Nonoitall
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From Dragon Ball Encyclopedia, the ''Dragon Ball'' wiki

Hello, I'm nonoitall. I joined the Dragon Ball Wiki back on July 14, 2008, mainly motivated by massive removal of Dragon Ball content that was going on on Wikipedia, and received the privilege/responsibility of being an admin here about two weeks later. In early 2009, Dantman passed on the task of being the wiki's primary bureaucrat to me. Sadly, I don't have as much time to spend on the wiki as I once did, but whenever I get the chance I still come by to polish up articles, throw in my two cents on wiki policies, or work on one of my projects. Thankfully, our wiki now has a very friendly crew of administrators who have been an enormous help in maintaining and improving the wiki.

Wiki productivity tips

Custom color codes

I've had several people ask me where they can get color codes, for example, to use for attack infoboxes. The colors use RGB hexadecimal notation. Basically, there are six hexadecimal digits that describe the color. The first two digits represent the intensity of the red component, the second two digits represent the intensity of the green component, and the last two represent the intensity of the blue component. If that's a little over your head, there are also charts and generators available online that can help you to choose the right color code for your needs.

Templates

Templates are very versatile tools on a wiki, and knowing the ins and outs of their usage can help you to do some pretty neat things. Simply put, a template is a page on the wiki whose contents get used in other pages. In concept, they are somewhat similar to macros used in programming and office work. There is nothing magical about template pages — they are created just like any other page. The typical place to put general usage templates is in the Template namespace, which just means that the template's name will start with Template:. For example, Template:Fact is a template that is commonly used to request a citation for a statement. Note that in the following examples I will be using wikitext. In order to edit an article's wikitext, you'll need to disable Rich Text Editing on the Editing tab in your preferences. This will allow you to see the actual wikitext that makes up a page when you edit.

There are two ways you can use a template: Transclusion and subclusion.

Transclusion

Transclusion is the most common way to use templates. In transclusion, you simply enclose the template's name in two pairs of braces. For example, when I write {{fact}} in an article, the following construct appears in its place:

[citation needed]

Note that I did not need to write out the Template namespace in the reference. (I did not need to write {{Template:Fact}}, though that would have had the same effect.) This is because the Template namespace is the default namespace for templates, and if you do not include a namespace in your reference, the wiki assumes that the template you're using resides in the Template namespace. If I wanted to transclude a page from a different namespace, I would be required to include the namespace in my transclusion. For example, there is a template at User:Nonoitall/sig that contains my signature. Since that page does not lie in the Template namespace, I must specify the page's namespace when transcluding it. So, I write {{User:Nonoitall/sig}} in order to produce the following result:

Nonoitall.png talk contr

If we want to transclude a template from the regular article namespace, for example, Vegeta Saga/Edited Episodes, we still need to specify a namespace, but since that namespace is technically unnamed, we simply use a colon preceded by nothing. In this example, we transclude that template by writing {{:Vegeta Saga/Edited Episodes}}.

An important thing to note about transclusion is that when you use it in an article, the article's actual code simply contains a reference to the template inside of two braces. Only when the article is displayed does the wiki software actually go and replace the reference with the code from the template. Hence, altering a template will also alter the final rendering of any page that transcludes the template, because the wiki will always retrieve the current revision of the template that the page refers to.

Subsclusion

Subclusion is a combination of transclusion and substitution. The notation for using subclusion is the same as transclusion, except that the special word, SUBST: must be included before the name of the page you are subcluding. In the previous examples, we would write {{SUBST:fact}}, {{SUBST:User:Nonoitall/sig}} and {{SUBST::Vegeta Saga/Edited Episodes}} to subclude those templates instead of transcluding them.

The difference between subclusion and transclusion is what finally gets saved as the page's wiki code. In translusion, the page's code simply contains the reference that is placed there by the editor — all the magic happens when the page is drawn by the wiki software. However, in subclusion, as soon as the page is saved, the template's code is actually copied into the page's code, replacing the reference that was put there. Let's suppose that I create a template at Template:Example and on that template I write the following:

Hi! This is nonoitall's example!

Now let's see the difference between what happens when we subclude that template, as opposed to transcluding it.

