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Request for 'Search' button 编辑

I request that a separate search button be (re)implemented, OR change the default searchbox behavior -automatically loading what it thinks is the closest match- to instead do a proper search. This makes it extremely difficult to search for related topics, especially considering the improving, but still fragmented nature of this wiki. Examples:

  • Search for 'CfgVehicles', you'll never find CfgVehicles_Config_Reference (a far more useful document) - If you change the search to all lower case, you can find that page.
  • Search for 'find', you'll get the find command, and never see: findCover, findDisplay, findEditorObject, findEmptyPosition, findEmptyPositionReady, findNearestEnemy - oddly enough if i search capital 'Find', ill instead get 'find' unlike the previous example.

I do miss the search box on the left with the 'Go' and 'Search' buttons. I saw no reason for its removal.

thanks for your time --Strangepete (talk) 22:53, 20 February 2014 (CET)

When I search exactly "CfgVehicles" I see as the first suggestion CfgVehicles then CfgVehicles Config Reference as the second, then "containing... CfgVehicles" as the common last option which in this case links to this search page.
Equally a search for "find" offers a list of possible pages including findCover and findDisplay etc. and the common "containing... find" search link.
Is this behaviour recent (since you asked for it)? Is this issue resolved?  -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 15:04, 11 April 2014 (CEST)
By unchecking "Enable simplified search bar (Vector skin only)" in Preferences > Search you'll get those 2 buttons "Go" and "Search" back again.
The default mediawiki search is quite limited. When searching for find only exact wikitext matches are returned. By searching for find* at least words with prefix find are matched, too - but searching for *find or *find* isn't supported.
But when searching for name no results are returned at all - probably the search index could need a complete rebuild or something else is broken.--Master85 (talk) 14:07, 12 April 2014 (CEST)
thanks Master, ill try that. Fred, in response, i do still see the same action today as when i originally posted, except i noticed a couple things: one of my computers will not show the search-suggestions dropdown while typing (didnt even know it existed on the wiki), so all you can do is type a word a press enter - in the case of "CfgVehicles" or "find", pressing enter will send you directly to thoses respective pages, not a search page
Making it more confusing, the odd-case matching: "find" and "Find" go directly to the find page. "CfgVehicles" will goto its page, where "cfgvehicles" will goto a search page...--Strangepete (talk) 00:03, 13 April 2014 (CEST)
Ah. Skins. Urgh >.O
The default works as well as the MediaWiki version can, and usually has all the good stuff, but for slower connections and edge cases like if you're using a screen reader or are colour-blind etc. the alternative skins can be useful. It's a tradeoff though - as you are seeing (by the sounds of things).
If you set your prefs to the default skin and still have problems, try deleting any relevant cookies and local storage etc.
And of course - always use Google Chrome :-) -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 00:17, 13 April 2014 (CEST)

Mirror of the VBS2 wiki 编辑

I maintain a number of VBS2 machines that are, by policy, forbidden to ever touch the internet. I would like to keep a local copy of the wiki for reference. Is it possible to obtain an offline snapshot of the bistudio wiki?

Wikipedia provides this at

Try to track down the wiki export script of CrashDome. --.kju 23:41, 12 May 2009 (CEST)

What is a CrashDome? Is this wiki export script something 'out on the web' or buried someplace in the BI wiki/forum/blog pages? What I'm looking for is an SQL dump of the pages so I can build a functional, searchable mirror of the wiki off-line.

First google hit for 'crashdome wiki export': :) --.kju 23:12, 14 May 2009 (CEST)

I am not allowed to install any programs on my internet-connected computer. I can work with the bureaucracy to have the script installed, but I imagine that anything named "Crashdome" will be frowned upon. I am looking for something I can fetch, burn to DVD, and carry to the off-the-net computers. If there is an SQL dump like from wikimedia/wikipedia, I can work with that. If there is a .zip file with the results of the crashdome script, I can work with that. (I could go home and install crashdome, but exchange of data from home computers to work computers is also frowned upon by the bureaucracy.) To make things more fun, the "VBS2" computers are not even in the same room as an internet connected computer.

I propose that a downloadable snapshot of this wiki be available from this wiki...

