Moderator: OpenTTD Developers
Unfortunately, the recent update broke a few important things.
All the article pages have been moved, and none of the old links work. I understand that switching to a different engine has its consequences, but couldn't you guys set up redirects for the old style of links? Maybe at least for the important topics like "Signals" or "Orders"?
The new search box is barely functional. The old search box used to point you directly to the right article if you typed its exact name (or the name of a redirect). The new one just passes the article name to your browser's search engine, which returns a bunch of not-so-relevant results.
To add insult to injury, they say I need to register at an external website if I want to keep contributing to the wiki. In all honesty, I'm not sure I still want to spend my time on it, and I'm not sure it is still suitable as learning material for new players.
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I understand that small frustrations add up, and I share some of your concerns, but this post seems a bit hyperbolic. This overdue update to the wiki was undoubtedly far less fun than creating a NewGRF or simply playing the game. I can only speak for myself, but I try to consider the generosity of everyone in this community any time I'm frustrated, and offer suggestions, constructive criticism, or an offer of help rather than complaints.
With that in mind:
Recently, I have seen a lot of confusion on Reddit and Discord about people reaching 404 pages on the wiki when following links. Redirects would help this, or perhaps a more descriptive 404 page which explains that there's a new wiki and directs users to the homepage would be enough. In time, though, links will mostly be updated and this problem will decrease.
I understand that the OpenTTD team is trying to move logins to GitHub so that people can contribute to various parts of the project with one login. BaNaNaS was migrated earlier this year and it's a big improvement. For those with existing Wiki accounts, it may be frustrating (although creating a GitHub account is by no means difficult), but consider the opposite perspective of someone who has a GitHub account for contributing to OpenTTD, but may not want to make a new wiki account to contribute there. I think reducing the number of accounts is generally a good thing, even though it adds a one-time inconvenience for those who need to move to the "new standard."
- the mediawiki installation was very old and has not received security or other patches for a long time
- nobody stepped forward to maintain mediawiki, so it had to be retired
- the account system was changed so that an obsolete auth system could be retired
On the other hand, very few people actually contribute to maintaining the core project. Currently the infra relies heavily on one person, with help from 2 or 3 more.
Have a nice day
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First of all, when ever you want to b**** about things, always realise there are also people on the other side of the table. People who spend hours and hours (in this case, more like days and days) providing you a more structured wiki, for free, in their own time, without getting paid anything. Just for a second put yourself in the shoes of those people, and then read your post. Holy crap ... would you be mad? I mean .. this really is not okay. This is not how we talk to each other. This is not how Open Source communities work. The only response you create with people doing the work is a: f*** this, I am out. Is that the intention of your post? I am sure it isn't, and I am sure you mean well .. I just wanted you to know: it is not how people will read it. Please take that advise for whenever you feel the urge to write a post like this. Be constructive. Try to help out by pointing out the good, and what could be improved. Compliment people for their hard work. Ask how you could help make a change. Take example to how 2TallTyler replies. That is how we talk to each other. I would really appreciate it if you could follow his lead. Tnx
Bitching is easy. Helping is hard. I know. So let me try to be constructive next
Articles have been moved:
Yes, they all have. This was indeed a consequence of switching software (which, btw, was specifically written for OpenTTD, from scratch; just to indicate the amount of work and effort that has been put into this). We have talked a few times already about redirects. For if you don't know, when it comes down to infrastructure, we rarely do this by accident The main issue is that we see that 90% of the incoming links are from Google. So updating Google should be sufficient for the biggest part. The idea is to afterwards check if there are any pages left that people keep hitting from other sources.
Sadly, two things that happened here that made this a lot less seamless than you might be used from openttd.org (we almost never have downtimes, switching software is mostly transparent, etc; "fun" fact: we rarely get praise for this. People only b**** if it breaks ..).
First, Google has since begin October disabled the "reindex your domain" button. This prevents us from forcing a reindex.
Second, Google has the sitemap of the wiki, but is indexing them REALLY REALLY slowly. As in, we are 10 days in, and it still hasn't invalidated old URLs.
This combined is just ... ugh ... but also not something we can help nor fix. We have to wait this out. After that, we will redirect where needed. But so far we have a hard time finding legit links that aren't already being fixed by the community.
"The new search box is barely functional"
A deliberate decision is to have the search not in the site itself, but let duckduckgo take care of this. In general, writing your own search engine is a bad idea in 2020. Sadly, the problem above kicks in, and as the wiki is not indexed properly yet, results will be poor. We are monitoring this too, and will tune where needed, but here too we will have to wait for Google to update its cache first (and yes, that influence duckduckgo, as duckduckgo doesn't index). For example, I would consider an improvement where searching for a direct page, just gives you the page (and not go via duckduckgo) .. but this might not always be ideal in all cases, so it is a bag of mixed feelings for me.
"To add insult to injury"
openttd.org switched fully to GitHub authentication. This means openttd.org no longer has to maintain its own authentication, and GitHub is also much better in keeping the spambots out. Signing up is free and trivial. You always have a choice to trust GitHub or not; and that will influence if you will be able to edit our wiki. This is just a fact of life. Not much I can do here to take your pain away. (The extreme way of formulating your sentence here was btw completely unneeded).
"I'm not sure it is still suitable as learning material for new players."
This remark I do not understand, and possibly is a result of your passion for the OpenTTD Wiki leaking through. I do not see how anything changed in this department. Possibly, in some nicer words, you can explain to us what you see as a problem versus the old wiki? As in my opinion, the experience for new users increased drastically: it is easier to see and find translations, the look&feel is a bit more modern, the new folder structure puts information in a location that is easier to follow, etc. So I am not sure what your point was here. If it is that searching doesn't work as you would expect yet, see above. This will be fixed over time.
@2TallTyler: <3 After the first post, all I can say: I love you. Tnx for your post, it means a lot to us.
The 404 pages (the plain white ones) that were served for a few days were completely and utterly a bug. One caused by me ... oops. That is solved now It is still a 404, but a lot nicer now. I am still looking for better ways to guide the user .. one of the latest ideas: fill in the search box with the page entered, and add an additional search bar below the text. Hopefully that guides the user back to what he was looking for. Other ideas etc, very welcome We are experimenting .. and I love any and all (constructive) feedback to improve it
for the record: i disagree with this reasoning. in a community as old as this, old things have a tendency to stick around
They do, but things are constantly updated... or, not updated and then slowly disappear. The only place where the old links will stick around are going to be old website guides which aren't being maintained anymore, and TT-Forums itself, which is an ongoing time capsule.
As I volunteered on Reddit, if there's a post here that's particularly popular and useful, and somebody needs me to update a link to the new wiki, I'll be happy to update it. But most of those posts are going to be old threads and nobody is relying on, and as new posts are made here, the search engines will pick that up as well.
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In the old (mediaWi.) the search engine was not useful for .../pl - pages. Confusing lack of finding content.
Maybe because there are expressions, especially in English coding.
To edit, I don't mention diagrams, the add-on was, but completely useless .
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