User talk:Bigred

From Dungeons and Dragons Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

test new server

Looks like it's up, though I'm getting some certificate errors on my browser. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 07:37, 7 December 2016 (MST)
Thank you for the notice, we are working on that currently. Server migrations always take a bit longer than you intended.. Bigred (talk) 10:38, 7 December 2016 (MST)
Just an update, while I (Virginia) am able to access it fine so far, reports from Canada (Montreal) have had intermittent to no access, getting a 404 Error. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 22:38, 7 December 2016 (MST)
Thanks Eiji-kun. Any people seeing a 404 are attempting to connect to the old server that is down. Either the DNS changes haven't reached them yet as they propagate across the web, or they should clear their browser cache and web history and try the site URL again. Many times when a server is moved, regular users will have the old IP address/DNS setting cached on their local machines from repeated visits. Bigred (talk) 23:38, 7 December 2016 (MST)
Did you also purchase dndwiki.com? If you did it is still not accessing the wiki (giving certificate error). I am looking forward to continuing to work on the wiki. --Rlyehable (talk) 17:42, 10 December 2016 (MST)
Hi Rlyehable, we do not own dndwiki.com, it has been owned by a third party for some time. We have reached out to them to forward the domain to the new server. Glad to see you made it back, and I'm hoping you can help with some of the new sections we want to open up on the site (see my user page). Bigred (talk) 18:01, 10 December 2016 (MST)

Frontend refresh[edit]

Actually, you guys are the experts on this one. The frontpage has admittedly been kinda stagnant...mostly because I personally don't have the design expertise to come up with anything better. I'll implement any sort of design or template you can give. Surgo (talk) 17:34, 7 December 2016 (MST)

Here's the first initial frontpage design refresh if any admins want to take a stab at updating the upper right rotating article list.
  • 2 column ( as we have now)
  • (DONE) Left column upper section - Introduction section (as we have now, moved to left column)
  • (DONE) Left column lower section - "Explore the Wiki" section, that has prominent links, and a sentence of description for our major wiki content subject, (Encyclopedia, Publications, Homebrew, SRDs, etc.).
  • Right column upper - Featured Articles (a variation of the Community Favorites we have now) This section displays a random article summary from a set of 10 that can appear, to give people a taste of all the wiki's major section. Each of these summaries should include a single image. The ten suggested topics are:
  • (DONE) Right column lower - Community News (as we have now, moved over to the lower right column)

Updated with updated frontpage progress Bigred (talk) 14:56, 10 December 2016 (MST)

So I actually had this weird idea. As much as I despise Windows 8 and 10's setup, I could almost see it useful for being a wiki's frontpage. That is, you have whatever blurb on top, and then 4-6 random small windows/icons leading to various articles on the wiki (or favored articles on the wiki rather). I have no idea how viable that is.
Also, since I see this coming up a lot and we are expecting new users, I was thinking of ways to make things more user friendly with formatting. I wasn't sure if it was better on the front page or in the editing pages on top, but I'm thinking a big red button (figuratively speaking) above saying "Don't understand the formatting, click here" and giving a simplified summary of how to work the wiki. Like "don't delete your title" and "remove the comment tags or your stuff won't show up". That's unrelated, but I figured I'd mention it just in case that is front page stuff. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 17:42, 7 December 2016 (MST)
The above was edited, so I'm replying to the latter part of that. I had a question about the tiling backdrop; wouldn't that be distracting to the eyes and for any text placed upon it? Then again I can't really tell until I see it, but just noting this concern. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 01:46, 8 December 2016 (MST)
Not to worry Eiji-kun, the tiling background is very subtle and designed to go behind the main content area of the wiki. So the light creme main area of the page where the articles are is unaffected. The background would only appear in the header, left navbar and footer areas, which are that darker tan. Bigred (talk) 01:57, 8 December 2016 (MST)
Fair 'nuff. That sounds like it can work. I will await to see what comes forth. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 01:59, 8 December 2016 (MST)
Firstly, welcome Bigred! Looking forward to seeing what directions you take us in.
Am I right in my understanding that you want to replace the Community Favorites entirely with these hand-curated Featured Articles? I'm a little leery of that – I've always been very proud of the community-driven process by which we pick our front-page articles. --DanielDraco (talk) 08:50, 10 December 2016 (MST)
Oh no, we are keeping the Community Favorites page and will be sure to add a prominent link to it on one of the 4 frontpage sections. The list of 10 rotating summaries is simply meant to highlight all the major sections of the wiki, so new readers will know we are about homebrew, canon, and SRDs. We want to show off everything folks can find on the site. Bigred (talk) 13:24, 10 December 2016 (MST)
Fair enough! I do like the idea of reinforcing the breadth of our articles. I wonder if we might be able to find a way to combine the concepts and created a community curation process for non-homebrew articles. --DanielDraco (talk) 14:53, 10 December 2016 (MST)
One thing I do like is this frees us from the need to write summaries for the community favorites to get them to appear on the front page. I like what you've done with the front page (sorry I'm not able to get to it, but I'm quite busy). One thing I did notice is the tabs on the top of pages are butt ugly. They were colored for the old background scheme, not the new textured parchment background. While the active tab can and should retain the current color, the inactive tabs do not work with this at all. I know what knobs need to be tweaked, but I'm not sure what they should be replaced with. Surgo (talk) 21:39, 10 December 2016 (MST)

Thanks Surgo, Regarding the top tabs, if you can let me know what images they are I can take stab at updating them with something better. I've done what I can on the frontpage, but the current system of randomly selecting the featured articles is a bit complex. I will probably need an existing admin who helped to set that up in the first place to update it with the ten desired stories for that section. Bigred (talk) 22:25, 10 December 2016 (MST)

https://dnd-wiki.org/w/skins/Vector/images/tab-normal-fade-dnd.png. That's the one that starts dark and fades lighter upward. It should match the background to look good. Surgo (talk) 13:18, 11 December 2016 (MST)

Canon Modules Section[edit]

I would like to get the ball rolling with the admins on how to best get a section and master list put together for all the modules in the game. Basically I would like the wiki's canon section to contain the equivalent of this type of page from wikipedia: | List of Dungeons & Dragons modules

There are a couple of ways this could be done. Either as a stand-alone canon section just for Adventures, or alternatively the Adventures might be broken up by edition and added to the existing master publication charts. I'm agnostic on that choice, but would very much like to see the decision made and basic structure with that wikipedia master list brought over sooner than later. Ideally a handful of Adventure modules would be "seeded" into it as samples, so the community has a foundation to build off of.

Pre-existing Links[edit]

So, noticed today that links to the site get redirected to the main page, potentially because the "www" is no longer in the web address, not really sure. Not sure if this is intentional or not, but it basically means that any link to the wiki anywhere that's been up just gets redirected to the main page instead of the article it originally linked to. So, what's up with that? --Ganteka Future (talk) 00:11, 10 December 2016 (MST)

Worse, it's a 301 Moved Permanently – that's going to mess with some caches. --DanielDraco (talk) 08:59, 10 December 2016 (MST)
The site is currently living at https://dnd-wiki.org Any www URL should redirect to it's corresponding URL. You did find a bug in our forwarding and we are correcting that, so thank you for catching that. The 301 redirect is the proper way to move a site to preserve it's link profile and will not result in any loss of linkjuice. The site should soon start to see the link benefits of being part of the BoLS network. It is now actively bing linked by a couple hundred thousand new links from our other sister sites. Bigred (talk) 13:24, 10 December 2016 (MST)
Every pre-existing link from before the removal of "www" in the web address redirects to the main page. Every pre-existing link to this site is still functionally broken because of the move, as a note. If there is a way to correct this, please look into it because it is monstrously annoying and problematic for anyone trying to navigate here from any link made in the last like 8 years or whatever. --Ganteka Future (talk) 13:38, 31 January 2017 (MST)

Bug Reports[edit]

Ran into this at the bottom of the page a couple of times now, wanted to make sure it was reported somewhere.