Wiki administrators can create an XML dump of this wiki and compress it and post it for download. The process could be automated with a cron job to run the script as root: php maintenance/dumpBackup.php --current | gzip > wikibackup.gz --Grenadier f 17:42, 8 July 2010 (CEST)
This would be nice if it could be automated. I noticed in the link you mentioned, their last update was over a year ago... so WikiMedia's system isn't exactly up to date. You can download your own copy of this wiki, as an html file, using HTTrack ( The search function of the wiki won't work, but the links will. --General Barron 20:41, 18 August 2009 (CEST)
If your problem is you can't copy files from a physical drive, yet you are allowed to download files from the internet, then I would suggest: (1) download the files at home (using one of the above programs). (2) add them to a zip archive. (3) upload that archive to a free file hosting service like,,, and so on (google "free file hosting"). (4) download the file on your internet-connected work computer, (5) internally transfer that file to your non-internet VBS2 computer. --General Barron 20:51, 18 August 2009 (CEST)

If I fetch using httrack or wget, I end up with a very nice but unsearchable version of the wiki. I have added ht://dig so I can search my internal site, but the search box on the left-side of the browser is too tempting for most people to resist. I am still looking for a snapshot in time of the mediawiki. They provide instructions: If you need automatic, you can have cron run the example php script once a (hour|day|week|month|year) - whatever is appropriate.

A downloadable version of the Wiki (which works in the browser, just like the online version, except for the search function), and which contains about 4,000 pages, is available from my site. --Kronzky 18:21, 8 July 2010 (CEST)

Merging category description pages into category pages itself? 编辑

Example we have the Arma 2: Update Guide which is part of Category - Arma 2: Patches & Updates and Category - Arma 2OA: Patches & Updates.

I suggest to merge the A2 part to the respective A2 category page and OA part to its category page.

In more general sense rather to split into an info and a link page (category). Both parts should be rather found in one place.
It would make categories more obvious to the standard user too and therefore promote their usefulness.

--Kju 08:10, 22 September 2010 (CEST)

Bump. Anyone still around? No opinions is agreement and no objections?--Kju 11:42, 19 November 2010 (CET)
I'm having trouble understanding your suggestion. What do you mean by "merge the A2 part to the respective A2 category page and OA part to its category page?" Can you use a sandbox to illustrate your proposal? RKurtzDmitriyev 23:54, 14 February 2011 (CET)

Interlinking via "See Also" 编辑

Interlinking pages in such a way that no page is orphaned and all relevant pages are only a click away is vital for ease of navigation and study, but "See Also" is a pain in the ass to manage.

I propose an alternative method be employed.

We have the power of Templates with MediaWiki parser functions, and Categories to do all the heavy lifting for us.

Although I've not got a working example to show at this time, I propose that something as simple as e.g. {{See also}} added in each page's "See Also" section, could transclude an appropriate list of related page links collated via a bot maintained category - or similar.

Before thinking about it more than enough, I'd like to know if anyone thinks this is a good, bad or whatever idea.  -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 15:21, 11 April 2014 (CEST)

I definitely think the biki could use this new organization feature. It would cut down significantly on the amount of editing needed, and help a lot of people find the commands they are looking for faster.  -- Waffle SS. 20:31, 11 April 2014 (GMT)
Thanks Waffle. I hope others agree. We'll see. -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 23:19, 11 April 2014 (CEST)

I thought about it a bit more, and what I have in mind would result in a simple navigation control we could dump on any page and have it transform into a transcluded navbar populated with all relevant wikilinks. There could easily be space for extra (including external) links to be added manually if we felt the need.

It would give the reader a formatted and standardised, easy to gauge comprehension of where they are and where next to go - even possibly as far as prioritising the links.

Could be cool. -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 12:18, 12 April 2014 (CEST)

