User talk:MikeyD

From Abulafia Random Generator Wiki
Revision as of 15:22, 18 September 2020 by MikeyD (talk | contribs) (→‎2020-09-18)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search




(conversation with Astrangeaeon moved to its own talk page)


The voodoo that you do so well

Hey, had a request!

I just discovered Fantasy Pantheon, but a missing article is bugging me. I did some digging into the page, and into SpiritForm, where the issue doesn’t seem to exist. But my fumbling can’t figure out how to fix the issue in Fantasy Pantheon.

… the Goddess … visits in visions as naked crone.

Whoops! But, adding the ia template to the entries in tables MaleForm and FemaleForm produced the following:

The … Goddess … visits in visions as a naked nun.

Which fixes that one; but then, these start showing up:

… the Goddess [is] seen in dreams as an a woman riding an one-eyed jackal.

(I know “an one-eyed” should be “a one-eyed” but I can live with the ia template’s occasional mistakes since it’s so useful otherwise.)

You’re better at this stuff than I am—can you think of a way to make the ia work appropriately? It might stem from SpiritForm itself, but I mucked about there as well and just ended up producing extra articles.

MikeyD Here, checking in at 11:58, 31 July 2015 (PDT)

Gulp. Holding my nose, I clicked on SpiritForm, while chanting “please don’t be one I edited …” but of course it was! Moreover, I (now) hate what I did there: the output might’ve been (mostly) OK, but the code, with all those mixed-in short-form constants, looked like maintenance hell. This just goes to show how much my style has improved since you started pushing things! Since I do Abulafia mainly for mental exercise, I tend to jump around a lot (you may have noticed!) – but if I only do one thing today, it’ll be to sort out SpiritForm … then work my way back out to Fantasy Pantheon, to ensure everything meshes correctly.

Lately, I’ve been noticing other areas where my “contributions” (especially last year) have resulted in the obscuring of some feature or other that had, possibly until then, been working. I’m aware of a similar article-agreement problem on (I think) the Armor page (maybe limited to helmets), which I probably caused. Of course my top priority has always been Hippocratic – “first, do no harm” – and any problems I introduce are usually very minor … but at the same time, whenever I freely dive into anybody’s gen and start rearranging the furniture as if I'd written it (i.e., every time!) I put myself in these positions! So to compensate, I've tried to become even more analytical – to the point of reviewing code histories to determine when certain variables were introduced, and what their original intent had been. But as you know, it’s a never-ending, rather Sisyphean (or perhaps, Augean Stable-like) task …

Meanwhile, as even the sorting-out and filing of our exchanges continues to build up Abulafia’s metadata, it occurs to me that if you (or, for that matter, any of the usual suspects: you know who you are!) had any quick questions/comments/ideas/whatever that didn’t need/want preserving in Abu-amber, you might go ahead and hit me up at detwiler.mike at gmail …

--MikeyD (talk) 17:58, 31 July 2015 (PDT) UPDATE: all fixed … turns out, it wasn’t me who broke it – but no matter, it’s much clearer now, more robust and easier to follow, so others will be less likely to accidentally mess it up!

Hey, speaking of maintainability … pretty soon, you may wish to consider splitting Rumors into separate files, perhaps by rumor type (unless they share subtables … but it looks like few do). Even with the latest and greatest ideas for keeping things straight, it’s getting a touch unwieldly …

I knew you were the right man for the job!

Thanks for patching that up, it works great now!

👯👯 😺 👯👯 (sorry, I don’t know how to animate them … so you’ll just have to imagine the chorus line kicking)

And yeah, I was thinking of having each of the rumor types on its own Rumors page...just have to get around to it. My main issue with that is that the way I add content is pretty scatter shot, where I may add a number of different things to a half dozen or dozen subtables that cross the different rumor types. I wouldn't want to have to update multiple pages each time I make a single update, but I suppose if I just had the main calls on their own page and returned 10 results or something, it might be more user-friendly.

Though I guess a page with a single external call on it is sort of silly and not what you were envisioning, though I could see the appeal from someone who wanted more than 4 Urban rumors at a time, since adding any more than 4 iterations on the Rumors page would be overkill, I feel.

I suppose nothing is stopping me from creating the separate rumors pages, have each of them link to the others, and then continuing the main one that has all of them, just copying the appropriate subtables over. But then there's not a single source, unless I do the one call to the main Rumors table, and if anyone wants to add to the Urban Rumors page, they have to go to the main Rumors page...