  • "Notice: JobQueueGroup::__destruct: 1 buffered job(s) of type(s) HTMLCacheUpdateJob never inserted. in /var/dnd-wiki.org/w/includes/jobqueue/JobQueueGroup.php on line 420"

Is there an alternate place you'd prefer bug reports be sent in the future? - Tarkisflux Talk 20:11, 10 December 2016 (MST)

Thank you - we're taking a look to see what's up with that. Bigred (talk) 22:25, 10 December 2016 (MST)

Parameters and Indexing[edit]

I have noticed that some parmaeters/properties on new articles are not updating/indexing for the semanticwiki search tables. I.e. I added the following 5e SRD5 monsters: SRD5:Triceratops, SRD5:Tyrannosaurus Rex, SRD5:Doppleganger and SRD5:Balor. However they do not show up in a SemanticWiki query (see:SRD5 Monsters) and for some it has been over 10 hours. I have tried a manual refresh of each page to no effect. --Rlyehable (talk) 22:12, 12 December 2016 (MST)

Thank you - we're taking a look to see what's up with that. It's on the list. Bigred (talk) 22:53, 12 December 2016 (MST)
These index pages have [[:+]] as part of the query, which is blocking the new pages from being indexed. Why is this in the query? Surgo (talk) 18:48, 14 December 2016 (MST)
Also, the older pages that were moved from (mainspace)SRD5:Name to SRD5:Name (as in, the SRD5 namespace) appear to need to be rebuilt for Semantic Mediawiki. There should be a maintenance script to do that, though worst comes to worst you can rebuild the entire table. To see what I mean, take a look at the factbox under SRD5:Triceratops versus any of the older monsters. Surgo (talk) 18:52, 14 December 2016 (MST)
Surgo - [[:+]] is a namespace selector. It's included in most of the tables in default ns so that SRD and OGL content that otherwise matches the category search pattern doesn't get sucked up. Neither it nor [[SRD5:+]] are needed in this case, and it has been removed. - Tarkisflux Talk 19:42, 14 December 2016 (MST)
Ah, that explains it. The data that was shown in the table is stale. Everything under SRD5 used to be in the mainspace, but I moved it to its own namespace. The default move scripts for Mediawiki didn't update the SMW tables though. All that data will need to be updated. I no longer have shell access, so the new admins will need to do it. Surgo (talk) 19:59, 14 December 2016 (MST)

Wait, what...?[edit]

Out of curiousity, why did you move some of the old community favorites to the new page, and move the new ones to the old page? --Ghostwheel (talk) 06:33, 11 December 2016 (MST)

With how infrequently we've been getting new CFs, it probably doesn't make sense anymore to just keep the most recent in rotation. That said, if the process is going to be changed, that needs to be a community decision. --DanielDraco (talk) 12:47, 11 December 2016 (MST)
That's an incomplete process, I was trying figure out how the current system worked and alter the rotation the have more in depth articles that featured images feature more prominently than the current set. But in any case, it's just a stopgap towards the set of ten survey articles up above that we want to have show up there. The community favorites page is now permanently on the "Explore the Wiki" section readers can go find them all if they wish. Bigred (talk) 13:07, 11 December 2016 (MST)
Isn't the hand-curated set supposed to be complementary to the community favorites, not a replacement? I understand the complete list still exists, but the whole point of it is to be pulled to the forefront.
Maybe we can instead go find images for all the existing CFs, and require in the future that new blurbs include an image? In the meantime, while we're working out these changes to process, would you mind reverting the CF changes? --DanielDraco (talk) 13:19, 11 December 2016 (MST)
For what it's worth, I'd be happy to find pictures for my commfav articles as a sign of good faith if that helps. Going to sleep tonight, so not soon, but I can get on it tomorrow. --Ghostwheel (talk) 13:26, 11 December 2016 (MST)
Requested pages reverted. Please ad some appropriate images to the blurbs where possible to help main page appearance. Then we can start to figure out how to get the additional requested blurb pages created and added into the rotation. Bigred (talk) 15:07, 11 December 2016 (MST)
I uploaded an Enchanted Pouch image for you to use Ghostwheel. have fun. Bigred (talk) 15:50, 12 December 2016 (MST)
Is it covered by any chance under one of the wiki-approved licenses? :-3 --Ghostwheel (talk) 15:50, 19 December 2016 (MST)
New file created by myself uploaded, it's good to go. Bigred (talk) 17:22, 19 December 2016 (MST)

Helping the Wiki[edit]

We are well into the marketing and technical aspects of spreading the word about the site and increasing it's online footprint.

I have a simple request for the admins and other fans of the site.

The single most effective thing any individual person can do from a time point of view is to add a link back to the site in your signature on any RPG or other D&D related sites/wikis/forums you visit. Especially ones that you have a longstanding account on with many, many posts over the years. A simple plain link to https://dnd-wiki.org or linked via | D&D Wiki can be done easily and have a dramatic effect when performed by dozens of people across their favorite RPG sites.

Acceptable Format[edit]

Please take a look at Banderhobb_(5e_Monster). This is a minimal summary of a 5e monster from Volo's Guide to Monsters (a copyrighted work). I have tried to a) point to the copyrighted work and b) include just enough information to index the creature (type, size, alignment, & CR). If you feel that this is a violation of WotC's copyright, I will remove the information. --Rlyehable (talk) 12:34, 22 December 2016 (MST)

That is great Rlyehable. I would suggest a section in the template for the monster's description and background, where people can write up a non-plaigarized summary of the entry. Bigred (talk) 14:45, 22 December 2016 (MST)
Done. Thanks for taking a look.--Rlyehable (talk) 18:26, 22 December 2016 (MST)

Advertising[edit]

We have completed our initial set of system and website changes and visual updates for DnD-Wiki. We have interlinked the wiki with all other appropriate BoLS network websites, in particular d20srd.org which a strong source of new traffic. We started the site's facebook page our marketing efforts are beginning to bear fruit. The site's traffic has grown 20% in the last 45 days, and looks to be on a nice steady growth path. The site is now on a strong foundation and the time has come for the wiki to begin to pay for itself.

Banner ad units will begin to run on the site during February.

Let's go over what these will look like and explain why this is occurring:

What will they look like?

You can see examples of the type of banner we are talking about on d20srd.org.

The format of the banners will be as follows:

- 2 ad unit total (compared to the 7 ad units wikia runs on their dungeons & dragons wikis)

- One 728x90 header banner up top above the content

- One 728x90 footer banner down below the content

- No ads within the actual content of the pages.

Why Advertising?

DnD-Wiki needs to begin to support itself and cannot continue to be supported by the other websites on the BoLS network. In particular, the banners will pay for the following expenses:

- Dnd-Wiki's new server, which is very potent dedicated server in the USA with automated off-site backups on a different continent and a 12-node SSD CDN covering North America and Europe. It is designed for heavy traffic loads. We will additionally be moving to an even faster server later in 2017.

- Dnd-Wiki's marketing budget. Already we are seeing a steady increase of users coming to the site as a direct effect of our marketing efforts. Here is a quick example of what DnD-Wiki's marketing budget is doing: In many years, other wikis who cover D&D built up their own facebook pages to a little under 100 followers. In 3 weeks since we have begun to market the website, we have gone from 0 to almost 300 followers with only a test budget. The site and popular topics are also being linked to on D20srd's Facebook page with over 20,000 followers to drive new users to the site. These marketing campaigns will continue in perpetuity and will grow DnD-Wiki to an entirely new audience who has never heard of the site before.

