IFWiki talk:Community portal/Archive 2005 to 2019

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Either I'm doing something wrong or the IFWiki doesn't handle Telnet URLs correctly. The problem appears in the URL for the ifMUD. I'll leave it as is for now and hopefully someone will be able to spot the problem and fix it at some point. -- Sand

I think the MediaWiki software will only accept particular protocols. It wouldn't take the aim link I tried to put on my user page either. The editor help at Meta suggests that only http and ftp are allowed, but obviously news and mailto work also, at least on ifwiki. Anyway, linking to the homepage for ifMUD is probably more useful than directly to the MUD itself, since you need the information there to get set up and logged in the first time. --Ryukage 06:36, 9 Jun 2005 (Central Daylight Time)

I can log in but I can't view my account due to fatal error caused by skin preference

Hi, could anyone tell me where one goes to ask for tech help regarding the www.ifwiki.org accounts? I ran into a problem after opening an account. I was setting up the preferences for the skins and ended up with a fatal error that won't let me view my account. So I made a new account just to post.

I tried deleting all cookies and old files from my browser just in case but I still get this message when I log in:

Fatal error: Cannot redeclare class skinmonobook in C:\Program Files\TSW\Apache2\htdocs\skins\Copy of MonoBook.php on line 33

Thanks. Amy

  • I'll update the Community portal page to suggest that tech questions should be asked here; we haven't had any policy for them until now. Unfortunately, I can't help with your actual problem, but I have mudmailed David Cornelson, the guy who originally put this wiki together, and hopefully he can help you. -- David Welbourn 12:19, 10 Dec 2005 (Central Standard Time)

My account's working again. Thank you! Now hopefully I don't stumble and lock myself out again.


The problem was in the old code. With the upgrade, there should be no way to recreate that error. --David Cornelson 01:27, 16 December 2005 (EST)

Broken links, extra /ifwiki

From Talk:11th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition: User:Merk noticed that links sometimes aren't working. For instance, http://www.ifwiki.org/ifwiki/index.php/Rob_Menke works if you take out the middle /ifwiki/ tag. David Welbourn has also seen this happening on the main page when he wasn't signed on. -- David Welbourn 12:02, 20 December 2005 (EST)

Is the IFWiki safe?

I'd like to know if the content of the IFWiki is safe, i.e. if there are sufficient backups? I suppose it is, but I ask this because I wouldn't like it at all if all my contributions (and the contributions of others, of course) were definitely lost someday! (Maybe there could be mirror sites, like the IF Archive has?? Or is it unnecessary?) --Eriorg 09:25, 6 September 2006 (EST)

  • This is something I'll have to ask baf about. As far as I know, IFWiki is currently hosted on the very same physical machine that Baf's Guide is on. I assume and hope he makes backups, but I haven't actually asked him about that. There are currently no mirror sites that I know of, and yes, there probably should be. I myself can't do any of this; I simply don't have the resources. -- David Welbourn 11:45, 6 September 2006 (EST)

Well, did you ask him? --Eriorg 18:53, 10 November 2006 (EST)

  • Checking back on my e-mails, it looks like I forgot. There was a database error on IFWiki that I'd asked him to fix the day before, and I guess I didn't want to bug him two days in a row. Sorry. Perhaps you should email him directly. -- David Welbourn 22:12, 10 November 2006 (EST)

ifwiki policies

I would like to know if there is an IFwiki list of policies. For example: what is your opinion about including in IFwiki articles information coming from Wikipedia? (I am not suggesting turning this wiki into a wikipedia mirror, only using their corresponding articles at least as a convenient starting point). Well, thanks in advance! -- Cassandra Palop 12:22, 29 November 2006 (EST)

