Itemref and related[]

I've been trying to been figure out the web we've got with Itemref.

  • {{IRL}} and the associated TaRapedia:Icon_reference_list are completely self-contained, much like the logos reference. They exist to support the system, no problem here.
  • {{Icon}} has about 550 uses, and is the primary workhorse. It used to include t:Item, but I inlined it recently.
  • {{Image}} has about 150 uses, and is pretty much the same as t:Icon, except less use.
  • {{Item}} was used by t:Icon and t:Image (until I inlined it), and still has an additional ~150 uses from things like the mission article section images. These should really be using t:Image (or in some cases, t:Icon).

So the first action I'm looking at is phasing out {{Item}} completely. As the usage examination has taught me, deep nesting of shared templates is nothing but maintenance pain. All it does is prepend Item and append .png anyhow.

With that done nothing really has changed, just a bit tidier. The issue we're facing is that unlike logos (which are one-to-one), icons have heavy reuse at times. Main alternatives:

  1. Make the main templates only use itemref, and make a subtemplate that only uses image name.
  2. Same as above, but reversed.
  3. Get rid of itemref entirely, and upload images as needed. Don't bother worrying that there are twenty different images of the same thrax head icon.
  4. Embrace itemref, use it for everything. Just avoid looking at the block of subpages, and it's not so bad overall. (We could easily change itemref to include the full file name instead of just a number. That way it could be used for mapping to more than just numbered images.)
  5. Don't bother changing anything.

I'm not really sure what's best. On one hand, I consider itemref a mess, and it creates a ton of pages. On the other hand, it allows easy mapping of new items to existing icons, and saves duplicate uploads. Similarly, splitting the templates means each is smaller and faster, but I don't know if it really matters enough.