I've pondered this idea for a while, as some commands are overflowing with see also references, and its easy to miss what you need. first thought was along the lines of a collapsed see-also box - the basics always shown (no more than 1 line, or x# of links), and 'second-tier' or 'lightly-related' links hidden. sub-hidden-tiers could be even structured by just how far from related they are to the command; parent->brother->son->cousin->friend-of-a-friend->reallyreaching
Second revolves around my desire to properly expand and populate the "Commands by Functionality" categories - every command has a purpose, and thus should have a minimum of 1 category. See Also could stay simple, 1 line, below and visually-separate a line with the related Functional Categories. where they are now is easy to miss. we also would need to take a close look at all the commands to determine which new categories need to be added, without going crazy.
I'm not really familiar with templating or anything wiki - for a generated list, would the wiki need a separate list of the relationships, or would the see-also links still be referenced in their original, calling document? (i'm having difficulty phrasing that correctly...).
All said, anything will be an improvement, so if you get any examples working, im looking forward! --Strangepete (talk) 00:31, 13 April 2014 (CEST)
Basically - yep!
Consider this epic list:
And I may very well have missed a few (I've been trying to collate things for a few days and am simply saving lists in local txt docs for now).
So lets assume someone is looking at how to do something very specific with a camera, and couldn't care less about all the other stuff:
  • We have no idea what they consider a priority.
All of those are directly or not too indirectly useful to know about if doing something with cameras.
  • A standard "See Also" would definitely not be suitable.
  • Where prioritization is impossible or expensive to calculate and prone to false positives or flat out failure, we have to assume nothing.
  • "Collapsed" is "hidden".
  • As a rule, people using the internet are extremely impatient, and the best info is the info at eye level.
  • We do have sortable tables though O.o
I have set up a test page, and will start working on a practical demo, but the ultimate solution might need more support than standard Wiki tools (categories, templates and parser functions (which are possibly not available without admin intervention anyway)). I have an idea that might work in PHP, and could thus be just kinda plugged in.
I'm not giving up on the idea of simply transcluding categories, but it could get messy if the attempt is not really up to the job.
  • Almost right, is still wrong.
I am for now though, bleary eyed and achy backed, and need to hit the hay pretty soon. I'll work on the idea for my own jollies, and if the BIKI community are happy to give it a go, we can take it from there, but this might take a while (life goes on and all that). -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 01:08, 13 April 2014 (CEST)

My demo is moving painfully in the general direction needed, but a giant facepalm moment just occurred, and I have to go back many stages and try again and again.

The basic plan for the demo, and the possible eventual system, will require the creation of a few templates and a couple of small changes to {{Command}} (and possibly {{Function}} if wanted), which would result in our having one page containing ALL the data about which pages relate to which others, and each page would include the appropriate list of "see also"s extracted from it.

I'm attempting to make it more useful for the user, by including the description from each page alongside the "see also" entry, so that on each page would be seen - a list of related pages with each reference also showing the description from its source.

However, the actual job of making the change(s) from the current system to the new (if the community likes the idea) will NOT require that we change source code of each and every page.

Howeverer, the demo is like templateception and my brain hurts >.O

I'll carry on working toward the solution, and announce completion if/when I get there, but will obviously stop if asked to by BI. I have no intention of forcing the issue. I'm just trying to help.

If/when this works, we will only need to change the details of ONE page to affect changes to the "see also" sections of every page on the BIKI - making the task a doddle from then onwards.

The end result of the demo can be seen at User:Fred Gandt/sandbox, and although as I work on it, it will go through many disfigurations, you can track the course of my experimentation and testing there (if interested).

Finally (for this update), I'd like to express my sincere apologies for the use of resources and edit spam. Unfortunately, to test the results of templates, we almost always need to save the page (rather than simply preview it), and this is resulting in many, many edits that don't directly benefit the BIKI. As stated though, my intentions are good, and in the end this work should prove useful. -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 05:56, 16 April 2014 (CEST)

Couldn't get one part to work the way I hoped. There may be a way, but I failed (this time) - So in order to implement this, I'd need to build a little JavaScript bot (run locally) to add a couple of tags to every command page that would have no effect on the page unless transcluded. This isn't ideal because any currently transcluded command pages would have altered transclusions, and any that are partially transcluded already by the use of <onlyinclude> tags, would make a mess of the "see also" display and include what wasn't transcluded before where they're currently partially transcluded.

That's why I was trying to do it the hard way.

I only need to set up handling of currently present "see also" entries on command pages to be appropriately shown under certain conditions, and it'll be ready to roll with approval.

What's currently showing on the above linked sandbox is NOT an example, it's just how I left it, and is still a work in progress. -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 22:05, 16 April 2014 (CEST)

Demo ready:

Although a couple of tweaks for edge case stuff can be added yet, the following links show the basic idea in action.

  • See User:Fred Gandt/sandbox for a demo command page running through a slightly altered version of {{Command}} at User:Fred Gandt/sAndbox.
  • The slightly altered command template calls another template at User:Fred Gandt/Sandbox, which is the hub around which all the relationships between articles is calculated and issued.
    • If the article page being processed has had its relationships listed in the template, the appropriate list of related articles will formatted and returned.
    • If its relationships are not listed (yet), and the article page already has "see also" data, that will be returned in the default layout.
    • If the article page isn't listed, and also has no embedded "see also" data, a template (yet to be created (simple)) will be returned that shows a simple message and deposits the article in a category for articles with no "see also" data.

