FlightGear wiki:Village pump/Archive 2018

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Replacement filing cabinet.png This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.

Newsletter templates (June/2017)

Referring to Johan's comments at [1]: Is there anything we can do to unify newsletters and changelogs without requiring major additions to the wiki in the form of plugins/addons ? Specifically, I was wondering if something along these lines would be worthwhile to discuss:

  • Create a basic template-based structure to add standardized announcements/news
  • These would be standardized based on category (core, aircraft, scenery, canvas, Nasal etc), inspired by recent changelogs/newsletters
  • Move specific text to sub-templates, so that we can easily localize/translate those using a handful of templates
  • support optional screenshots/youtube links
  • support optional fields to be added/excluded in a given mode (newsletter vs. changelog)

In other words, we would review our published newsletters and changelogs and determine the common structure that could be re-implemented in the form of templates, and then come up with a handful of templates to add items in a standardized fashion, e.g. along these lines:

  • category
  • new/updated/removed feature
  • headline
  • common text
  • changelog specific text
  • newsletter specific text
  • screenshots
  • videos
  • link for additional information

Something like this could be easily implemented without much wiki magic, and it could be also easily translated at the template level

Thoughts / ideas ?

-Hooray (talk) 06:40, 2 July 2017 (EDT)

I will start slightly off topic with that I actually consider the current newsletter format to be slightly more complicated than it really needs to be. This is mostly due to the handcrafted table of contents replacing the automatically added one. If we go back a few years a wiki newsletter page was done exactly as any other wiki page using the same way to add headers and with an automatically generated table of contents.
To illustrate the above, compare the 2010 newsletter (plain article style, one template for the header), the intermediate 2011 newsletter (one additional template to move the ToC right and change the text flow) and the later 2015 newsletter (discarding the automatic ToC for a handcrafted one using a template for each main section and subsections added by hand.) Even if that is only so much resistance, it can be what stops a contributor.
What I was referring to with
Cquote1.png I think it would be technically possible to make templates that could simplify adding new newsletter blanks (but I have said that for years without doing anything about it :oops: ).
was that one can make templates that will import a page blank prepared with regular sections and subsections (that technique have been used on English Wikipedia for adding template documentation.)
In essence such a newsletter blank could have some of this prepared and some commented out suggestions for how to add a new section and how to add images and embedded videos etc.
Johan G (Talk | contribs) 09:14, 3 September 2017 (EDT)
I found my way back to some documentation on what I mentioned above.[2][3]
One would basically make a subpage to the template (say {{Newsletter-new}}) with the text to be preloaded (which is the term used) on the subpage (Template:Newsletter-new/Newsletter_blank) and link to it like this http://wiki.flightgear.org/index.php?title=FlightGear_Newsletter_<month>_<year>&action=edit&preload=Template:Newsletter-new/Newsletter_blank.
The new newsletter template could simply have a link "Click here to create the next newsletter". It needs to be on another page than the newsletter itself though, for example on a page describing how to contribute to the newsletter.
Johan G (Talk | contribs) 09:43, 3 September 2017 (EDT)
I totally agree, while I appreciate the appearance of the new newsletter template, I always found it cumbersome/tedious to actually edit the newsletter compared to the old way. And I am all for automation. Then again, we have been suggesting/requesting certain plugins to be installed, but unfortunately to no avail so far. Speaking in general, it would be great if we could identify some of the recurring tasks on the wiki and find a way to automate most of these. For instance, being able to add contents to one page that shows up on other pages would also be useful, as this could greatly simplify writing the changelog - imagine adding stuff to the newsletter, which is then automagically added to the proper changelog. However, as usual it seems manpower is our primary constraint, Curt does not seem to have the corresponding privileges here and Gijs is basically n/a these days. What is really needed is an additional wiki admin, someone with Simon's privileges. And I would suggest we nominate bugman for that position :-) - Hooray (talk)
Yikes, this actually works: http://wiki.flightgear.org/index.php?title=FlightGear_Newsletter_November_2020&action=edit&preload=Talk:Next_newsletter -Hooray (talk)
An early newsletter template draft is now available in my sandbox.
Johan G (Talk | contribs) 07:09, 11 November 2017 (EST)
I got around to polish it a bit more now: User:Johan G/Template:This months newsletter
Johan G (Talk | contribs) 12:32, 19 November 2017 (EST)
hi! If you Johan that you're more experienced can prepare Newsletter templates and pages to facilitate translations without need to create descentralised templates and duplicated pages, it would be nice and step forward to non English-speaker users. What you think about be able to do it for December Newsletter? Thank you so much for your work for templates, pages and the wiki!--Catalanoic (talk) 13:15, 10 December 2017 (EST)
Sorry for the late reply.
Yes, a centralized newsletter can be done rather easily. We could add {{LangSwitch}} templates to the sections in the newsletter template (hopefully users adding other sections to a particular newsletter will see what is going on and copy it). It should then be a matter of creating an empty page with a language prefix and transclude the newsletter there as if it was a template.
The downsides are that the newsletter will be more complicated to edit (raising the threshold for new editors and stopping a few of them), that we most likely will not be able to edit just a section (as the section headings will need to be in the language templates as the need to be translated as well), and that the page will be larger to retrieve as you will always download all languages to view or edit the page. I do not think it will be worth it.
However, if we get to the point that we have a template preloading a newsletter blank as discussed earlier in this topic (which seems very likely), we should probably have one for each of the languages someone can translate it to. I think it would be much, much better to centralize this template.
In short: With the approach above the newsletter can be made so that there is a centralized version. But I do not think it is worth the large downsides and think that would be better to instead have a centralized template preloading a newsletter blank for a specific language.
Johan G (Talk | contribs) 23:48, 21 July 2018 (EDT)
Hi, currently the German newsletter gets translated like every normal article here on a new page. Works great. I don't think the newsletter would benefit from a centralised Newsletter using {{LangSwitch}} as
  • you also need to create a [[Es/FG News Marzo 2019]] page every month to view the translated content on it
  • it invites to write a new article in your language and we need to find someone to translate it back to english
  • wiki code already is a challenge for new authors, LangSwitch would make it even worse!
My sandbox experiments take another approach:
All these templates should work. Like {{:User:Skybike/Template:This months newsletter|date=2018-11}} Create FlightGear Newsletter November 2018 and by adding lang=de: Den FlightGear Newsletter November 2018 erstellen.
Legoboyvdlp already created FlightGear Newsletter September 2018‎ with it.(Surprised me, need to change the header template there as it links to my sandbox) Note the "create next edition" in the upper right of the header there. But temporarily a new language could use my sandbox as well, just create a new newsletter blank and translate This months newsletter and Newsletter-header-translate.
Skybike (talk) 10:10, 22 July 2018 (EDT)


Hi all! I need to fill the captcha box for each edit or new page in this wiki. I think for registered users isn't necessary. I will be glad if its removed. Thanks

This unsigned comment was added by Catalanoic (Talk | contribs) 14:44, 3 June 2018‎ (UTC)

Loss of thumbnails!

This is a rather catastrophic issue. I have made an Internet Archive snapshot of the front page to illustrate: https://web.archive.org/web/20181213094322/http://wiki.flightgear.org/Main_Page. Note all the text "Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination". I don't see anything in the wiki history that might cause this. Has there been a recent infrastructure update? Or is there a disk full issue or failure occurring on the server?

Bugman (talk) 04:31, 13 December 2018 (EST)

As already said on the mailing list:
Thanks for reporting! Apparently we had run out of inodes due to expired sessions not being deleted. Should be fixed now.
Gijs (talk) 07:18, 14 December 2018 (EST)