What about you? Do you care enough to have an opinion? :-) - Dashiva 13:32, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Of course I care Smiley.gif I've never liked the Itemref system, because it created images like ItemReanimationWave.png Image:ItemReanimationWave.png. On the other hand it can be useful for solving image names problems ({{Icon/Logos}} uses Replace for removing "/" and {{Icon}} uses Replace for removing ":") and it can merge many image references into one, which can ease image updates in the future. The 24px Image:Field Repair Tool.png image was updated with to brown version and it's used under 3 different names: Direct Repair Tool, Conical Repair Tool and Radial Repair Tool. Personally I would like the Itemref system go away and add optional system for item name to image name translation. This would solve the naming problem and can also solve the image reuse problem.
Comments about you proposed solutions:
  1. Make the main templates only use itemref, and make a subtemplate that only uses image name.
    Having two templates would need us to remember which image is available directly and which needs to use Itemref.
    The idea was to over time transition entire sets of icons to non-itemref, like we've done with logos, armor and weapons. But I agree it's not the best solution.
  2. Same as above, but reversed.
    I would go with one template using the main image and when not found, trying to use the template. The unneeded inclusions can be stopped by using {{ {{#ifexists:Itemref/{{{Name}}}|Itemref/{{{Name}}}|EmptyTemplate}} }}
    That's a good idea. Getting rid of include pollution would remove one of my major problems with itemref.
  3. Get rid of itemref entirely, and upload images as needed. Don't bother worrying that there are twenty different images of the same thrax head icon.
    I wouldn't mind going this way. It will just create more work when the shared image is updated, for you will have to reupload one image to under all the names again. (The thrax head is used only under 14 names ;-) )
    Yeah, it's generally a one-time expense, and it many other kinds of trouble down the road. The downside is that it prevents random editors from linking up new images (although itemref might not be easy enough either).
  4. Embrace itemref, use it for everything. Just avoid looking at the block of subpages, and it's not so bad overall. (We could easily change itemref to include the full file name instead of just a number. That way it could be used for mapping to more than just numbered images.)
    updating such system without IRL would become big hassle. When we need to use new image, we would need to upload it to the wiki, create template for it and use the tamplating system. This will become a problem for casual wiki users just updating some article.
    Per above, I think casual editors might learn the itemref system and prefer it since they don't have to acquire the images on their own. But if we can get good coverage of icons fairly quickly, this falls away. And as before, getting rid of itemref is still the main motivation. :-)
  5. Don't bother changing anything.
    please, go away with Itemref! Smiley.gif
    Aye-aye, cap'n
  6. Be able to optionally specify the image name in the templates
    This will move the image name translation responsibility to the users. I don't see a big problem writing: {{Icon|Radial Repair Tool|image=Field Repair Tool}} which would create: Radial Repair Tool Radial Repair Tool
    I'm fairly negative to this. It's basically distributed, camouflaged itemref. We lose the easy update and maintenance itemref gives, and it becomes much harder for casual editors who might not know the "real" name for an icon.
Zarevak 00:38, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Comments inlined above. Conclusion below. Based on the above, my preferences are the following (best at top):
  1. Start with #2 (name, with fallback to itemref). Remove individual itemref templates as they are shadowed by named images. (No inclusion pollution should make this simple enough.) Eventually this leads to #3.
  2. Start directly with #3. Stuff will break, so we're gonna have to do a lot of damage control the first days.
  3. Start with #1. Transition more and more icon sets to subtemplate, remove would-be shadowed itemrefs as appropriate. Eventually the ranks should be thinned enough to allow transition to #2 or #3. This is pretty weak, as it offers no real benefits over #2.
  4. I don't consider the remaining alternatives improvement enough for the work they would require.
So, that's my take. - Dashiva 01:17, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Ok, so it's basically option 3 - upload images under all different names (and using Replace for fixing image names). I agree in combination with #2 (Itemref fallback) the transition can also be almost smooth.
I've checked the game data and it contains around 2000 different item names (many of them could be used for testing, placeholders and never seen in the game). Problem is there are some item names with more different images:
  • All armor and other clothing parts (Eye Patch, Glasses, Goggles, Sunglasses) - armor solved by using version numbers
  • Aid Package
  • Datapad
  • Detonator
  • Explosive Charges
  • GPS Beacon
  • Salvage
  • Thrax Skull
These have more images as well, but only probably due to some bug (wrong/cube icon)
  • Bane Plans
  • Bomb
  • Chaingun
  • Electric Chaingun
  • Thrax Head
I've also checked the image usage (575 different images) and some of the most used are:
Image name Item count Name count Comment
Item0108.png ui_ico_equip_unknown 960 502 Used for equipment without icon
Item0382.png ui_ico_item_unknown 200 184 Used for items without icon
Item0395.png ui_ico_item_junk_anti_grav_pulse_unit_v01 109 109 Used for junk without icon
Grenade.png ui_ico_item_cons_hand_grenade_v01 101 101 One icon for all the versions: Class I EMP Grenade, Class I Incendiary Grenade, Class I EMP Grenade, ...
Item0423.png ui_ico_item_junk_thrax_medal_v01 79 79 Used for all the Assault and Defense Tokens
Electroresistive Plating.png ui_ico_item_craft_electric_2_electroresistive_plating_v01 69 69 Used for components without icon
Med Pack.png ui_ico_item_cons_med_pack_v01 62 62 Same problem as with grenades
Item0331.png ui_ico_item_gen_human_data_disc_v01 49 45 First icon used for more (mission) items at once that is justified
I suggest we share the unknown icons (it is already done on components page) and also share the Grenades and Med pack icons. Human data disc should be according to #3 uploaded under many different names (Classified Data Pad, Data Pack, Data Pad, Evidence, Flight Recorder, ...)
Zarevak 04:08, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
On further thought, I would prefer to use a second template after all. It doesn't just separate out the ugly, it also gives a reliable overview of which pages use itemref, instead of having to check the individual itemref pages. It also allows t:Icon and t:Image to share the itemref code. I've been bold Tonguesmiley.gif and put it into action, but it's of course still open for discussion. {{Icon}} and {{Image}} now both call {{Itemref}} if they can't find a named image, and that in turn falls back to the value in {{Itemref/default}}. In retrospect, it's a lot like {{Item}}, except it doesn't do inclusion pollution and it has a better name. - Dashiva 12:16, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Hubris strikes again. Looks like the "reliable overview" isn't so reliable after all. More experimentation is required! - Dashiva 12:22, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I got it fixed. Requires a double #ifexist for now, but VariablesExtension will handle that if my request goes through. - Dashiva 14:24, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
As for grenades and the like, I imagine we'd do fine with just {{Icon|Grenade|Class I Fragmentation Grenade}} as well. - Dashiva 12:16, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