The policies of IFWiki, such as they are, are most of the pages in the IFWiki category, particularly the style guides subcategory. And most of that is from me just making it up and hoping it's good enough for everyone else to go along with. At least one page here, Spells, was cribbed rather directly from Wikipedia. My reaction was to grimace quietly, grit my teeth, and let the page stand (at least for now). It's not that I'm opposed to borrowing any of the information from Wikipedia (assuming it's information about IF), but I would rather that it wasn't cut 'n' pasted word for word. Pages on IFWiki, for the most part, are in the public domain. Pages on Wikipedia, for the most part, are very much not in the public domain. And well, I really don't want to discuss copyright issues if I don't have to. So, um. I guess I'm giving you the O.K., but um, I'm a bit queasy about it. And I'm also kinda curious which pages on Wikipedia you wanted to, er, not-quite-mirror here? -- David Welbourn 23:29, 29 November 2006 (EST)
First of all, thanks a lot for your fast reply, David. I usually edit Wikipedia (few of my contributions have to do with IF) and my main concern is if I should adapt such edits as for conform to IFWiki standards. Well, I have other questions... but I do not want to take advantage of your kindness :) Thanks, again. -- Cassandra Palop 04:22, 30 November 2006 (EST) P.S.: Yeah, I agree: the article dealing with Spells needs clean up. -- Cassandra Palop 07:21, 30 November 2006 (EST)
Just for the record, David, the Spells page was created by directly examining the games concerned. It's maybe not surprising that the result resembles the Wikipedia article (which I found only afterwards), since both list the spells in alphabetical order and provide the games' own explanations of their effects, but that doesn't mean that I copied anything from Wikipedia. Indeed, I'm a little disappointed that you should jump so readily to that conclusion, and would ask that you withdraw the phrase "was cribbed rather directly". Thanks -- Roger 01:46, 1 December 2006 (EST)
I call for calm and reason in the face of the worrisome tone that the controversy is taking on. I admit that it is risky to make remarks of the kind David made because it is always difficult to trace the sources of a specific article with accuracy, also I think that in wikis (by its very nature) there is always room for the development, cleaning up and improvement of articles (even more). Roger, I personally favor content over appearance (but the aesthetics is not a minor issue for me). Well, I hope this settles the argument. With that said, I hope to do my best with my contributions. A huge thank you to both David and Roger. -- Cassandra Palop 05:54, 1 December 2006 (EST)
Roger, I apologize. I misspoke and misremembered. Comparing the pages makes it obvious that your contribution was independent of Wikipedia. -- David Welbourn 11:02, 1 December 2006 (EST)

Userpages versus articles about people

Unlike Wikipedia, it seems that there are lots of users here who also have articles about them. Therefore it seems to be needless duplication to have both. What's the proper way to mitigate this? Should I do a redirect from my userpage to my article? Strictly taken, this would run afoul of the rule against editing an article about onself (inherited from Wikipedia). Let's discuss this. David Griffith 03:16, 6 July 2007 (EST)

  • Here's my take on it: I don't see it as needless duplication. Articles about people (that is, in the People category) should be fairly formal, dry, standardized set of information about a person's contributions to IF, and it's expected that almost anyone might edit those pages.

    By contrast, I see a user's page as having little to no formalization apart from what that user wants to impose upon himself or herself, and other users should (mostly) think twice about editing another user's page without permission or good reason. If a user wants his user page to redirect to the main article about himself, that's fine and dandy with me. But a better use of a user's page is to use it to say a little about oneself, perhaps have a personal to-do list of things they want to do in IF or for IFWiki, have a list of favourite or recommended games, and so on. And that should be fine too.

    Also, I would like to stress that IFWiki does not have a rule against editing an article about oneself. That particular rule of Wikipedia's does not apply here. People have created articles about their own games, and frankly, that's a good thing. If you wait until I get around to it, you might have a long wait (there's a lot of games and only one of me.) -- David Welbourn 03:43, 6 July 2007 (EST)


Here are a few suggestions about the IFWiki. Many of them were already made on various Talk Pages, but then forgotten. Some of them might require an upgrade of our MediaWiki version.

Maybe we could create a page or section for such suggestions, so that they don't get lost in obscure old Talk Pages?