A couple of other supporting templates are involved, and everything has been specifically created to be easy to update, maintain, and edit as needed.

The only changes needed across the BIKI are to replace {{Command}} with the slightly altered version, create a few supporting templates, and run a script to cycle through the BIKI articles (commands to start with) affected, dropping <onlyinclude> tags around the descriptions (unfortunately).

So, what does anyone think?

The end result of the effort will be the ability to arrange and organise ALL the "see also" data for all pages - in one place, on one page :-)

It'll take a little work to begin with (which I am happy to do), but the result would be clean, standardised and really easy to maintain. -- Fred Gandt (talk/contribs) 17:12, 17 April 2014 (CEST)

My opinion is that the See Also's are a nice feature which can save some user's time, but I worry that giving an exhaustive list of related commands and functions including descriptions dominates the page and draws a lot of attention to the least critical information on the page (User:Fred Gandt/sandbox is a good example of exactly that). Can I suggest that if such a list is added to each command page, it should be kept reduced/minimised until the user expands it (I have not idea of the technicalities of achieving that in a wiki). A few other general thoughts on the proposal:
  • I like the idea of adding links to related BIS functions, as the user has no realistic method of discovering their functionality.
  • The see also master list should be easily maintainable by people with minimal knowledge of or interest in wikis. It should be made obvious in the source for each command (what we see when we click edit) what the user needs to do to modify the see also list.
  • Notes should be related to the current command and should appear above the see also list (assuming it increases in size).
If you are motivated and wiki savvy, here a couple of other things I think could be beneficial:
  • Somehow automate the import information about the unloved BIS functions into the wiki. It easy to get the source script code, but the problem is many have bad or no documentation header. Alternatively BI could share their documentation, assuming it exists...
  • Maintain and expand benefits of the command categories by functionality.
  • Somehow improve the note section for commands. The user should not need to copy and paste wiki code from another page to add a note with signature etc. Is is possible to add a hidden note template in the source for a command?
--Ceeeb (talk) 08:19, 23 April 2014 (CEST)
Thank you Ceeeb. All noted and being thought about. I can respond immediately to a few points, but have only just woken up -_- so will get back to them later. -- Fred Gandt (talk|contribs) 13:24, 23 April 2014 (CEST)

Summary (so far): I appreciate the feedback and input.

Considering the requirement to have an easy to use "master page" and the extreme complexity of making that a reality using templates, and considering the suggestion that a large "see also" should either be collapsible or below "notes", and considering that "notes" are currently a mess that just keeps getting worse - I have taken the whole concept back to basics, and will be starting with the handling of the "notes" section.

I've already implemented a rudimentary fix (thanks to some implicit hints from Master85), that kind of helps, but still dumps all the raw sewage that is "notes" into the page out of reach of the {{Command}} and {{Function}} templates.

My plan (with consideration and discussion) is to move the "notes" section into the handling of those templates - completely, so that the raw text on the page is clean and easy to edit, and so that any required formatting changes can be made by editing only the template(s).

Once that is done, I'll get back to the "see also" issue, with an aim to utilising a more powerful set of tools than Templates can offer, that will allow a fully integrated "table of relationships" to be maintained. Categories should form part of this.

However, until a couple of other issues have been satisfactorily resolved, I don't consider it prudent to make any drastic moves - namely - Naming.

I hope that anyone would agree, that before mass categorization organisation should occur, we need to establish a firm and adhered to convention regarding how everything should be named. A visit to Special:PrefixIndex (and that's just the "Main" namespace) reveals how diverse the current nomenclature is.

So, onward!! ;-)

  • P.S. There's also been some discussion about the "Execution" parameter in {{Function}} and the relatively automatic importing of Functions to BIKI.
There are developing a great many interdependent considerations, and perhaps we're reaching a point that requires a plan. I realise that sounds a bit officious and sterile, but with so many proposed changes, without a coherent plan, we're likely to create far more work for ourselves than is necessary or good for BIKI.
Especially if any of those actions will require vast numbers of page creations and/or edits!
A single sweep to get everything organised, before creating new content, and requiring thereafter little or no more mass editing would be ideal. But to do that. we'd need to have - the plan - and a whole lot of agreement.
  • P.P.S. Since I've taken my work underground (name that tune?), by which I mean, since I'm now working on a solution to "see also" that doesn't require 20 templates >.< I'm deleting most of the sandboxes I created, and so the links above, and examples therefore, are dead :-( -- Fred Gandt (talk|contribs) 18:31, 5 May 2014 (CEST)