Sort of scatter brained tonight! Will need to think about it some more--I have so much more content I want to add, I might hold off on making the separate pages until I've gotten more in there.

Oh, I wasn’t urging that it be done – only floating the idea for your consideration. Right now, with new material being added daily, probably isn’t the ideal time … if you did decide to do it, better to wait ’til the inspiration tapers off, and/or you start noticing yourself spending way too much time finding whatever you’re looking for.
I have no idea what Rumors’ actual purpose might be, but I sure appreciate its flavor … as well as (maybe especially because of) the oblique way it delivers. Rather than any direct statements, it’s all whispers … silvery snatches of scuttlebutt … of eavesdropped, half-forgotten hearsay … not unlike a collective, multi-sourced version of the crusty, deranged old hillbilly’s blatherings in Bad Year at Bear Lake. I love the way it hints that multiple worlds – each with sharply-defined codes of conduct, often (if not usually) at odds with ours – may lie just beyond our ability to comprehend them …!

Persistent Variables

I may have found an easier way to fake variables, using the {{#replace:}} function. The idea is to construct your text using a placeholder everywhere you want the variable to appear, then use {{#replace:}} to replace all instances of it with the actual value. Multiple variables are also possible if you nest {{#replace:}}'s. For example:

<sgdisplay iterations="1">[vartest1]</sgdisplay> <sgdisplay iterations="1">[vartest2]</sgdisplay> <sgtable>


1,{{#replace:[vartext1]|⚑|[Fantasy Names.MaleFirstName]}}


1,⚑ saw the movie. ⚑ laughed. ⚑ cried. ⚑ was moved.


1,{{#replace:{{#replace:[vartext2]|⚡|[Fantasy Names.MaleFirstName]}}|⚑|[Fantasy Names.FemFirstName]}}


1,"Hi ⚑," said ⚡. "Oh, hi ⚡!" said ⚑. </sgtable>


1,{{#replace:[vartext1]|⚑|[Fantasy Names.MaleFirstName]}}

1,⚑ saw the movie. ⚑ laughed. ⚑ cried. ⚑ was moved.

1,{{#replace:{{#replace:[vartext2]|⚡|[Fantasy Names.MaleFirstName]}}|⚑|[Fantasy Names.FemFirstName]}}

1,"Hi ⚑," said ⚡. "Oh, hi ⚡!" said ⚑.

- Serpentine Cougar (talk) 09:15, 12 November 2015 (PST)

Perhaps this is gauche...

Perhaps responding to someone else’s comment on a different user’s talk board is gauche, but that persistent variable coding looks very, very promising!

Stop the presses! … Serpentine Cougar HAS DONE IT!!

Holy crap guys … this could be (likely is) a MAJOR breakthrough.

I haven’t replied until now because … well, the browser I was in this morning didn’t know my Abulafia password (and I sure don’t remember it!) … but also because my mind was reeling with the possibilities that this advance (if it turns out to be legit—and right now I can find no obvious problems with the approach) will enable, once Abu users have wrapped their brains around it. I know I just spent the last year or so focusing on workarounds for just this sort of thing, having resigned to its being impossible … so some mental retraining will be necessary before I can start to take proper advantage (I imagine it’s similar with you all). But … initial signs are good that … this just might change the whole Abulafia ballgame.

Wow, talk about a justification for RTFMing some of the more arcane features of mediawiki syntax … it’s not gauche at all that you guys are doing stuff on my page. (Heck, if I’d’a known you were coming, I’d have tidied up!) On the contrary, I feel honored to have anyone read this mess, much less respond to it … so you can start to appreciate how stoked I’d be to see a solution for one of Abulafia’s biggest drawbacks debut on my page, of all places.

After downgrading my computer recently, I lost all emoji ability, but I remember there was one of a little guy bowing down. So please, mentally insert that emoji here, as we all observe a moment of silence to celebrate Serpentine Cougar’s baadasssss achievement.

