working on it. To that end, I have made Template:BuildingValues recently, and plan to expand it with more properties and buildings. If we want, we could start linking building related pages through helper templates to that repository so the data stays in sync. I haven't implemented it yet because A) it is still incomplete, B) the call format may change, and C) that is a pretty big change all over the wiki that I definitely want a second editor to look at and confirm is in order. For now, it sits at standby.
On the production chains for individual goods, I might be able to use my local items/buildings/needs database tables to dynamically generate all possible production chains one could reasonably define, with any potentially relevant item combinations. The data for that is in my code, although the logic not yet. That is theoretically necessary for the individual goods pages for their alternative chains sections. At the moment, my goods pages have the infobox, opening text, needs table for consumer goods, and primary production chain for end products. I can expand it with affecting items somewhat easily if we only choose a narrow subset of items relating to that good. Trying to determine all items that may influence that good is a bit trickier.
Example: does the Quality Chocolatier, affecting the chocolate factory, need to be mentioned in the Chocolate article, even though the item does not mention the good Chocolate anywhere directly? Should it be mentioned on the Sugar Cane article, as its use cuts down on sugar cane consumption? Lots of interactions between items and production chains are possible.
|His pralines have snap on the outside, but pillowy centres.|
| Equipped in Trade Union
Occasionally produces extra Coffee every 3rd cycle
Instead of Sugar, the building processes Coffee Beans.
A different issue with the good pages is what we define as usage. Production chains are usage of intermediate goods, but there already is a production chains section, so that would be repetitive. Do we simply mention only the buildings consuming it? Including buildings that consume it when using an item? Beyond intermediate goods, there are also usage of construction materials: should we list all buildings, ships, and items that require Timber to craft? What about all buildings and ships consuming Advanced Weapons? We could simply hide the list (probably a table rather than a list) with mw-collapsible mw-collapsed.
I personally lean on the side of more information is better, but any choice I make is multiplied by every single good, and others would have to manually correct all my articles when I mass-produce them with a mistake, so I want to have this correct. What is your opinion on these complications? Kered 14 (talk) 16:50, August 4, 2020 (UTC)
"Still, I would like to see this wiki be everything it could be, so I continue working on it" - same here! I want to make the wiki as good and as complete as possible :)
I'm sorry but I think I don't understand the purpose of Template:BuildingValues. Do you want to keep all values for buildings in the template and then call the template whenever a page contains any value for a building? The problem is that there is a limit to how many times you can call templates on a single page. There shouldn't be a problem in case of single building pages but if you wanted to do it on the buildings page, you would certainly exceed the limit. If your idea for using the template is different then please let me know, maybe I don't understand your idea.
Regarding the Quality Chocolatier, he should be mentioned on chocolate page, because he alters the chain which produces chocolate, look at Canned Food page, which also has an item and a chain which is different than the default one. But I don't think it should be mentioned on Sugar Cane page... it mentions only sugar explicitly. On goods pages I'd rather focus on the good that the page itself is about. If we followed that path, it could result in duplicating the same information on many pages. Take Susannah the Steam Engineer for example, she affects cab assembly lines and they use filaments instead of steam motors. If we were to include information about 'how something can be replaced' we would have to have this item mentioned on pages about: iron, (coal), steel, zinc, copper, brass. Maybe for the sake of having all information, this type of info should be included on goods pages, 'how you can replace or lower the usage of this good'. I'm afraid this could make those pages extremely long. I would omit that for now, and maybe we'll add that later on if we think it's for the better. Unless we would just collapse such a section almost entirely, I want the wiki to be as complete and packed with information as possible, but I also would rather avoid too much clutter.
When it comes to the usage of intermediate goods or raw materials, I would definitely include all chains, both default and alternative ones (with items) in the usage section. Regarding the construction materials, listing buildings that use timber would make us list almost every building in the game, that is a bit excessive. It would be enough to say that almost every building requires timber to be constructed, etc. More general statements would suffice in that case. And yes, collapsing some parts of information might be crucial for the sake of readability and not cluttering the pages too much.
"and others would have to manually correct all my articles when I mass-produce them with a mistake" - I mean... so far I make all pages manually so... That wouldn't be new for me xD As long as the mistakes aren't really big, it shouldn't be a big problem.