All of these things combined add up quickly and the banners will pay for all of it and allow us to accelerate the marketing budget to grow even faster. We see a very bright future for DnD-Wiki with an ever-growing readerbase, wiki updates, and ever more powerful servers to keep the site up and fast. The banners will let us do all of these things and we are mindful of adding them in a way that is the least obtrusive manner we can. There won't be any more banners added, we will never run pop-up ads, or any other type of aggressive advertising, and we don't plan on moving their location inside the content areas of the site's wiki pages.

I wanted to let you all know in advance so there will be no surprises. Look for the advertising launch next month. Bigred (talk) 01:21, 27 January 2017 (MST)

Hmm, I'm a bit worried. Is it needed?
Ah, well I suppose I'll see how big and intrusive the adverts are when they come then. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 19:03, 27 January 2017 (MST)
I'd be happy to spend some free time doing dev work if we could implement an alternative option like pay a small yearly fee (or maybe a bit larger one time fee) in order to have ad-free pages when logged in. I don't have a worthwhile side project going on right now anyways :). --Aarnott (talk) 08:09, 28 January 2017 (MST)
Advertising went live. I find them, in the current format, to be somewhat intrusive. They appear to be part of the article. If you can, please offset them into their own box (with a border, separation from the artilce, and a notice that it is an advertisement). I.e.
Advertisement
...advertising box...
This would go a long way to make them less intrusive. --Rlyehable (talk) 13:01, 31 January 2017 (MST)
The 2 ad units are not in their final positions. Initial testing is for basic functionality. The next goal is to get them into their final positions. It is the goal to get them into the background sections of the pages, outside of the tan content areas. This wiki has some coding structures that are making that more difficult than on other mediawiki sites we operate. We are aware of the issue and working on it. Bigred (talk) 13:30, 31 January 2017 (MST)
This is going to be a rant with some separation as I try and get some thoughts out because there was a lot to cover. Apologies for walls of text, as I can ramble. Now, enjoy the read.
The new changes have brought on a surprising slew of emotional responses from me over various points, which is all whatever and whatever being mostly irrelevant to all this, what is important is that a lot of these changes have been counter to how the site was originally built and designed and has sent us backward. The redesign of the background muddied up the look a bit. There's a bit more scrolling on the front page than we should have (the correct amount is "none"). The new logo doesn't match any of the rest of the existing graphical style and design of the site (of which I will speak about later on). Now, with the inclusion of the advertising, pages are just a bit taller, and the advertising, with its flashing "click-me" buttons and whatnot to draw your attention are of course obnoxious like advertisements are. Why is this important for me to bring up? Because it makes us look too much like another site we've tried hard to steer away from. It's a clear failure on product identity on that merit alone. As an emotional response, I don't like it and it makes me grumpy. The muddy background does indeed make the text in the side-bar harder to read as an additional downside. As an additional concern to take note of, building the site forward for the future should be a concern for mobile platforms where data and spacing are very important. Every page now loads more data. That's not an improvement. Also, slower.
Personal bias time likely, so just bear with it. So, I'm the one that did most of the legwork on the design of the site from its earlier iterations. That said, I say legwork, because the design and look was done with a lot of community input and feedback on what we should do, and because I was like, the only graphic designer around at the time, it fell to me to make the things. A heraldic crest was built as part of the logo, with carefully chosen emblems representing what we strived to accomplish for work and community. It got replaced with a flat graphic. No community say. Just ownership. The separation of this as a content creator and founding member of the community is disturbing to me.
Having an owner now (other than Surgo, who before was part of the community), is something we'll have to get used to I suppose, since you've come in from the outside as a newcomer. The reason the site exists at all is because the founders didn't want to deal with their material and work and creations being owned by someone else.
Short version: You've made us look like everything we've not wanted to be in an attempt to move us forward with a clear identity. This should be re-evaluated. --Ganteka Future (talk) 13:34, 31 January 2017 (MST)
While I'm personally okay with the background and logo, I find Gan to be 100% correct about the main page. Furthermore the main page really shouldn't have advertising on it at all, if the whole point is to welcome people in. Secondly the ads really need to be OUT of the content boxes. It can go below them next to the "Disclaimers" link, for example. But it absolutely should not be in the content box. Surgo (talk) 17:09, 31 January 2017 (MST)
Furthermore, consider working with some relevant advertising. The stuff I'm seeing is irrelevant. You might consider asking Wizards of the Coast to purchase an advertising slot for some of their new books and running that. That would fit right in. This automated stuff completely clashes with the rest of the site, and not just in tone. The colors do not match at all. Surgo (talk) 17:13, 31 January 2017 (MST)
Would it be possible to not have ads on really short pages? Feats, skill tricks and other short article look real ugly with ads on them. --Leziad (talk) 13:49, 2 February 2017 (MST)
We are having our coder take a look this weekend - about getting the ad units moved into the header and footer where they should be. Bigred (talk) 14:08, 2 February 2017 (MST)
Ads are still in the wrong spot and still completely clashing with the page. What's the status here? Surgo (talk) 21:46, 8 February 2017 (MST)
Coder studied the template and will need to add two new hooks to it for the ads to be placed in the header and footer. He should get back to it this weekend. Bigred (talk) 01:22, 9 February 2017 (MST)
Ad position moves and aesthetics are underway. Some additional complexities & background updates for mobile devices to work through. Bigred (talk) 16:03, 13 February 2017 (MST)
Ad position is much better. Thank you. --Rlyehable (talk) 07:44, 27 February 2017 (MST)
I am dangerously close to setting adblock on on this site, which I really don't want to do. Some of the advertising slows down my laptop so much I have to force close my flash player just to type. It only ever happens on this site and the loading bar normally displays .advertising or .videosense (whatever that is). It makes the site nearly unusable for me. It's even worse on interactive ad pages, if that helps fix the problem. - Aeturo (talk) 00:45, 21 May 2017 (MDT)

Advertisements with Sound[edit]

I find the advertisements with sound very annoying! Please filter out advertisements with sound. --Rlyehable (talk) 19:05, 26 March 2017 (MDT)

Striped List (CSS)[edit]

I would like to have the code entered in the MediaWiki:Common.css to allow for a striped list. Please look at MediaWiki talk:Common.css#Striped List for full details. --Rlyehable (talk) 07:23, 8 February 2017 (MST)

Forwarded to IT guys. Bigred (talk) 01:22, 9 February 2017 (MST)
RealGenius says the striped list should be available for use now Rlyehable. Bigred (talk) 16:03, 13 February 2017 (MST)

Dat Lag Though[edit]

We having maintenance? I'm wracked with bad lag. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 17:02, 20 February 2017 (MST)

Back on, but this was the error I was getting.

Overview: The access to the URL dnd-wiki.org is restricted because the validation of the certificate failed

Details: VERIFY DENY: depth=0, CommonName "belloflostsouls.net" does not match URL "dnd-wiki.org"

Phew. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 21:24, 20 February 2017 (MST)
ISP issues on and off all afternoon. Should be clearing up now. I'm just as irritated as you all. Grr... Bigred (talk) 23:36, 20 February 2017 (MST)

Mobile Unfriendly[edit]

I don't know how recent this is, but it seems the new ads do not play well with phones. Specifically I browsed on my phone while away from keyboard and kept running into an issue. Every time I load a new page, it remains on the page for a second, then rapidly loads (often multiple) odd URLs before settling on one which is a full page ad with no means of actually viewing the wiki. I have to back out to my previous page, load again... twice. Apparently on the third time it stops trying to send me to download suspicious google apps and blank pages.