A small note in case you don't already know and happen upon it one day. Use of #ifexist will generate a Whatlinkshere entry, regardless of what else you do, and regardless of whether the page exists or not. With our current setup, this shouldn't be a problem. Just thought I'd mention it, since it puzzled me a while before I found out. - Dashiva 03:08, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the information, I didn't know that. Does it also create entry in Wantedpages? After all we wanted to use #ifexist to clear up the Wantedpages...
Zarevak 03:23, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I tried to find out, but our WantedPages stops after 1000 entries, and it's also only updated once a day. Gonna check the code later. However, should note that since we moved itemref into a separate template we don't get the problem there (only for pages that fail both name and itemref), and logosref is destined for destruction anyhow. - Dashiva 03:28, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Ok, it's official: #ifexist creates entries in Wantedpages :-( I will remove automatic Logosref usage on User:Zarevak/Icons/Logos so we shouldn't have any Logosref pollution in Wantedpages tomorrow anymore. → Zarevak 09:39, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
You could use or copy User:Dashiva/Template/Logosref if you want to keep the pages around. It's a bit more bloated, but it has the same functionality, and it's only one (existing) page. - Dashiva 17:16, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Last song of logosref[]

Logosref is almost gone, but you still have those comparison pages. They in turn generate ~400 entries of (3 links) in Special:WantedPages. So here's my request to remove logosref from those pages. - Dashiva 20:23, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Logosref red linking removed, sir! Smiley.gif And I still have my comparison pages Tonguesmiley.gifZarevak 23:49, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
We both know I'm coming for those too, eventually. Mwuahahaha. - Dashiva 01:58, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I know... We should begin deleting Logosrefs that already has their proper (Image:Logos (logos).png) image uploaded and leave the rest until we find the Logos in the game or decide how to handle them. Using my magic tables User:Zarevak/Icons/Logos as a reference we can rename and upload all but one old article: Home (logos) - this one is not in the game files :'(
Zarevak 02:11, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Ability / Training templates[]

If we put category naming aside (as that can be changed easily) do you have any other issues with {{Ability}} and {{Training}}? Otherwise I was thinking I'd replace existing {{Skill}} use with the appropriate new template. Yet another step in the "Save WantedPages" quest.

P.S. I'm getting the "over 32k" warning when editing the full talk page. Maybe time to make an archive. - Dashiva 04:14, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

First I don't fully understand why we are splitting the template in the first place - the difference is only in category names, showing needed Logos in {{Ability}} and having different subtypes (weapon/armor/crafting vs ability/signature ability). From the game perspective, there are 4 types of skills/abilities (see: here):
  • Training - passive skills enabling usage of some equipment type without the need for Logos
  • Engineering - passive skills enabling the characters to craft/modify items without need for Logos
  • Ability - active skills used in combat, they need Logos and use Power, sometimes Adrenaline
  • Signature Ability - special active skills used in combat, they need Logos and use Adrenaline
The only comments about the actual templates are some nitpickings:
  • I don't like that the keyword for no needed Logos in {{Ability}} is "no" - is there a reason, why it isn't the old "-"? I hope there won't be Logos symbol for No as we have Negative already.
  • Do we need type parameter in {{Ability}} to support three different keywords for signature ability? I don't like the short version sig. For supporting both signature and signature ability, we can use {{#if: {{#pos:{{lc:{{{Type}}}}}|signature}} | Signature ability | Normal ability}} to try to find word signature in the string.
  • The /doc subpages need to be checked and corrected - eg.: there is type=weapon,armor,crafting in {{Ability/doc}}; also there isn't any mention of Name parameter in both {{Ability/doc}} and {{Training/doc}}.
Zarevak 06:00, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
PS: I'll try to archive old parts of the talk page size...
The division is pretty clear in my opinion. Active/passive, logos/not (except sprint), cost/free. Keeping them separate gives smaller and simpler templates; a combined template would need to #if the entire logos section, and use variables in the categories. Splitting also allows further distinctions, e.g. different styling, should we choose to do that at a later point.
As for the param, 'no' was just an easy fix. In retrospect it's not even necessary, since I moved the check to surround the entire logos block. I have replaced it with checking if the skill name is Sprint, but doing a check for "-" or even a NoLogos parameter would be equally possible. Since it only affects Sprint now (and in the foreseeable future) I have no strong feelings here.
The checking for signature ability is a mixed bag. I feel we should have a switch there since we're checking for at least three things (signature, normal, missing) and it allows easy extension if we decide later to subtype abilities (yes, even though I said it was bad, I can imagine being overruled). On the other hand, removing 'sig' is fine. I have done so.
I have gone over the doc pages. A bit too much copy/paste indeed. Name parameter added.
Next iteration please. Smiley.gif - Dashiva 20:45, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
P.S. I'm seriously tempted to make a page ) so I can use {{:)}}
There is second exception to "Abilities needs Logos" rule: Shield Extender...
I'm also thinking about moving the Engineering skills under the new name without the Engineering: at the beginning to have it the same naming policy as other skills and abilities. This rename discussion should continue on TaRapedia talk:Formatting/Article names#Skill_names
Re PS: If we create on smiley template in main namespace, others will create bunch more and we and up with many articles named ), P, D, O, ... just for the {{:)}}, {{:P}}, {{:D}}, {{:O}}, ... I created smiley under {{;)}} and it works fine. btw: the picture is from the game Trsmiley.png
Zarevak 02:36, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Shield extender has got to be a bug, but I guess we're living with that for now. Well, what do you say then? Use a NoLogos parameter for these, or use a magic value? I've replied to the naming issue on the other page. As for the smiley, I won't actually go through with it. It was just frustration over using : instead of = too many times. Smiley.gif - Dashiva 10:43, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Good news on WantedPages[]