What we write on the pageWhat gets saved on the pageWhat gets rendered on the page
Transclusion{{example}}{{example}}Hi! This is nonoitall's example!
Subclusion{{SUBST:example}}Hi! This is nonoitall's example!Hi! This is nonoitall's example!

At first glance, it may look as though transclusion and subclusion are two different methods for accomplishing the same exact thing, but there is a key difference. Let's say that we decided to change the above template after using it on another page. For example, let's say we changed it to read like this:

Howdy! This template has been modified!

Now what happened to the pages where we previously transcluded/subcluded the template?

What we wrote on the pageWhat got saved on the pageWhat previously got rendered on the pageWhat now gets rendered on the page
Transclusion{{example}}{{example}}Hi! This is nonoitall's example!Howdy! This template has been modified!
Subclusion{{SUBST:example}}Hi! This is nonoitall's example!Hi! This is nonoitall's example!Hi! This is nonoitall's example!

As you can see, since subcluded templates are copied directly into the page's code, the copy is completely independent of the original template, and remains the same even if the original template is changed. However, with transclusion, any updates to the original template affect the pages on which the template is transcluded, as those pages only contain a reference to the template.

Parameters in templates

Templates can also accept parameters to customize how they appear. Let's say I want to create a template to introduce myself and I name it Template:Intro. I place the following wikitext in the template:

Hello! My name is nonoitall!

Naturally, when I transclude the template using {{intro}}, it will appear on the page like this:

Hello! My name is nonoitall!

This is all well and good, but what if I wanted to make the template more versatile so that any user could use it to introduce himself? That's where parameters come in. I can rewrite the above template like so:

Hello! My name is {{{1}}}!

The '1' encased in triple brackets is a special piece of wikitext that will make the template insert a parameter at that location. Specifically, {{{1}}} will insert the first unnamed parameter that we pass to the template. We define the parameter when we transclude the template:

{{intro|nonoitall}}

As you can see, I placed a pipe character (|) right after the name of the template, and then I wrote my name. The pipe character is what separates the template's name from its parameters, and in the case of multiple parameters it also separates parameters from each other. Since the first parameter we passed to the template was nonoitall and we didn't give that parameter a name, the above transclusion will render like so:

Hello! My name is nonoitall!

However, by changing the name I pass to the template, I can change the way the template renders without having to make any changes to the template itself. For example:

{{intro|Bob}}

This produces:

Hello! My name is Bob!

As you can see, now our template can be used by anyone to introduce themselves — not just one person. This works great if we just have one piece of information to pass to the template, but what if we want to pass more than one name to the template? We can do that too. Let's change the above template again to read like this:

Hello! My name is {{{1}}}! I also have a friend named {{{2}}}, but don't forget that my name is {{{1}}}.

Now we've inserted a second parameter — a '2' encased in triple brackets. This inserts the second unnamed parameter that we pass to the template. Let's see how this works when we transclude the template:

{{intro|nonoitall|Bob}}

We've now included a second parameter after the first. And the template will now render this way:

Hello! My name is nonoitall! I also have a friend named Bob, but don't forget that my name is nonoitall.

Excellent! Now we can introduce not only ourselves, but a friend too! And this also demonstrates that we can use the same parameter more than once within a template; I used the first parameter twice in that example.

Up until now, we've only been using numbered parameters. They work great, but sometimes it can be a little confusing trying to figure out which parameter each number represents. For example, a user of my template might wonder, "Am I supposed to put my name or my friend's name first?" Numbered parameters can be similarly confusing within the template's wikitext itself. Thankfully, named parameters are here to save the day. Rather than referring to our parameters by number, we can come up with a clever name to make things easier on ourselves. Let's adjust the above template to read like so:

Hello! My name is {{{my name}}}! I also have a friend named {{{friends name}}}, but don't forget that my name is {{{my name}}}.