Mind you, the header/footer ads show up normally anyway.

Mostly, I have been ending up on a URL "play.google.com" wanting me to download an UberEATS Food Delivery app.

Actually on further study, it seems to mostly occur when I hit Recent Changes. It doesn't seem to occur on other pages, and now it is acting inconsistently but still occuring. What's going on? -- Eiji-kun (talk) 01:03, 7 March 2017 (MST)

I stand corrected, it does occur on other pages. This time it's king.com and some Bubble Witch 3 Saga iOS game. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 01:26, 7 March 2017 (MST)

I'm not having this issue, though that could be because I use a Windows phone and those kind of ads aren't developed for my platform. - Aeturo (talk) 01:31, 7 March 2017 (MST)
On a related banner ads aren't appearing at all on my phone right now. I get weird flashes of what looks like a full page ad for a few seconds when I load a page outside the main space (user talks, recent changes, semantic search) but nowhere else - Aeturo (talk) 01:48, 7 March 2017 (MST)
On another related note, I can't seem to zoom out on the phone, even when requesting a desktop version of the page. Is there any way to change the format of the pages so it doesn't auto-fit the font and instead scales it to the resolution of the screen or something similar so it's not so hard to read pages on the wiki? --Ghostwheel (talk) 09:38, 7 March 2017 (MST)
Just so we are all on the same page, the site has never and currently does not have a dedicated mobile template. That means any mobile device will attempt to render the standard desktop version of the site with slightly different behavior from phone to phone, and browser to browser. This is normal behavior for any mediawiki site without a mobile template. There is a mediawiki mobile template available, but it is a very different user experience from the desktop version - it is reader focussed and not at all designed for easy content creation. If you visit mediawiki.org on a mobile then desktop device you can see the difference. We have it on the list of future upgrades for the BoLS network. Bigred (talk) 15:58, 7 March 2017 (MST)
Oh God, Eiji. It's happening to you, too?!? --Luigifan18 (talk) 16:51, 24 November 2017 (MST)

Interesting Ads[edit]

I won't call many of them kid friendly at all. Multiple users, myself included reported highly sexually suggestive ads (no porn yet, I think), marry a russian bride type ads and ads that autolink to their site skipping the wiki. This doesn't even seem related to browsing history at all as well, it just appears for the vast majority of users I spoke to so far. While we don't aim to be family friendly we should exercise a greater standard on what get advertised on our site. --Leziad (talk) 15:29, 18 March 2017 (MDT)

Would like to say, it was one thing I was a little nervous about with adds, so have been keeping watch and nothing even hinting in the direction have I seen.
I get alot of e-book adds and a few gambling adds both in my native language danish. Wildmage Talk 17:00, 18 March 2017 (MDT)
FYI, We only work with top shelf major ad agencies based in the United States. Our agencies will never serve adult, firearms, or tobacco, topics. Anything else will be determined as all ads are, via available data such as location, time of day, browser history, etc... Everyone see different items and often items that are customized for paticular culture/country. For me here in Texas, all I ever get is ads for pick-up trucks. Note that dating ads are popular among males, and are commonly served to them internet wide.

Common.js / $wgAllowUserJs[edit]

Hello Bigred,

I was trying to add some userscripts to my common.js page when I noticed it didn't seem to be working. Is $wgAllowUserJs disabled and if so, would it be possible to enable it?
It shouldn't have any notable impact on the server since it's only enabled for those users that actually add anything to their common.js page.

I'm also on the IRC if you prefer to discuss it there :)

Kind regards,
HiddenKnowledge (talk) 13:39, 17 April 2017 (MDT)

Seems it works now, thank you! --HiddenKnowledge (talk) 15:45, 17 April 2017 (MDT)

Requesting bot account[edit]

Hello Bigred,

I was wondering if it was possible for me to get a bot account. I sometimes use AWB and am planning to use Pywikibot to assist in otherwise menial wiki tasks. Because these kinds of edits would be large in number but often change similar things they would quickly clog up the recent changes which is one of the reasons I believe a bot account would be useful in addition to the normal API limits (rate-limiting) that the bot might otherwise run into.

I have had previous experience with running bots on several wiki's, large and small including Wikipedia as well as some wiki's for company's and self-hosted wiki's.

Thank you for reading my message,
--HiddenKnowledge (talk) 06:40, 21 April 2017 (MDT)

Dangerous Ads?[edit]

Do you know of anything known as SWF/Meadgive? My microsoft security essentials alert keeps pinging this as a severe level potential threat, and it is apparently a .swf file going into temporary internet files with the name of "optiads-1.6.2[1].swf". Is this from the ads? Are they safe? -- 00:33, 12 May 2017 (MDT)

I would like to add that every so often, I automatically get shunted to some Google-hosted clickbait that apparently was collaborated on by Samsung, Amazon, and Wal-Mart. It's some inane quiz about Google's history that promises fabulous prizes for getting the questions correct in a short timespan, but it's clearly a scam. The worst part is when I get dragged to that page while I'm trying to edit something. Thank God I can just hold the Back button to bypass their attempts to force me to stay on their clickbait and instead go back to what I was doing (though sometimes I have to pull away a few times in a row before it finally quits). Strangely, it only happens while I'm on my iPad — never my smartphone or laptop. So... maybe it's some sort of malware? --Luigifan18 (talk) 16:50, 24 November 2017 (MST)

Server Updates[edit]

Please see this discussion on the main page talk. A prompt reply would be appreciated – there is good reason to be concerned about the ongoing stability of the site. --DanielDraco (talk) 09:09, 4 September 2017 (MDT)

The Image Uploader is Broken[edit]

So, I've been trying to upload a couple of images to the wiki for use in illustrating my projects. And every time I've tried, I've gotten something along these lines:

Warning: fopen(/var/dnd-wiki.org/w/images/lockdir/lw7lewyddutifh3lkp3eas6d3jkaw6q.lock): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /var/dnd-wiki.org/w/includes/filebackend/lockmanager/FSLockManager.php on line 125

Warning: fopen(/var/dnd-wiki.org/w/images/lockdir/lw7lewyddutifh3lkp3eas6d3jkaw6q.lock): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /var/dnd-wiki.org/w/includes/filebackend/lockmanager/FSLockManager.php on line 125

Warning: fopen(/var/dnd-wiki.org/w/images/lockdir/lw7lewyddutifh3lkp3eas6d3jkaw6q.lock): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /var/dnd-wiki.org/w/includes/filebackend/lockmanager/FSLockManager.php on line 125

Warning: fopen(/var/dnd-wiki.org/w/images/lockdir/lw7lewyddutifh3lkp3eas6d3jkaw6q.lock): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /var/dnd-wiki.org/w/includes/filebackend/lockmanager/FSLockManager.php on line 125

Warning: fopen(/var/dnd-wiki.org/w/images/lockdir/lw7lewyddutifh3lkp3eas6d3jkaw6q.lock): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /var/dnd-wiki.org/w/includes/filebackend/lockmanager/FSLockManager.php on line 125

Warning: fopen(/var/dnd-wiki.org/w/images/lockdir/lw7lewyddutifh3lkp3eas6d3jkaw6q.lock): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /var/dnd-wiki.org/w/includes/filebackend/lockmanager/FSLockManager.php on line 125