  • Mirror sites (IMPORTANT!): I had asked there about backups and mirror sites for the IFWiki. I received an answer from Baf a few weeks later, in which he wrote, among other things: "Of course, the best backup is a mirror site. I'll ask some people if they're interested in hosting non-editable mirrors of the wiki."
Well, now it was almost three years ago, and there still aren't any mirrors... Really, I think we should minimize the risk of losing the IFWiki contents, and mirror sites would be useful for that! Not to mention that we could then browse the IFWiki even when the main site is temporarily unavailable.
Maybe we could ask on RAIF? (And there could also be mirrors for other big IF sites, if their owners agree: Baf's Guide, IFDB, IFRO, SPAG, CAAD, etc.)
  • Dead links: Many links to other sites become dead and just stay there for a long time, useless, until -- when we're lucky -- somebody notices and fixes them. I think we could use a tool which searches automatically the whole IFWiki for dead links and reports them in a single page. (Note: probably not the tool I mentioned there, because it'd spam Talk Pages too much, but something very similar.)
  • Citations: Two years ago, Jason Scott suggested (there) adding support for citing our sources with footnotes, like on Wikipedia. I sometimes miss that option, too.
  • Links to other wikis: On Template talk:Wikis es, I suggested that we could have, like in Wikipedia, links to IFWikis in other languages, or maybe just other wikis in general, at the left of the screen. Not very important, but it might be cool (I use it very often on Wikipedia).
  • Search (1): Could we have auto-complete (with a combo box) in search, like on Wikipedia? I find that very handy!
  • Search (2): It's currently impossible to search for three-letter or shorter words, unless a page with that name exists. OK, I understand that it must be disallowed for words like "the" or "a", but -- just a few examples among many others -- I can't see why we can't search for pages with the words "GAC", "PAW", or "AGT" in them... --Eriorg 05:42, 2 September 2009 (PDT)

This is a whole lot of stuff to respond to, you know that? And I'm still pig-ignorant on most of this sort of stuff, y'know. Ahem.

  • Re: Mirror sites: I suggest the creation of a IFWiki:How to mirror IFWiki page. Research the issue, put the necessary info there. Then point r*if people, Baf, and IF Archive mirror admins to that page and hope someone takes us up on the suggestion.
  • Re: Dead links: Look at BrokenLinks and Checklinks; these seem to be the closest to what you're looking for, but there's some caveats. BrokenLinks is meant for a small wiki and we might already be too large for it. Checklinks doesn't have that problem, but I note that it can't deal with external links built from templates. Still it might be better than nothing. I can't be sure these are our only options either.
  • Re: Citations: I suppose we could act on this one. I can send an email to Baf asking him to install the Cite.php extension.
  • Re: Links to other wikis, Search (1): I have no idea how Wikipedia manages these tricks. Someone has to research it.
  • Re: Search (2): I don't know if there's a solution to this question or not. If you're lucky, there might be some option you can select somewhere to permit very short search terms. If you're unlucky, the searching software might be searching a database that doesn't include any short words in the first place -- they might not be there to search for. Again, this requires research and more knowledge than I currently possess. -- David Welbourn 09:21, 2 September 2009 (PDT)

Well, my message above was eight months ago. Since then, there was a MediaWiki version update with some nice features, and apparently, the "Search (2)" problem was fixed.

But the rest is still there. I'm sorry if I sound tedious with my repeated questions about backups or mirror sites, but I really don't want that the IFWiki contents could be lost, especially now that the IFWiki is more and more important in the IF community.

About your suggestions about the creation of a IFWiki:How to mirror IFWiki page: I'm just not competent to do that, sorry... But there must be other people who could do it? --Eriorg 12:55, 9 May 2010 (UTC)


I have an idea that might make the IFWiki even more useful. Feedback much appreciated!

A lot of thinking and writing about IF goes on in the blogosphere right now. What IFWiki could do to make that material more accessible is

  • Have individual pages about individual blogs, where we link to interesting entries--that is, entries that are IF-related and have more than trivial content. Such links could be accompanied by a small summary.
  • Add those same links/summaries to individual pages about the ideas discussed. Right now, we have a lot of game pages, but not a lot of more theoretical pages. As an example, we might want to have an article about design strategies, and link (among other things) to Emily's blog entry: http://emshort.wordpress.com/2009/08/23/idea-to-implementation/

Would this be useful and within the bounds of the IFWiki? -- VictorGijsbers 12:43, 2 October 2009