Now I've replaced the confusing numbers with names that clearly indicate what each parameter represents. We can use this new template this way:

{{intro | my name = nonoitall | friends name = Bob}} or {{intro | friends name = Bob | my name = nonoitall}}

As you can see, we define these named parameters by writing the name of the parameter, then an equals sign, followed by the parameter's value. Named parameters can also be defined in any order. You may also notice that I inserted some spaces around the parameters to reduce their crowded appearance. This is notable because leading and trailing whitespace (such as spaces, line breaks and tabs) is ignored on named parameters, but not on numbered parameters. This means that if I place a space right before a numbered parameter, the space will be included as part of that parameter's value. However, this is not the case with named parameters. In this simple template, it doesn't really make much difference, but in some more complex templates, it's an important consideration to remember. So how do the above transclusions appear on the page? Both of them will appear like so:

Hello! My name is nonoitall! I also have a friend named Bob, but don't forget that my name is nonoitall.

It doesn't matter which parameter we define first because we refer to those parameters by name and not by number. I've really only scratched the surface of what templates are capable of, but if you'd like to learn more, I'd encourage you to read over MediaWiki's documentation on templates, parser functions and parser functions in templates.

Custom signatures

If you haven't read the above section about templates, I suggest that you do so before reading this section. If you'd like to have a custom signature that appears when you sign your comments, you can do so on the Special:Preferences page. You'll notice there is a text field on this page labeled, "Signature" and a check box labeled "Custom signature". You can place any code in the Signature field that you want, check the Custom signature box, and have it show up as your signature when you sign your name. Unless you intend your signature to be very simple, I suggest creating a template and simply subcluding that template in the signature box.

Since a signature is a personal project and doesn't relate to the wiki's theme, it is most appropriate to make your template a sub-page of your user page. A sub-page of a page is simply a page that has the same name as its parent, followed by a slash and another arbitrary name. For example, my user page is User:Nonoitall, so a sub-page of my user page would be a page named User:Nonoitall/name-of-sub-page, where name-of-sub-page is an arbitrary title. I've chosen to place my signature template at User:Nonoitall/sig.

You can create your signature at the sub-page of your choosing. If you're like me, you can click here to create a /sig sub-page of your own user page. (Instructions on formatting an elaborate signature are outside the scope of this discussion, but I suggest reading up on wiki and HTML code. Google is your friend here. It can also be helpful to look at the source code for others' signatures.) It's customary to have links to at least your user page and talk page in your signature. After you've created your signature template, you can use it as your signature by subcluding it into the Signature field on Special:Preferences.

I say subclude instead of transclude because if you attempt to transclude the template into your signature, the wiki will automatically convert your transclusion to a subclusion. (Isn't that special?) If you've read the above section, you'll know that this means the wiki is basically forcing you to create a complete copy of all your signature's code anywhere that you sign your signature. Also, since this is subclusion and not transclusion, places where your signature has been signed won't be updated retroactively when you update your signature template.

If you'd rather use transclusion, either to reduce code clutter where your signature is signed or to make your signature updates retroactive, there is a way you can work around the wiki software's pushiness. You can create a second sub-page that simply transcludes your signature template. Then subclude that second page in your Signature field. The result is that, when you sign your name, the wiki will subclude the contents of the second page onto the page you're signing. Since the second page simply contains a transclusion of your true template page, that's what will get copied on to the pages you sign. Sneaky, huh?

There is a caveat to doing this though. Bare in mind that any changes made to your signature template will change every page you've signed your name on. This applies not only to changes that you make, but also to changes that any prospective vandal decides to make. Thankfully, this doesn't seem to have been a problem on this wiki so far, but since there's very little reason for anyone but you to change your signature, I see no reason why you can't request that an admin protect your signature page if it would make you feel more comfortable. I'm happy to do so for anyone who would like me to.

Happy sig-writing!

FAQ

OMG, why did you just mess up my edit???

First of all, I'm sorry if I've offended you! I leave edit summaries on about 99% of my edits, so that's a good place to start looking if you want to know the purpose behind my edit. If that doesn't address your concerns, feel free to leave me a message. I make plenty of mistakes!

nonoitall, will you be my friend?