Warning: fopen(/var/dnd-wiki.org/w/images/lockdir/lw7lewyddutifh3lkp3eas6d3jkaw6q.lock): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /var/dnd-wiki.org/w/includes/filebackend/lockmanager/FSLockManager.php on line 125

Warning: fopen(/var/dnd-wiki.org/w/images/lockdir/lw7lewyddutifh3lkp3eas6d3jkaw6q.lock): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /var/dnd-wiki.org/w/includes/filebackend/lockmanager/FSLockManager.php on line 125

Warning: fopen(/var/dnd-wiki.org/w/images/lockdir/lw7lewyddutifh3lkp3eas6d3jkaw6q.lock): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /var/dnd-wiki.org/w/includes/filebackend/lockmanager/FSLockManager.php on line 125

At first, I thought this was because I was trying to upload files from my iPad. But when I tried to upload something from my laptop, I got the same result. So I think something is wrong with the site's image-uploading algorithm. Please fix it. (The image I'm trying to upload at the moment is a painting titled "Warrior on the Battlefield"; it's the second result on a Google image search for "Cavalier Horseman". It's possible that the site I'm trying to get the image from (something called AliExpress – I can't give you a link because the spam filter would block it) has something to do with the failing uploads, but I tried uploading a random screencap from my iPad just to test the system and that got the same error message (repeated several times). So... yeah. I am quite frustrated at the moment.) --Luigifan18 (talk) 16:55, 24 November 2017 (MST)

Passing this onto IT. Will advise. Bigred (talk) 22:18, 26 November 2017 (MST)
Please let me know when the problem gets fixed. I'm quite anxious to start uploading images. --Luigifan18 (talk) 08:17, 27 November 2017 (MST)
Fixed - uploads working properly now. Bigred (talk) 18:34, 27 November 2017 (MST)
Phew! Thanks! --Luigifan18 (talk) 19:56, 27 November 2017 (MST)

Certificate Error[edit]

Hi Larry, I and other users are receiving an error when attempting to connect to the site: NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID

Is this something we should be worried about? Thanks. --Ghostwheel (talk) 17:27, 7 December 2017 (MST)

Can confirm. Access on my iPhone is impossible due to this, while I managed access on PC. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 01:45, 8 December 2017 (MST)
SSL Cert expired last night - being upgraded now. Error should be gone shortly. Bigred (talk) 10:17, 8 December 2017 (MST)
Thank you for the speedy response and resolution Larry!! -James The-Marksman (talk) 10:58, 8 December 2017 (MST)
And fixed!

Talk Page error.[edit]

I had made a comment on Electroconvulsive (3.5e Feat), but the wiki seems to have glitched out. The Talk page doesn't show up on recent changes, but it seems to exist via Discussion tab. Be careful though, visiting that page seems to royally screw something up with the wiki, and makes the site inaccessible. It doesn't work until you restart your browser.

I attempted to delete it, but I run into the same issue so I do not believe it is deleted.

I recall something like this occurring long ago, but I do not know what Surgo/Tarkis did back then. Is there a solution to this? -- Eiji-kun (talk) 19:29, 23 January 2018 (MST)

Bumping this up so it appears. This issue is not like the one that occurred long ago, and I'm utterly stumped. See Talk:Testpage (3.5e Feat) for more details. For some reason, Eiji's edits are looping and while they might affect the page, they never appear to succeed or show up in recent changes. I don't have access to the server logs, so I can't attempt to debug. So far Eiji is the only person to report the problem, but it might exist for others. Surgo (talk) 23:21, 23 January 2018 (MST)
I'll send this to Jay to look into tomorrow. We had about an hour of server issues mid-day today - so it may have caused this. Hopefully it will clear it up by tomorrow - bit if it continues, we'll take a look. 72.177.13.48 00:10, 24 January 2018 (MST)

Talk Page error.[edit]

I had made a comment on Electroconvulsive (3.5e Feat), but the wiki seems to have glitched out. The Talk page doesn't show up on recent changes, but it seems to exist via Discussion tab. Be careful though, visiting that page seems to royally screw something up with the wiki, and makes the site inaccessible. It doesn't work until you restart your browser.

I attempted to delete it, but I run into the same issue so I do not believe it is deleted.

I recall something like this occurring long ago, but I do not know what Surgo/Tarkis did back then. Is there a solution to this? -- Eiji-kun (talk) 06:15, 25 January 2018 (MST)

test test Bigred (talk) 10:34, 25 January 2018 (MST)

Issue is fixed, this was related to a bug in the email subsystem that got messed up earlier this week. It looks all good now. Bigred (talk) 10:38, 25 January 2018 (MST)

Let's see, can I post here and not lock up... -- Eiji-kun (talk) 15:28, 25 January 2018 (MST)
Success! Thanks! -- Eiji-kun (talk) 15:28, 25 January 2018 (MST)

Mediawiki Version Update[edit]

Reaching out to all the previous admins.

In the next couple of weeks we will be updating to the latest version of mediawiki. 1.30, from the current 1.26.

We are going through all the wikis on the server and updating them to clear the path for a server update to php 7.0 which should substantially speed up all our websites.

If there is anything in particular that we should watch out for with the D&D Wiki installation, please let us know.

Site is updated to Mediawiki 1.30. It looks like everything is working except the frontpage featured posts are not displaying correctly due to a issue with the parser extensions. Our developer is looking for some help locating what may be causing the issue with those, and potential fixes. Your assistance is appreciated.

Bigred (talk) 19:50, 11 May 2018 (MDT)

Try upgrading [1] Surgo (talk) 20:00, 11 May 2018 (MDT)
Looks like it's already at the latest version. I'd need to see the logs. Worst comes to worst you can just rewrite it all in javascript like our custom ratings extension, but it's probably an easy fix. Surgo (talk) 20:03, 11 May 2018 (MDT)
Dev noted "Since version 2.2.2 caching in the <choose> tag is disabled only if the user specifies <choose uncached>. Previously caching was disabled by default. ...So it’s upgraded, but I think the syntax changed a little on the tagging"
FIXED! The old favorites page did not have a closing choose tag. I added it and all is well. The updated extensnion must now require it. Bigred (talk) 10:21, 12 May 2018 (MDT)
Found an odd, unexpected goof from the update. We use these preloads for adding new pages, like 3.5e Feat Preload. Problem is, from what it looks like, is the ending "onlyinclude" causes the last parts of the preload, all the navigation breadcrumbs and categories, to not load in when the preload is supplied from clicking on the ADD NEW ARTICLE buttons. No idea why it is doing this, but oh man, the longer this goes on, that's pages we have to manually go in and add that stuff to. EDIT: Also, the zebra stripes on tables are no longer showing up either. --Ganteka Future (talk) 18:41, 13 May 2018 (MDT)

Try moving the ending "onlyinclude" to just beneath the breadcrumbs on one of the preload files and test it. It's possible the extentions for the preloads have changed with the version update. If it works, then the line move change will have to be done to all preloads the site uses. This wiki uses a very large number of mediawiki extensions and many of them were updated as part of the 1.30 update. Bigred (talk) 22:29, 13 May 2018 (MDT)

Striped tables are fucked because addOnLoadHook is gone. Probably more stuff is missing too. I'll try to update that js. Surgo (talk) 23:16, 13 May 2018 (MDT)

Any progress on the move to PHP 7? As I understand it, the current version of MediaWiki (1.31.1, released 20 Sept 2018) now requires PHP 7.

Unrelatedly, I'd be interested to see d20srd.org acquire an SSL certificate.

Mobile Template[edit]

Now that we have updated the wiki to 1.30, the next obvious thing the wiki does not have is a mobile template enabled.