Now that Logosref is gone and the Itemref is starting to thin out, this is starting to show good promise. Lots of name.png entries for missing images, and named NPCs and places are popping up as well. A job well done. - Dashiva 20:49, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Laser Chaingun[]

  • The laser chaingun image is in fact the laser cannon! Bit of an error going on there, eh? --Arcalane 14:31, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for notice. The correct image has been uploaded. → Zarevak 15:20, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Upcoming Update[]

I'm not sure how much attention you pay to wikia issues, but in case you aren't, here's a quick summary. Wikia is upgrading from Mediawiki 1.10 alpha to 1.12 alpha (again). The bigger gaming wikis (includes us) are being updated last (probably to discover and fix issues beforehand). I checked on a wiki that has been updated, and found the update includes DPL 1.6.3 (full list). Huzzah. - Dashiva 23:20, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the news! I'm finding the wikia pages a bit chaotic and I don't know where to look for such information :(
I hope the 1.12alpha (r26409) version will be ok - it's just bit older then the one used by English wikipedia (1.12alpha (r28384) - wikipedia:Special:Version)
Zarevak 23:49, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Information found:
Zarevak 00:33, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
The update! The update is upon us! Read all about it in Special:Version! - Dashiva (talk) 22:24, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the info! I've noticed it a few days ago when checking some uploaded images and wondering about the new image version table... So far I haven't encountered any problems. I haven't tested much of the new functionality yet, because I'm in the middle of internet connection upgrade and been forced to use slow GPRS connection...
Zarevak 01:09, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
PS: Have you checked the new Webtools [beta] special page? It doesn't seem to work now, but it listed keywords used to find our wiki. It should also generate sitemap, but only few pages are listed and I haven't figured out how we can set which pages to include.
I've heard about it, but haven't really looked at it because of how beta-ish I heard it was. Interesting that net gun is so high on the ranks. Smiley.gif - Dashiva (talk) 01:59, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Logos Stuffs[]

Sending the logos images and image coords can't hurt. On the topic of logos translations, after I get back from vacation (Monday) I'll be embarking upon a quest to translate as many logos pillars as I can find, probably placing them all in a central Logos Translations page or somesuch. I'm really not sure if the already cluttered and confused zone pages need yet another category heading, and I'd rather leave categorization and formatting issues to people who know better and care more.

Mrspathi 07:35, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Template internals[]

I'm not sure how informed you are about the internals of mediawiki, so I'll run a quick summary just in case. When you save an article, categories, links and template inclusions are saved in database tables. If the template is later changed (e.g. remove a category, change a link) this will be reflected on the actual pages, but not in the database tables. This means category listings won't update, nor will Special:Whatlinkshere. The solution (in theory) is the job queue, which will automatically reparse all including pages so the database updates. However, on wikia this is extremely slow. (You may have noticed our Special:Wantedpages has not been updated since Dec 29th, 8 days ago.)