If it's about interactive fiction, then it probably belongs in IFWiki. I'm a little puzzled what you're asking for, though. We already have some pages about IF-related blogs, eg: Renga in Blue and Planet-IF, for example. A List of blogs page is probably wanted, though. Links to blogs from their author's pages ought to already be there. Article pages like Craft and Conversation also link to more specific articles within blogs. I can only assume you want more of the same? Or are you asking for something different? -- David Welbourn 05:57, 2 October 2009 (PDT)
More of the same, yes, but also more of something different. You know what, I'll just _write_ something up as soon as I have the time, and then we can discuss it more easily. :) VictorGijsbers 08:20, 2 October 2009 (PDT)

Word verification

It seems we have new software that requires me to type in two words whenever I make a page with new external links. Probably perfect against spammers. But if it is at all possible to tell MediaWiki that my account is to be exempted from this requirement, please, please do so! It is incredibly irritating to have to do this again and again and again. VictorGijsbers 08:54, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Do you still have this problem?
I didn't do anything to fix it (I'd have no idea how); I'm just writing this so that your question isn't forgotten... --Eriorg 14:39, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Yep, I still have the problem. VictorGijsbers 19:46, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay in responding. I think this is something I'll need to talk to baf about. I'll propose the creation of a User group, perhaps calling it "Trusted users" and which will have skipcaptcha. Once baf has that set up, either I or Eriorg should be able to add you and a handful of other trusted individual accounts to the group without needing to go through baf each time. -- David Welbourn 04:19, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
That would be great. :) VictorGijsbers 12:45, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Hello there, I'm having a problem when I'm trying to edit my Category:People page (Stephen Newton). First, it says my posting includes new external links (which my edit does not), and then it asks me to "Please answer the question that appears below: what is the magic word?" but there is no captcha or any other hint that will allow me to save any changes. Any ideas? Thanks ManosFate 15:36, 19 January 2012 (PST)

I've added you to the TrustedUsers group, so I hope you won't have that problem any more.
About the question "What is the magic word?": if I remember correctly, it was against spammers and the answer was supposed to be easy to guess for IF fans (a famous magic word in IF...). But it's probably not clear enough! --Eriorg 21:46, 19 January 2012 (PST)
For what it's worth, I believe the software will complain if there are any external links in the edited page, not just new ones -- unless you're a trusted user. I don't think MediaWiki is clever enough to realize that previously entered links are okay; it tests every time in case the rules have changed. I was once blocked on editing a page that had a link to a domain I'd later blacklisted. -- David Welbourn 10:01, 20 January 2012 (PST)
Thanks all, I got it to work. And now I'm feeling sheepish for not guessing THE magic word... I actually had tried the words from Enchanter but forgot about the granddaddy of magic words ManosFate 22:48, 20 January 2012 (PST)

User:DCBSupafly also had problems with the "What is the magic word?" question (see this ADRIFT forum thread). I hope that question doesn't stop too many people from contributing to the IFWiki... --Eriorg 08:54, 21 February 2012 (PST)

And unhappily, because of the recent spam, the magic word has now been changed. It's still a magic word that IF players should know, though. -- David Welbourn 00:55, 22 February 2012 (PST)
The standard "that IF players should know" has changed, it seems. I've been playing IF for a few years, but I haven't played more than a couple of hours of Infocom games, and hadn't heard of any magic word except for xyzzy. I don't think I should have been prevented from using the wiki. --Smajie 05:16, 23 February 2013 (CST)

I was eventually able to guess the magic word, but really, this is completely unacceptable. Please change the hint to something like "A magic word from Adventure (not xyzzy)?" --Dannii 07:39, 12 September 2012 (CDT)

As per what Smajie said, I feel that it may be worth changing the word that is used for verification, as many are discovering IF through non-parser mediums and I feel that the number of people that don't know said word, but are interested in contributing, can only be increasing with each passing year. I was only able to find the magic word by Googling, which brought me to a page on this very Wiki, and I do play parser games from time to time. --Matt Chelen 05:03, 2 February 2019 (EST)