Google has begun to move Google Search to use "mobile first" search results this month. This means Google now considers what websites look like on phones to be "the default" with desktop appearance as secondary. This is due to the now over 50% of all web traffic being consumed on phones.

What this means is that older sites that only have a desktop-only format that is not phone friendly may begin to rank lower compared to competitors with mobile friendly appearances.

We can activate the mediawiki Minerva mobile template in the future but wanted to get feedback from everyone before we do anything.

Bigred (talk) 13:39, 22 May 2018 (MDT)

Rating Broken?[edit]

I can't seem to be able to rate anything. I need to do so manually now. Is it the same for everyone else? --Leziad (talk) 12:56, 15 June 2018 (MDT)

Yeah it's busted. This is almost certainly due to my extension using something that became deprecated and then became gone. As I no longer have access to the server and thus cannot debug it, someone from BoLS is gonna have to fix it. Surgo (talk) 23:22, 21 June 2018 (MDT)

Hey Surgo, I emailed you directly with info to take care of the Rating issue. Awaiting your response.

Bigred (talk) 15:10, 4 September 2018 (MDT)

I don't have anything in my inbox. Surgo (talk) 21:14, 4 September 2018 (MDT)
Check your gmail, just resent. Bigred (talk) 15:08, 6 September 2018 (MDT)
I've been having similar issues. I thought it was related to my using Google Chrome through my iPad/iPhone (it hasn't had issues with that macro before, but Internet use on mobile devices can be finicky sometimes). It's been happening to everyone, huh? Well, that's disheartening. --Luigifan18 (talk) 15:21, 6 September 2018 (MDT)
How goes the repairs of the rating system? I am falling behind on my curation. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 01:39, 28 September 2018 (MDT)
I've been trying to reach Surgo for a couple weeks. He wrote the rating system, so should hopefully be able to troubleshoot it. As soon as he and I get back in touch we should be able to start in. Bigred (talk) 12:33, 1 October 2018 (MDT)
I have not received any emails. Please contact me via google hangouts (old gchat, accessible through gmail). Surgo (talk) 18:25, 1 October 2018 (MDT)
Mailed via my gmail account and gchat requested. Bigred (talk) 14:41, 3 October 2018 (MDT)
Surgo got the rating system working again! Yay! Bigred (talk) 22:32, 9 October 2018 (MDT)

Image Uploading Broke?[edit]

I do not seem to be able to upload images. Can you follow up? -- Eiji-kun (talk) 02:09, 2 November 2018 (MDT)

Yup, there's a file permissions issue. We'll get it fixed soon. I will advise. Bigred (talk) 00:54, 5 November 2018 (MST)
Any progress on this? --Zhenra-Khal (talk) 04:31, 22 November 2018 (MST)
Uploads are working! Bigred (talk) 19:17, 27 November 2018 (MST)
Yay! Time for pictures! -- Eiji-kun (talk) 19:40, 27 November 2018 (MST)

SSL Cert Being Updated[edit]

The site's SSL certificate is being updated. There may be short periods of weirdness with browsers during the update. Will advise when it is done.

All good, was fixed same day.

In which case, can I bring your attention to Talk:Main_Page#HTTPS_Certificate_config? Because the site is still exhibiting this weird misconfiguration behaviour. --SgtLion (talk) 12:42, 19 December 2018 (MST)

Please enable SMW full text search[edit]

This is a feature I've been waiting on for a while, and it's finally available. Details here: https://www.semantic-mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Full-text_search Surgo (talk) 15:14, 6 January 2019 (MST)

New extension[edit]

Can you please install the following extension: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:TorBlock

We have someone who is continually attempting to evade bans, and recently I've seen a couple Tor IPs from them. I didn't want to have to take this step, but here we are. Surgo (talk) 18:59, 10 March 2019 (MDT)

Wow - Some people need to find better hobbies than evading bans. Plugin addition added to the list. Bigred (talk) 01:24, 11 March 2019 (MDT)

Server variable[edit]

Images are being loaded over HTTP rather than HTTPS, resulting in mixed-content warnings. I think to fix this someone will need to set $wgServer = 'https' (followed by what was previously there) in the mediawiki config file. Surgo (talk) 14:46, 12 April 2019 (MDT)

Patch for SemanticMediaWiki[edit]

I've developed a patch for SemanticMediaWiki that will greatly enhance our navigation pages. I'm trying to get it landed in their main codebase, but they're at 3.0 and we're still in the 2.x series so even if it lands it won't apply to us without upgrading. Is there a person I can send it to to get it applied here? Surgo (talk) 01:19, 20 April 2019 (MDT)

Mediawiki Commons[edit]

Are we no longer transcluding images from Mediawiki Commons? If not, may I respectfully ask the reason (wanting information, not arguement). --Rlyehable (talk) 11:49, 22 October 2018 (MDT)

No idea, haven't made any changes to the backend. I'd check with User:Bigred. - Tarkisflux Talk 17:41, 24 October 2018 (MDT)
Forward to Bigred --Rlyehable (talk) 11:16, 2 May 2019 (MDT)
I don't even know that transcluding images is a thing. Feel free to just re-upload them here. Surgo (talk) 11:29, 2 May 2019 (MDT)
On my personal wiki, I placed the following into my LocalSetting.php file to allow access to mediawiki commons:
# InstantCommons allows wiki to use images from https://commons.wikimedia.org
$wgUseInstantCommons = true;
InstantCommons is an extension included in the standard install of mediawiki. Then images can be pulled from commons as if it were a local file. i.e. [[file:commonimagename.jpg]]. I did this to save space on my host account. It also takes care of the attribution and license on the file page. But if you would rather we download the images from commons and re-upload them here, I can do that as well. If you prefer me do upload the common images here, is it acceptable to keep the original file names? --Rlyehable (talk) 16:57, 2 May 2019 (MDT)
That's a really neat setting. I'd prefer it if it was enabled. If there's no response by tomorrow, I'll send an email about it. Surgo (talk) 20:40, 2 May 2019 (MDT)

Surgo, I've emailed you the info you requested. Good hunting on the updates! Please email me back when you're wrapped up. Bigred (talk) 12:22, 7 May 2019 (MDT)

This should work now, Rlyehable. Surgo (talk) 19:53, 7 May 2019 (MDT)

Request for Publications Section/Index for Modules[edit]

In a couple of weeks I'm going to have a couple of people start to index all the D&D modules (there are hundreds) and add them to the publications section.

The New Guys start today on adding the modules. They are new, so the initial pages may not be perfect, but they will come up to speed quickly. We have two people making the pages, and their accounts will be named BoLS-Librarian1, and BoLS-Librarian2. We will use these "company accounts" in the future anytime we do significant additions. Bigred (talk) 10:51, 4 June 2019 (MDT)
The module archive is now complete, and is linked to via both the publications and and main page. Anyone should feel free to improve any of these, as we were in a hurry to get in all roughly 400 modules/adventures. But the basic set of pages are now finished and organized by system. I would consider these module pages to be a foundation that can be improved upon by anyone who wants to. This should help increase the general usefulness and utility of the wiki going forward. Bigred (talk) 11:53, 25 June 2019 (MDT)

Mobile Skin (Minerva)[edit]

We have been monitoring industry trends and are seeing across the board loss of traffic and lower rankings by websites that are desktop only in theme.

Google switched over to "Mobile first" rankings earlier this year and the effects are starting to be felt.

Our wiki has not been adversely affected, but we want to take no chances.