As a better solution, I have started using my null edit bot. (A null edit is a page edit that doesn't change anything, it only forces database link updates.) So if you change a template's links or categories, drop me a note and I'll run the bot on the affected pages. - Dashiva (talk) 13:39, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for the info. I've already encountered this problem and sometimes I did the null edits myself and with the {{MissionItem}} I was hoping and waiting for the job queue to do its job... It's sad it takes so long :(
Zarevak 14:29, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
I actually handled MissionItem already. That's what prompted me to inform you about the bot. Smiley.gif - Dashiva (talk) 14:31, 6 January 2008 (UTC)


Heya. I haven't seen you around much lately, and my own activity has been pretty minimal too. I'll stick around for occasional admin stuff, but I don't reckon I'll be any more active until autumn at the earliest. How about you, do you expect any changes soonish? If we're both going to fade away we should probably plan for succession before it's too late. - Dashiva (talk) 20:44, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Fixed bugs[]

Noticed your edit comment. My plan for fixed bugs was to leave them in for a month or two so people can see the bug was known and is definitely fixed now. Otherwise it's my experience that some people won't know the bug is fixed and will add it, especially in cases where you have to delete some items or retake a mission or similar to clear the bug if it's already affecting you. - Dashiva (talk) 06:18, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for pointing out that previous bugs can bother players even after they were fixed. I'm trying to remove old bug information so the new players are not bothered with fears from old and already fixed bugs. Smiley.gif
Zarevak 17:15, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

[edit] Thank you First of all, thank you for checking on my work and questioning my changes. I am very new to the whole idea of a Wiki and being able to edit it at will. Any advice you can give I would be happy to listen to it. On the topic of stub articles, it was my impression from the description of what a stub was is if the entry has very little information or none at all, then it is a stub. I thought that if the page was 80% complete, then it shouldn't be a stub. If that is not the opinion of the rest of the group then i would be happy to curtail my Stub removing activities until I get a better handle on what a stub is. If you have any further questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to ask. thank you again.

Retrieved from "http://tabularasa.wikia.com/wiki/User_talk:Firehoth"


Something changed recently, the search is wowwiki, not here. I sometimes get a wowwiki favicon as well. Mainiac 00:46, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi Mainiac, can you try clearing your browser caches? I had problems today as well - the JavaScripts were not working. I thought it was my local problem, but something may have been changed on Wikia (i didn't get any notice about any change though). After restarting my browser the problems were gone.
If this won't solve your problem, try contacting wikia using their forums: wikia:Forum:Help desk
I'm sorry for not being more helpful...
Zarevak 00:59, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

I found the trouble, in Skin options the "Let the admins override my skin choice. (recommended)" choice was unchecked, it changed the whole left side, strange thing is, I don't recall changing it.Mainiac 03:07, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi there[]

Hi there, i mainly joined just to fix a few locations of npcs. Not really much of a html person, but patching a few numbers is easy. hope to help out in my small way. See ya around. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Haratu (talk · contr).

Hi Haratu, don't worry about html - updating wiki articles is much easier. Each article has its own history so it's not a problem to revert to previous version in case of any troubles Trsmiley.png You can always preview your changes using the "Show preview" button.
We welcome all contributions - from simple typo corrections, updating outdated information to writing new articles. Even a small update may help other players in the future.
Hoping to see you more Smiley.gif
Zarevak 15:20, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
PS: When leaving comments on talk pages, please sign them using four tildes (~~~~) which are automatically changed to your username and timestamp when saving the talk page.