… Now, for anyone who’s still here … can I offer you tea? I … I think there might also be generic pop-tarts … let me check …

Oh, thanks! And please add any tips you have offline that I missed.
For the variables, I think your code would work, if I understand what you mean. If you put either [hello] or [goodbye] where <sgtable> is you'll get the name instead of the flag, which is what you want. The reason it works is because the {{replace}} call is high on the chain of table calls (like in ;main for example), so it replaces all flags in any subtables that have been used to construct the entry.
When I figured it out, I was only working off of the examples on your Sandbox page. I was focused more on how {{replace}} works rather than what all it could be applied to. Is there a good example of a table that needs some he/she fixing? I should find one and try to get it working there as a proof of concept. My first thought is to use one gender's pronouns in all the subtables, but then for names of the other gender, replace he and she, her and him, etc. So that would mean a few nested {{replace}}'s. - Serpentine Cougar (talk) 18:57, 13 November 2015 (PST)


Nobreak only works within Cols because of what it does - everything in nobreak will stay in the same column. If you aren't using Cols (or the CSS styles that Cols uses) there is no point to using nobreak.

In my opinion, nobreak is best used when the content put into columns is rather long, like a paragraph or a section on a page. The reason I created it was because I got annoyed with seeing a column starting in the middle of a sentence and having to scroll down to find where it started (yeah, lazy, I know). But if a page generates a bunch of names or short phrases (each no more than 2 lines or so), there's not much point to using nobreak because they aren't long enough to cross over into the next column. And it's not like pages are unusable without nobreak - some just (arguably) look better with it. So nobreak does not need to be used everywhere.

Unfortunately I don't see how it could be integrated into the Cols template. Cols creates a div, and nobreak creates divs to be placed within that div. There could be any number of these, which is a bit difficult to put in a template, at least as I understand it.

As to gendered pronouns, it seems like if the main table only calls a few subtables, it might be easier to just separate a table into separate male/female ones. #replace is most useful when there are subtables that call subtables that call subtables....

I look forward to seeing what you do with #replace! - Serpentine Cougar (talk) 23:52, 17 November 2015 (PST)


I'm not sure it works. I previewed a page where I took out the nobreak template, and it didn't look right. The "column-break-inside:avoid" div has to be inside the "column-count" div; I don't think they can be the same div. - Serpentine Cougar (talk)

I’m using Firefox right now, and even before I merged nobreak into Cols, it wasn’t always working right for me. Not that it’s any fault of yours; in researching the topic, I found that the column-break-* properties are CSS3 which may not yet be fully implemented and/or debugged. As one page put it: “Unfortunately this is an area of severe incompatibilities and immense amounts of keywords.”
I did note a slightly different syntax for column-nonbreaking in IE than that specified in nobreak, and have just added that extra definition to Cols. It may make a difference. I do see what you mean about nobreak possibly needing to be in a subordinate div to work; however, it seems to me any sub-div ought to inherit the same properties (unless it had CSS set to override the inherit). Also, I think a sub-div could be set up within Cols if that’s what it takes. But …
Anyhow, right now I’m already straining my brain on this pronoun-gender pandora’s box so, given the near-impossibility of cleanly resolving this nobreak thing at present … I’m inclined to just leave it for the moment – unless it messes up existing nobreak installs, in which case I’ll comment it out and come back to it later.
--MikeyD (talk) 16:28, 20 November 2015 (PST)

Cent-Casting Beta Testing

Fantasy Lives

Thanks for making tables and charts I could borrow from.

the main backstory generator page is at CC-Fantasy-Lives

I've gotten my Casting-style background tables prepared to the point

I want to call for help and beta-testing. my email is Egyptoid @ gmail - com

or my user discussion page User_talk:Egyptoid

please run it a few times, and tell me about what stinks.

also I ask what should the final layout look like ?

some of the errors are minor, and come from trying to parse grammar

across 4 sub-charts, like: the sorcerer summoned the an water elemental that fallen into a volcano

previous authors have tried to adhere to the book, I have just used the Casting book as a skeleton,

and tried to improvise and expand with the wide capabilities of Abulafia.

please let me know if you like it not, and why.


MikeyD here! I just logged in, after probably at least a year or three away, and now feel like a total n00b again! I no longer remember how to do anything, or even why I’m here (only that I have memories of loving this site for its blend of logic, deranged creativity and collaboration). Now that my computing environment is finally stable, though, it should remember my logins and I’ll try to pop back in more regularly and re-acquaint myself with you all and whatever craziness may be poppin’ when I do. I vaguely recall that last time, we were discouraging the use of emoji-based routines, as many Abulafia users were using older OSes. I imagine this is no problem by now! Anyway, apologies for the delay and whatever you want me to look at, it may still be awhile yet, since I’m essentially starting over. But who knows once the weather cools down? I’ll be wanting (desperately needing?) some diversion, and hope to get serious about this site again.