We plan on adding the default mediawiki mobile skin (Minerva) to the site in the weeks ahead. This will present a cleaner experience for users on phones. There will be no effect for desktop users. Bigred (talk) 11:31, 13 June 2019 (MDT)

Good to hear. I haven't really kept up with this. We'll need to do some CSS work and possibly JS work after it's enabled to ensure it looks right.

Server Migration, take 2[edit]

We're flipped. If you need the old broken site, available here https://broken.dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Main_Page

I've added Google Rich Cards and fixed the non-SSL Quantcast extension, but no other updates are planned until next week. At that time, I'll make sure any changes are communicated and we'll fire up the new.dnd-wiki.org again for review before going live. Realgenius (talk)

Thank you very much. It is appreciated. --Leziad (talk) 22:07, 25 November 2019 (UTC)
You bet! Sorry for the moments of panic. I'm to break Lexicanum, so if you see something broken here, be sure to alert Bigred. Realgenius (talk)
Thanks for the speedy rollback and the comms. I'll help as I can to perform the later updates after Turkey day. Surgo (talk) 22:40, 25 November 2019 (UTC)

REQUEST: Frontpage Dynamic Content[edit]

After consultation with Google, we have determined that having the site's frontpage have regularly updated NEW content will greatly help the site's search appearance and growth.

I would request that we work out the details on adding a section somewhere that displays a filtered list of appropriate new pages that have been added to the wiki. You're welcome to figure out how on how to create that, but having new articles on the frontpage daily greatly enhances the reach of the site and who Google will serve it to in search.

I think a new section titled "Latest Articles" either directly above or below the "Featured Articles" section that shows a link list of say the latest 5 should do it.

Bigred (talk) 20:18, 2 January 2020 (UTC)

I think this wikimedia extension will do it: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:DynamicPageList_(Wikimedia) Bigred (talk) 18:08, 3 January 2020 (UTC)

How this is achievable isn't as important as much as defining what we actually want to achieve. So specifically how do we want to handle this? Latest 5 articles of any sort? Latest 5 reviewed/rated articles? Something else? Surgo (talk) 03:43, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
What I would like to achieve is to have a small section of the frontpage (which google treats specially in determining if the website has commonly updated content), display an continuallly updated list (say updated daily) of the 5 most recent articles that are "presentable". So for example, not user pages, or things like that, but instead actual pages with real content.
Many of the plugins let you filter by fairly complex combinations of categories, so perhaps that is best approach. If a website's frontpage displays regularly updated new content, googlebot is much like likely to begin to distribute the site more widely and on mobile devices as well, compared to as site that is considered to be fairly static. Bigred (talk) 06:18, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
User:Surgo/Sandbox should do what you want, or is at least a reasonable approximation (there's no human interaction so "presentable" can't really be judged). You'll need to update the DynamicPageList extension to this though, and remove the old versions. Surgo (talk) 00:21, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Thank you Surgo! We'll get that integrated into the front-page soon. Bigred (talk) 17:33, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

2020 Update Goals[edit]

In the next month we will be doing a set of updates and modernizations to the site.

Here's some basics so everyone understands what is going on.

The site has been growing strongly. It is now 5 times the size is was in 2017, with 250k readers, and nearing a million pageviews a month.

Around the new year we moved to all new modern google hosting, and are now protected under the quantcast security umbrella.

We will be adding a set of updates in the short term:

- Mobile template added.
- Mainpage recent stories added. (based on Surgo's template - thank you!)
- Ads reorganized to fit with responsive/mobile templates (the current ones won't work with dual desktop/mobile templates)
- All of these updates will be tested and rolled out slowly to avoid any issues like we saw with the server move.

Later this year we will add new pages to the Publication Section to add in Dragon and Dungeon Magazine issues. Slowly we are growing and expanding the canon section alongside the steady homebrew / SRD updates to expand the site's value as a repository/archive of all manner of D&D information that is currently spread all over the web.

We are working on getting affiliate status with Drive-thru RPG and DM's Guild and will experiment with those programs on the site to see if it's worth the time. Other D&D/RPG site owners have indicated positive results.

We are currently studying user behavior with a focus on increasing time users spend on the site. Initial improvements are designed to make it easier for people to browse around, and see all the content we offer, as well as what's new, so they will have a reason to visit more regularly, and eventually join the community.

Big picture this is all good news and about managing growth of the site.

Bigred (talk) 18:53, 6 February 2020 (UTC)

Update Status:

- We have widened the desktop sidebar to accomodate 300px ad units (reused on mobile), and increased the font size to use the space better and make navigation easier.
- Minerva Mobile template has been installed (not turned on by default for mobile devices), you can access it via the "mobile view" button in the footer. We will turn this on for mobile traffic once it is fully tested.
- Mobile friendly ad units added to mobile template (reused from desktop).

Next on the list:

- Update plugin and add script to display recent content on front page, lower left column (using jscript by surgo in Bigred's talk page)
- Tweak Frontpage as needed to display nicely on mobile. (Frontpage is 2 column layout which does not play well with mobile theme)
- Test altering the background color of the minerva mobile theme to the cream used on desktop. (might make all the tables and such look better.)

We anticipate another week to complete it all. Then the site will be fully responsive with dynamic content on the frontpage. The site is currently getting almost exactly 50/50 mobile/desktop traffic, so the mobile users will get a friendlier site and we hope to see google reward dnd-wiki in mobile search results.

Bigred (talk) 04:03, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

Why a 300px square ad? You could easily implement a banner ad without compromising the website aesthetic, no? Besides, a banner at the top already does this without compromising the design much at all, is a second ad really worth the site looking extremely unprofessional? --Locke (talk) 06:19, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
We are working on getting affiliate status with Drive-thru RPG and DM's Guild and will experiment with those programs on the site to see if it's worth the time. Other D&D/RPG site owners have indicated positive results.
If successful, what exactly does this mean in practical terms? --Ghostwheel (talk) 11:01, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

Update Status:

- Updated plugin and added Surgo's script to display recent content on front page, upper right column. (this appears to be working, but Surgo can provide the details of exactly how it is filtering/selecting content for the list as well as how often it updates.)
- Frontpage recoded to display nicely on variable width desktop and mobile. It now looks much better and auto-collapses to 1 column at narrower desktop widths.
- Minerva mobile template background color changed to the cream to match desktop.

Next on the list:

- Tweaking table styles on Minerva to match desktop appearance.
- Turn on Minerva as the default view for mobile users.

Bigred (talk) 19:41, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

I feel like you ignored my last message, what exactly does getting affiliate status mean? --Ghostwheel (talk) 13:09, 2 March 2020 (UTC)

Mobile Styling Help Request[edit]

OK, just a couple more visual styling issues on Minerva (mobile) and it's good to go:

HOMEBREW PAGES: Can we do something to help the mobile homebrew pages to look better (perhaps center justify the top section, or widen it to take up the full width) Sample Page: https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/A.D.A.M._Unit_(5e_Race)

TOPIC PAGES: Can we style those mobile header/top-footer tables so we can see the grid for better visual appearance? Sample Page: https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Publication:Avengers_in_Lankhmar

Homebrew pages and topics are the two most popular categories on the wiki, so making them look better on mobile should help with the rollout of Minerva. The wiki is fairly light on images, so making all the grids and tables look fancy is about as good as we can get. Jim (programmer) says that it looks like these are based on a semanticwiki template. So it may be easier for the original creator to take a look and see if you can add tweaks for improved appearance on Minerva. Jim can try to mess around with the Semanticwiki templates himself, but fears breaking other items accidentally due to the weirdness of Semantic wiki.