Game over, man[]

I assume you've seen the news. It was fun while it lasted (or lasts, for a few months still). - Dashiva (talk) 18:53, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, sad news :( I renewed my subscription for 3 months just a week before Richard Garriott announced his leave from Tabula Rasa... At least we are promised to get into Aion beta and I hope it will have better success then TR Smiley.gif I've already tried trials of CoH and Lineage II, bit it just wasn't for me...
I wish you good luck and maybe we will meet once again in the future Trsmiley.png It was fun and it was nice working with you.
Zarevak 05:37, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Please keep going[]

I've been a heavy user of this wiki for missions and logos. And there is going to be new stuff to add for deployment 15. So don't abanden it yet. This is a great place for all those invaluable tibits of info. Still got 3 months left. mdagli1

Hi mdagli1, I'm still here Trsmiley.png
I still have some updates for Tarapedia on my ToDo list: uploading the new Earth icon and maybe creating Crates in Plains page with interactive map of all Crates I've found in Plains... It's just my motivation is not as high as it used to be :( Also my hard drive has crashed and I've lost most of my Tabula Rasa related tools.
Zarevak 08:41, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
PS: You can sign your posts using four tildes: ~~~~ - they are automatically converted to your username and timestamp on page save.
I wouldn't worry about the interactive stuff. Whilst it's cool, I'd rather having lots of new data in big old boring tables. :P Maximum impact with little fuss. Mdagli1 18:00, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Smiley.gif I've created most of the templates before the closure announcement was made and it just needed some final push... Also it still needs better icons to distinguish different types of crates (normal, locked, guarder, locked and guarded).
Take a look at Crates in Plains - what do you think? (the two notes I've added for testing are bogus data...)
Zarevak 05:01, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Looks cool to me B) Mdagli1 19:12, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

New Alia Das Map[]

Howdy, howdy. Check out my Alia Das map. /woot! /very fun. Readingwhatyousaid 01:06, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Good work Trsmiley.png You don't have to tell me about your changes - I'm regularly checking Special:RecentChanges for updates. Because you did I will at least give you some comments:
  • All the letters for "Vendors & Waypoints" are not very visible on your map. Try to use different/more contrasting color.
  • The green line in the middle with arrows is not very obvious and is probably not needed. Just keep the Eloh side/Human side labels.
  • What source are you using for the map itself? I may be able to provide you with unscaled undistorted minimap textures and worldmap textures.
  • The arrows are obviously hand drawn. They may look better is you use some curves instead of your hand to create them. Most of the graphics editors support such things. They may even support adding automatic Arrow ending. Same goes to the red border around, but this looks much better.
  • When I've played the game I was mostly using the northern exit near the "C" in your "Concordia Wilderness" label. There are no direction labels on your map.
Keep up the good work
Zarevak 16:08, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

I wrote you a bunch of long winded stuff, then paired it down a lot. Work was upsidedown there for a bit. I was wondering like a lot of people what was gonna happen next. /phew I think that's over for a while. Would we want to make a "Where is everyone going page?!" The end is near! Bye bye TR. I heard a bunch of stuff about Richard and the servers. If I get sometime I'll pull the sources and paste. Readingwhatyousaid 06:49, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Alpha channel information and PNGs[]

RE: User_talk:Zarevak/Archive/1#Game_data

" I use tool from NVIDIA's DDS Utilities package to convert the DDS files into TGA files of all mipmaps inside the DDS. Lastly I use another tool I've writen to convert the TGA files (with Alpha channel) to PNG files in batches. I tried other ways of extracting the icons from the game (and from the DDS files), but I always kept losing the Alpha channel :(

I was offering the source code with my tool for you to be able to check, what you are running and or compile it for yourself with full control over the source code - In todays word its hard to trust executables downloaded from the internet. "

I found your page when I was looking at some of the other images already uploaded and this part linked from another talk page.... I was wondering, would you be able to help me? I am trying to do similar stuff as you to archive the images we have for the future now the game is dead...

In particular I was wondering if you would be able to post the source code on here for the program you made to convert the TGAs to PNGs please maybe? With some instructions on how to compile it for a beginner? I've never had to do it before :S

Also does this lose any information at all? I'm not sure PNG support % transparency rather than either opaque or transparent does it?

