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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:49 pm 
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Before we can re-do the wiki properly, we have to find a way of formatting that make sense while using it.

I have been testing this today a little bit during my lunch time here. For now, I tested the PPU section.

I used the original wiki content (without permission, I know, stone me later would ya), to re-create the PPU page but with sections instead of one big page. What I want to know is if it does improve the usability or not.

For now I don't need comments like "why the name of the page is that ugly PPU_REGISTER_SCROLL" or on other small details since it's just a layout test.

Does it make more sense this way?

Note: If someone knows how to replace the page name with a custom name, that would be great. I want to be able to access section by a scheme of less specific (ex: PPU) to more specific (PPU_NAMETABLES) so you can find the section more easily once you know the trick. But I don't want to use this name for the page tile. My idea is maybe against the wiki concept but maybe it make sense?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:10 am 
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I think it's a little too segmented. It wouldn't be easy to print if you wanted a PPU register reference. Also my first inclination was to click on the individual registers and not the main "PPU REGISTERS" heading, so I'd probably completely miss the paragraph on warming up the PPU.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:35 am 
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MetalSlime wrote:
It wouldn't be easy to print if you wanted a PPU register reference.

Print this. It transcludes all the existing PPU pages using template syntax.

(By "print" I mean "or copy to your DS, iPod Touch, or other handheld reading device".)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:10 am 
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MetalSlime wrote:
I think it's a little too segmented. It wouldn't be easy to print if you wanted a PPU register reference. Also my first inclination was to click on the individual registers and not the main "PPU REGISTERS" heading, so I'd probably completely miss the paragraph on warming up the PPU.


Good comment, I will have to be careful on how to segment it. Maybe that paragraph should be on the main page then. But does the segmentation help? This is the one thing I want to know since often in the previous wiki, everything is on one page or not.

For the printing part, it seems that Tepples as some kind of trick. I need to learn more about wiki editing so maybe we can automate the process to make it that way for all sections in one shot.

How did you do that Tepples?

Edit:

I think I figured it out. You can extract the content of every section that you made and use it elsewhere. So we could actually make a printer friendly version for all the section in one page. We could even apply extra formatting for it. Would that help in that case?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:08 am 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Transclusion explains all.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:24 am 
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tepples wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Transclusion explains all.


I did a few tests with it and I see the idea. I just reformatted a little bit the text to see how it look (put all registers together and made a page for printing everything).

Blargg made some sample too. He started with the approach I had in mind first but I changed after. I'm not sure with one is better thought.

The current approach I'm testing is that reference content should be in it's own section and should only be reference only: this mean if you're looking for a tutorial, it will not be in the reference section but in the getting started one. This may (again) makes things too segmented. But if you want to print a section, you may just want the reference content and not the tutorial and everything mixed together so it may be a good way to make a documentation only.

Blarrgs current approach is to try to put everything together and the user decide to select what it wants to check. I like that too but I'm concerned that it could get some pages more crowded than others (especially the top ones).

I guess until we try a little bit of both, we won't really know which one feels better.

Blarrgs started to rewrite some of the content too in his own words and I like it so far. I could try it but technically I'm still pretty green on hand on experience with the nes so I have to be careful that what I explain makes sense if I decide to rewrite it.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:44 pm 
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Nono, my approach isn't to put everything together. See my notes on the Wiki, plus I'm still trying to work everything out. It's difficult to deal with so many unknowns about how this will actually work out.

I think that trying to use the PPU as a test subject is too much. I was going to try the controller, but I realized that I should just try documenting the APU, as I understand its fine details.

Physically these three definitely need to be distinct, because the material has different characteristics and assumptions: tutorials, example code and techniques, and reference documentation.

The reference should stick to describing the NES system, and not waste verbiage on discussing how to use it (that's what the example code and techniques section is for). But the latter still has to serve two audiences: programmers and accurate emulator authors. I don't want to put lots of details in the way, as most readers don't care about them. And small examples would help the section. I'm thinking that perhaps there could be two components to the documentation: a description that is arranged around the effective API that the hardware forms, and described in terms of programmer concepts, and a reference, which is organized around registers and timing, and covers every last detail. The programmer-oriented one would basically summarize the important information from the reference, and give a conceptual framework for everything, allowing the reference to simply fill in the spaces with details and not waste space covering how it all fits together.

In a way, the programmer description would be enough for an experienced programmer new to the NES, while the "getting started" tutorials would be for someone new to programming. It would also mean that only the reference section would be authoritative, and where new test results would need to be incorporated.

Well, I do like the above thinking and I am really hopeful it'll make a good framework for all the material people can contribute. I have this vision of lots of information of various types, and much less repeating of it on the forums. Sorry for wanting such a sophisticated structure, it's just that I think a simpler one would compromise the information for some of the audiences.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:33 pm 
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I read your notes, it just that I got this impression from your test page. I was wrong.

I don't think that having a sophisticated structure is a problem by itself. If done properly, it will make things easier for everyone. The only problem is always how to define that structure to reach the targeted audience. This is something hard to do. The content is never an issue: presenting it always the problem.

Sticking to what we know should help us to test how to structure the site, you're right about that. I want to help but technically I'm "a paper driver" regarding the nes :lol: So I want to help but I'm not sure how.

For now we can test any kind of structure on this test wiki and see what comes out of it. I hope I can help in some way because I really believe we need that new structured wiki and that it will help un-clutter the forum in some way.


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