Please take a look at the sample pages under the Minerva template and let me know which way we should go to make them look better for mobile users. Bigred (talk) 21:08, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

Not sure if Jim realizes that he can make Minerva-only CSS edits that will apply to the same tables. Just apply them to d20 in the Minerva skin only... MediaWiki:Minerva.css Surgo (talk) 23:01, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
OK thanks Surgo. I'll pass that onto Jim. The current thinking for mobile tweaks is:
- Top "Info Box" on homebrew and canon pages will display their grid/table layout and be center justified.
- Lower "Facts About" boxes will display their grid table and be center justified.
- I will make a more horizontal low key site logo to display in the frontpage so there is a logo visible on Minerva. (as the navbar is hidden on mobile).

Enormous sidebar[edit]

The sidebar is suddenly enormous, and now a lot of text is too, what's going on? Surgo (talk) 05:56, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

See 2020 Update Goals (above) Bigred (talk) 03:51, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
I read it, but that's not really a reason for making the sidebar such a monster. Surgo (talk) 03:57, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

Ads on the site[edit]

The addition of annoying advertisements on the site is a huge problem. In the past, we moved to a different site because our host added ads. The way the addition of ads intrudes on the user experience is extremely annoying and unneeded. If paying for the server is a problem, we can find a different method of doing so. But having ads will only be a detriment to the site as a whole and will piss off many of the users that contribute to the site as is.

I realize that you're the administrator now, but for the good of the wiki as a whole, please don't have ads on it. --Ghostwheel (talk) 21:43, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

Regarding 2020 updates / ads/ etc.[edit]

Right now the site has a 50/50 split of mobile/desktop users and mobile will only increase over time. We should expect it to be 70/30 mobile/desktop by year's end. While content creation will be the domain of the desktop theme, you should begin to think of the site's mobile appearance as it's default state, while the desktop theme will be used by creators and an ever shrinking percentage of casual users. This is how google certainly views sites at this time.

The mobile template has a small number of ad units that are google approved and non-intrusive types. We will monitor the situation to see if they have any effect on readership. We can easily move or adjust them around if needed. There is no sign of any negative effects so far. The site is being updated and being brought into line with the other popular RPG wikis out there which use many more and much more intrusive ads. (FANDOM, etc...)

The positive benefits of moving the site to a responsive desktop/mobile theme combined with adding dynamic new content on the frontpage are large positives in google's eyes and should increase traffic over time. The site is now doing just under a million pageviews a month and it's readership has increased 4-500% in the last 6 months. All is looking well for the site and it has never been more popular.

Bigred (talk) 19:41, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

Yeah, but have you actually looked at the site on your phone? It looks awful. Things are misaligned, the ads are the biggest thing on the page, I can almost guarantee you that there are better ways to do this. The ad on the very top is not nearly as intrusive as the ones on the side-- the style you sacrifice for the two on the side makes the site look very unprofessional. --Locke (talk) 21:53, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
FANDOM, etc...
Fandom is literally what we split from 10 years ago after they shoved a terrible skin chock full of ads down everyone's throat. Something to keep in mind.
There is no sign of any negative effects so far.
Various users here are literally telling you otherwise right now. I'd suggest listening to them. Log out and look at the front page of the site and a few random articles on both the desktop and mobile. It looks like trash. The thing about A/B testing is that by the time the data you get reflects that you've lost users from it, it's already too late to get them back. Surgo (talk) 22:58, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
The bottom bar ad is really annoying and intrusive. The sidebar size increase is terrible and intrusive. Having ads on the wiki doesn't bother me the way it does some other people, so long as they aren't too intrusive, but right now they are and if changes aren't made, the wiki will lose usership.
Additionally, I am also concerned about your mentions of the attempts to gain affiliate status with DTRPG and DM's Guild. What does that entail? --Undead_Knave (talk) 19:34, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
The mobile template isn't complete, which is why it has not been enabled as the default view for mobile users yet. There is a list of updates above that are still coming. I am monitoring traffic currently for a period of several days to see if there are any effects. I will post results in a few days. So far after 4 days, no effect. We can easily move the location of ads to various sections of the page on mobile. These are just default locations. Lowering the second unit one additional section down on mobile is being looked at, so the ads units are more spaced out on average across various pages. The number of units on a page matters less to average users than the spacing between them.
Regarding DTRPG - You fill out a form... and they say yes or no. That's it. Bigred (talk) 18:54, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
IMHO I understand the point of ad revenue and am not as bothered as some of the others by the concept of there being ads on the site, I get that. I'm not the least bit bothered or distracted by the banner ad at the top of the page, and I also dont find the side bar "intrusive" as others have put it. The side bar ad is mildly distracting because of how the ad over sizes the side bar space, but I could get used to that.
The one that I do however find intrusive is the bottom banner ad. It eats into the page that Im reading or editing causing me to have to manually close it on every single page that I read. Half the time the ad wont even show and there is a small gray box with an X in it floating around the page. If I dont close out of it when the ad disappears like that, then click into say an edit box, it open what the page for what the ad should have been even tho it didn't look like I was clicking on an ad. If we removed just the bottom banner ad I could adapt, but I am getting annoyed with bottom ad for sure. The-Marksman (talk) 11:24, 4 March 2020 (UTC)
Long time user/lurker here that's been with the wiki through several site migrations, and I just wanted to point out that several of my players have asked me to not send them links from the site due to the ads. I've even had to screenshot Foxwarrior's bending class for one of them. I'd agree with the above user that the bottom banner ad has been problematic, though honorable mention goes to the autoplay muted video that I can't close.
Thanks for the feedback. We are going to dial back the footer ad unit (where the video unit sometime renders) as it is too aggressive right now. Bigred (talk) 23:07, 23 June 2020 (UTC)
I don't know if the changes have already been made, but this is what it looks like on my end from a few minutes ago.
If I didn't have ads turned off, I wouldn't touch this site with a 10-foot pole. And if I was a new user who came to see it for the first time, I'd close the window as quickly as I could, never look back, and go to a more aesthetically-pleasing and less busy site to post or read homebrew. --Ghostwheel (talk) 22:50, 24 June 2020 (UTC)

Dragon/Dungeon Magazine Index Pages Help Requested[edit]

Hi folks,

Next week I'm going to start filling out a full index of all the Dragon and Dungeon magazines in the Publications section, similar to when we added all the Modules last year.

I need some help making a table page for Dungeon and a sample page for a dungeon issue that will fill out as we add issues for both Dragon and Dungeon.

Here are some pages to look at:


Dragon 304 - (sample issue page) https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Publication:Dragon_(magazine)/Dragon_304

Dungeon Magazine - (probably where we should add the big Dungeon issue table) https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Publication:Dungeon_(magazine)

Dungeon - (sample issue page - opps don't have any, please make a single sample shell Dungeon issue page)


1e Module Table - (sample of we are trying to replicate) https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/1e_Modules

If any of you can get the Dungeon table up and running, we will start in on adding the hundreds of issues. I've mucked with it, but can't get it to work. 1000 Thanks in advance.

Bigred (talk) 18:01, 29 May 2020 (UTC)

Data entry is bong done by accounts BOLS-Librarian3, BOLS-Librarian4

Ads are way too much[edit]

This is just stupid. This has actively driven away many former productive members. Something needs to be done about this. Surgo (talk) 22:32, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

We have dialed back the appearance of the lower right video unit. It should now be appearing much less often, and can no longer appear in a long repetitive series that can disrupt regular users and content creators. We are ready to dial back the lower units more if needed. Bigred (talk) 16:46, 24 June 2020 (UTC)
I forgot to turn adblock back on. I mean that still seems a bit excessive to me. Idkwhatmynameis (talk) 23:36, 24 June 2020 (UTC)