Dan Shiovitz

It seems that Dan's website has moved from www.drizzle.com/~dans to inky.org. If it possible to do a search-replace on the database and change all "www.drizzle.com/~dans" to "inky.org", that would be great. VictorGijsbers 17:01, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks to the Replace extension, this was one request that (finally) I could respond to properly and appropriately. Yes, it's possible that an administrator can do that, and indeed, I used the Replace feature for the first time today to do as you suggested. It works like a dream; 444 pages that I didn't have to edit directly, yay! Thanks for the heads-up. -- David Welbourn 04:07, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
This is really great news! And it may reduce the need for some templates, too.
Just one question: are such changes easy to revert? I hope they are, because if they aren't and we make a mistake, they might cause havoc... --Eriorg 10:28, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Unless there are many other pages that include the string "inky.org", you could just do a replace the other way. Otherwise, I suspect there must be some way to revert all edits done by user X in a certain time period? Or something like that? I obviously don't know what options the admins have. ;) VictorGijsbers 12:45, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks to the recent updates to the wiki, we have more abilities than we used to have, but I don't think a "mass revert" is one of them. As Victor suggests, we could (usually) just replace the other way. The extension did warn me that 7 pages already had "inky.org" in them before letting me confirm the mass replace; I'm sure this was a precaution so you knew if a revert replace was feasible. Also on the confirmation page, there was a list of the proposed changes with a checkbox before each change-to-be where I had the option to deselect a change before committing to the mass replace. So, yes, we could accidentally cause havoc, but at least the software does its best to make sure you mean it before it actually happens. -- David Welbourn 13:58, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

According to Miseri's recent changes, it seems that it would be useful to replace all the http://users.openface.ca/~odd1out/ by http://www.ricordius.com/ . (I don't know if I can do that kind of thing myself? I have no idea how...) --Eriorg 11:26, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for the long delay, Eriorg; I only very belatedly noticed this request. I've already gone ahead with the replace, but as an admin, you can do a mass replace yourself in the future. Simply go to Special pages and look for "Replace text". -- David Welbourn 23:56, 13 September 2011 (PDT)

Thank you! --Eriorg 06:03, 14 September 2011 (PDT)

Linking My Page To Game List

I am having trouble figuring out how to add my page to the game list. I am familiar with clicking edit on the page I want to insert the page link on and saving but it seems to be slightly more complicated here. My page currently only displays a title, a welcome and a link to my website. I will finish it once I can get it linked properly and get it in the proper format (which is another area I don't seem to be grasping). Are there editing templates that you have to upload or do you have to write your own code from scratch?

I can add the back link to my page but when I try to edit a link that goes to my page I do not see a clear or readily identifiable way to do this. Rather confusing, need help. Thanks, Draft 7:27 (CDT) 25 October 2011

The game list is a category (Category:Games), so if you want to add your game page to it, you must add [[Category:Games]] at the bottom of the game page. I've just done it.
To know how to finish your game page, I suggest that you read the Games (style guide) page, and you could also look at the source code of other game pages. --Eriorg 06:21, 25 October 2011 (PDT)

Thank you for the help, Draft 13:59 25 October 2011 (CDT)

New Genres

One genre that I think is missing is a Holiday genre, for games taking place during for example Easter, Christmas or Halloween. Although most holidays are based on religion, the games are frequently not (e.g., Escape From Santaland), and I don’t think the existing Religious genre would be appropriate. I’m not sure Holiday is be the best name for the genre, though, as that might easily be seen to include summer holiday/vacation games, which aren’t especially ‘holiday-themed’. Any comments? --Huftis 14:46, 22 October 2011 (PDT)

Displaying Link Buttons

Is it possible to get a code snippet for an icon link to IF WIKI that I can place in the sidebar of my site at AdventureDraft.com I currently have a page here about my game and my site displays buttons from BBGUniverse and Web Games Directory. We would like to add your link to our growing list. -- Draft 12:40 06 November, 2011 (CDT)

blogspot.com is blacklisted

Apparently blogspot.com is blacklisted. Surely this should not be the case! --Dannii 00:20, 28 December 2012 (CST)

lowercase template

Any chance of adding the lowercase MediaWiki template? I'd like to use it to get the IfMUD page displaying with the title "ifMUD". --sedm0784 13:46, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

hotu template

I've gone through and updated all the uses of the old Template:hotu game to use Template:hotud game.

Template:hotu game can/should now probably be deleted. --sedm0784 10:47, 17 January 2014 (UTC)


Can you please add an extension for footnotes? --Zzo38 (talk) 00:28, 13 January 2019 (UTC)