Thank you for any help! :) --Kittenofdoom 01:46, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

As a temporary thing I found that GIMP saves alpha channel transparency properly unlike Photoshop (which I'm annoyed at as I have the full version even if it is c/o college...) :) thanks to this thread found via Google
... but with this I can only do one at a time so adding everything isn't really worth it

I just read some more of your talk page and noticed a message saying that you lost most of your TR tools, eep! I hope you didn't lose the batch TGA->PNG'er too :( if so no worries? but what a pity! --kittenofdoom 09:31, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Hi Kittenofdoom, yes, I've lost my TGA2PNG tool as well, but I've just reprogrammed it (it's very easy to do in C#). But I will rather point you to: Image Magick - it's convert tool can convert TGA images into PNG images with no problem and retain full alpha channel:
convert image.tga image.png
I've also tried to use it to convert DDS textures directly to PNG images, but it failed and produced corrupted images.
One note: Please stop uploading GIF images - their very inferior quality, because they support only 256 colors and only one level of transparency (mainly: Category:Base_class_icons and Category:Map_UI_elements_images) I will delete them in the future.
Zarevak 22:32, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
yeah don't worry I actually already stopped uploading them a while ago anyway if you check the upload log :D I realised same thing, it's just when I first did those I didn't know about the possibility to keep alpha channel in the actual image at that point, those were my earliest stuff Trsmiley.png
I don't actually need a thing to convert TGA to PNG with alpha channel now, if u read my previous message I said I managed to find out that GIMP works for it - but it's kinda fiddly and slow have to them one at a time - that imagemagic thing seems to be one at a time as well not ones for batches like your program? if you could share it'd really help? if you dont want to post it or whatever its fine tho :) --kittenofdoom 22:50, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
You can these two steps to convert all the images at once:
Step 1: Convert all the DDS textures into series of TGA images using command line and NVIDIA's tool:
for %i in (*.dds) do readdxt %i
Step 2: Convert the largest TGA images to PNG using command line (smaller mipmaps don't end with "00"):
for %i in (*00.tga) do convert %i %i.png
Zarevak 23:05, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, where do I put those lines tho? I don't actually copy paste that in command line do I? cos I don't have a program called readdxt? I have nvdecompress and others? thanks :)
if that's actually a program i dont know anything about programming to make that work as an actual file :S --kittenofdoom 23:11, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
ReadDXT comes from NVIDIA's Legacy DDS Utilities package. The two commands presented are for use in the command line (Start Menu - Run: cmd <enter> ) If you don't know anything about Command Line, I advise you not to use it as it may do more harm :(
The two commands presented assume two things:
a) readdxt.exe and convert.exe are in the same folder as the images.
b) you run the command from the images location (you can use cd command to change directory (folder))
Zarevak 23:30, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Ohhh, I'm using the new version that's why, I guess readdxt and nvdecompress are the same program I'll try it with a different name then thanks
I do know about command line dont worry I just didn't know you could do stuff like "for" "if" programming type stuff.. i think my only experience with that before is Excel at school lol! thanks I'll give it a try! :) --kittenofdoom 23:40, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
hmm, I downloaded that program and extracted it twice, and there is nothing I can use, it's all useless to me ".c" files... I downloaded the one in the main folder first then I tried the one in the windows but it's the same............. I don't get where is the version with a convert.exe? Thanks for any help --kittenofdoom 23:53, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
The ".c" are source code files for the ImageMagick suite. You need to download compiled binaries for Windows. I'm using the "Portable" version, as it doesn't need to be installed (just extracted).
Zarevak 00:00, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
thanks I figured it was code but that's all there is on the main downloads page, I couldn't find any links to that one, thanks :)
Ok it seems to work now! I changed what you suggested for command line slightly to
for %i in (*.tga) do convert %i %i.png
but I have one slight problem, it makes the png files like this: filename.tga.png is there any way to make it so it just makes them filename.png other than editing them manually after? --00:26, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, there is:
for %i in (*.tga) do convert %i %~ni.png
The %~ni produces only the file name (without the TGA extension) and then the commands appends extension as in previous version.
Zarevak 00:32, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks that is perfect! Smiley.gif --kittenofdoom 00:52, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Now you stop uploading images with CAPITALIZED suffixes and we both will be happy. Trsmiley.png There is no need to mark Alpha-like images (most are not Alpha images!) as such in their filename. If you want to mark them, use additional category. This goes for the OPTIMIZED and other suffixes as well. Create new category and mark images as original textures using this category. It will help future users much more then weird filenames. (MediaWiki can list images of each category, but it is hard to display all images using some filename suffix)
I'm going to the bed, please don't break TaRapedia...
Zarevak 00:59, 9 March 2009 (UTC)