Forum:Concerning the so-called "action parameter"

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Forums: Yew Grove > Concerning the so-called "action parameter"
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This thread was archived on 23 February 2021 by KelseW.

Previous discussion: Forum:Adding an Actions Parameter into Infoboxes NPC and Item

I'm opening this forum to discuss the validity of adding lists of all possible interactions with items and NPCs to more than 21 thousand item pages and 4 thousand NPC pages, which constitutes nearly half of all wiki's content pages. This major project went ahead in spite of the fact that there was little discussion on why and how this task should be realised. I expect that a large change to two important infoboxes deserves more than a short 10-day forum.

A couple concerns arise right from the start:

  • I do not see in which way this information is useful to the reader. Whatever special functions the item has is always elaborated on in the prose because that is what the article's body is for. Likewise for unusual NPC interaction options. Listing these for the second time without context in the infobox seems redundant. Not to mention the fact that a significant portion of the items do not have options other than 'Use', 'Drop', and 'Examine'. A similar argument could probably be made in the case of NPCs having only a 'Talk-to' option most of the time. This points me to a conclusion that neither items such as a Charos clue carrier nor items such as a Plank need this kind of extension to their infoboxes. Also note that 'Examine' and 'Drop/Destroy' are already there with actual useful information.
  • The issue of increasing the length of all item and NPC pages on the wiki was not brought up at all. In some cases it's going to take significant vertical space on the page, again for little benefit. It's something that should be considered.
  • The nominator of the original discussion thinks it's a perfect OSWF task. I disagree. Queuing up thousands of low-impact, low-engagement edits is a perfect way to discourage prospective editors who want to actually help out in a meaningful way.

This is not to say there might not be potential future advantages of having this data on the wiki in some way. However, I do not see the point of having it visible and prominent, and done by hand by volunteers.

I see two ways this could go:

Proposal 1: Scrap this project entirely before more time is wasted on it, especially the time of the OSWF volunteers who should not perform menial tasks of little significance to the average reader.

Proposal 2: If it's possible for a bot to add this, go ahead with the project and make these parameters hidden, and bot the entire thing.


Support 2 - again with a proviso that it can be botted. I lack the technical knowledge to establish whether this is the case (and nobody bothered to discuss this in the first place). 5-x Talk 17:56, 2 February 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - from the perspective of an Old School Wiki editor, with a mind that this addition would be good on the OS wiki. For the third point, whilst I am largely ignorant of RSwiki's OSWF, the majority of OSwiki's OSWF have been edits that could've been easily done by a bot but were given to the community to try and promote new edittors, and show to the community that edits can be done by anyone, not just the "wiki team". However I acknowledge that RSwiki has more often got an OSWF going on than OSwiki

For the first and second point, I don't think the practicality of the information is a reasonable concern. Very rarely will someone want to know the weight of a given item, but the information is there if needed. As for the page length, I somewhat agree conceptually, but more that "advanced" information might be better suited hidden behind a toggle, similar to the High Alchemy toggle. Rather removing the content because it takes up too much space. Luna Lana probably mispelt this 18:56, 2 February 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - Completely disagree that this is a good way to discourage editors. The whole point of OSWF is to have smaller and easier edits to help you build up and learn your editing skills. As for the actual content, the item/NPC's special action is occasionally in the main body, however this is inconsistent and can sometimes be hard to find.

All this said, I think it's a good idea to hide the parameter if the item/NPC doesn't have any actions outside of the default and I think Nex mentioned that we could have all pages have this be the case prior to any OSWF editing. Talk to Kelsey 19:40, 2 February 2021 (UTC)

Support (keeping the parameter) - I think it's a nice parameter to have, so long as it doesn't take up a great deal of space. We should optimize towards minimizing the space associated with it (via comma-separated values, removing defaults, and only showing the section + rows if there's an action on the item that is non-default). I don't think we do a great job of explaining the options on the pages' prose, generally – and even if we did, it's still a core programmatic aspect of the item/NPC.

As for botting it: that's sort of a last resort but it's probably doable in most cases. But... this sort of thing is fantastic new editor fodder. Historically this is much closer to the type of task (small incremental change to lots of pages) that leads to high retention on OSWF and similar drives. I'd rather throw a few bonds at it and see if we can get some long-term editors out of it, rather than bot it immediately. If that doesn't work, we can always bot most of them later. ʞooɔ 20:40, 2 February 2021 (UTC)

Oppose both suggestions - for reasons mentioned by other commenters. This doesn't result in a significant increase in the infobox length that would affect readers. Adding the options in a standardised infobox parameter would make it easier for anyone who wished to a related project in the future to pull the information, in addition to full elaboration in the prose.

I totally disagree that this isn't a good OSWF project - it introduces new editors to the infobox and how to work with it which is good knowledge for a new person to have. As a more simple/repetitive task that doesn't require game knowledge so it is accessible to a wider range of editors - our other current tasks are more complex tasks requiring game knowledge and more advanced editing like image work, so this fits in nicely. Magic logs detail.pngIsobelJTalk page 11:22, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

Oppose 1, Neutral 2 - Similar to above. I dont think these edits are too meaningless. Also imo wiki are supposed to contain as much information as possible, these edits fall in acceptable range imo. For 2, I don't object what the others say about promoting new editors, but this project seems to be of a very extensive scope to me, OSWF sounds like will take forever on this project.Nayfaan (talk) 02:33, 14 February 2021 (UTC)

Probably oppose - This is text-book OSWF tasks - small, easy edits to get new users encouraged into editing. Though I am concerned about the size of the infobox - are there any examples of a convoluted actions parameter? HaidroH rune.pngEagle feather 3.pngCandle (blood red).png 1XqyDNM.png Crystal triskelion fragment 3.pngHazelmere's signet ring.png 01:57, 21 February 2021 (UTC)

Closed - There is a consensus to keep the action parameter, however there is also a consensus to resort to botting the parameter if the workload ends up being too big/taking too long. Talk to Kelsey 03:21, 23 February 2021 (UTC)