You betcha! If you'd like to be my friend, here are some things you can do to get on my good side:

  • Do...
    • ...use correct spelling and grammar, and write in an encyclopedic style.
    • ...discuss things in a civil manner on talk pages when differences of opinions arise.
    • ...abide by consensus once it's been established — even if you don't like it.
    • ...add in credible sources for unsourced information in articles.
    • ...remove harmful information that's unsourced.
    • ...request citations for harmless information that's unsourced.
    • ...leave summaries for your edits — especially when your edit undoes something someone just did, or when someone might question the rationale behind your edit.
    • ...rewrite content to make it more polished.
    • ...sign your comments on talk pages — even if you're an anonymous user.
    • ...mark pages that don't belong on the wiki for deletion.
    • ...send me a box of donuts every now and then. Oh, and I'd love a copy of the Japanese Dragonbox sets!
  • Don't...
    • ...vandalize or spam pages.
    • ...get into an edit war without communicating by talk page or edit summaries.
    • ...insult other editors for having an opinion other than yours.
    • ...add/change content in an article just for the sake of changing it, without adding any substance or improving its readability/accuracy.
    • ...add unverifiable information and fan fiction into articles.
    • ...blank articles that have been marked for deletion. (An exception is when removing vandalism or harmful information.)
    • ...edit other users' comments and user page (unless you're fixing a formatting problem, removing vandalism, or they request it).
    • ...make a nuisance of yourself when/if you're edit gets reverted. (If you feel it wasn't warranted, talk about it in a civil manner on the appropriate talk page, or through edit summaries if you're attempting to reach a compromise.)
    • ...edit my talk page a million times to leave one message.

Will you help me fix this article?

Believe me, nothing would please me more. I tend to be pretty busy though, and have to ration the time I spend on the wiki. As such I usually use what time I do have to try and undo regressions and touch up edits that need a little help. The method to my madness is that, if we can prevent the state of the articles from getting worse, then the wiki as a whole can only improve. Since I do try to look over most of the edits on the wiki though, if you've recently made a contribution that needs a little help, I will probably get to it without you having to say anything!

How can I help?

I used to maintain a whole section about this, but lately I can't keep good enough track of things to do that anymore. One thing I've noticed is that a lot of our screenshots from various anime episodes are taken from downloaded copies of the episodes (obvious from a watermark or logo in the screenshot). It would be nice if those were replaced with official shots from a DVD source. Another way things could be improved is if article and section titles were fixed to conform to the Manual of Style. (Only the first word and proper nouns should be capitalized.) And, as always, there are plenty of areas on the wiki that need some help in the grammar and spelling department.

Who's your favorite DB character?

I have to go with Gohan — particularly throughout the major Cell and Majin Buu Sagas. As runners up I'd probably pick Goten and then Goku. (Gotenks fits in there somewhere too, but I guess I already picked part of him in Goten.) As far as lesser known characters goes, Pikkon is probably my favorite.

Who's your favorite DB villain?

Cell — particularly in his Imperfect and Perfect forms. Runners up are Majin Buu and King Piccolo. Dr. Gero is also a favorite, though his role is a bit more behind the scenes than the others.

Can I be an admin?

There are few things I enjoy more than rewarding a user's contributions to the wiki by switching on their sysop flag. However, we don't promote users to admin just because they ask for it. First and foremost, it has to be in the best interest of the wiki for that person to be promoted to an admin. Right now, we have quite a few active sysops on the wiki, and while that doesn't always preclude the addition of new ones, it means that there's really no need for there to be more of them.

Admins are not supposed to be thought of as "in charge"; their opinion matters no more (or less) than any other user's. When it comes down to it, they're a lot more like janitors than real "administrators". They have a few extra buttons to click on — namely the ability to delete and protect pages and block users. These functions are instrumental in dealing with vandalism and maintaining order on the wiki, but their intended use pretty much ends there. In fact, there is very little that admins can do to improve the wiki that ordinary users can't. So, you're not really missing out on much by just being a regular old user.

Finally, if you're bound and determined to be an admin, the best way is not to ask, but to simply be a beneficial and responsible member of the community. Here are a few ways that you can do so:

  1. Work on improving the wiki. The whole purpose of a wiki is that it should be edited, so edit it! — for the better! So many of our articles are in need of polish! One of the best ways to show that you could use administrative privileges to benefit the wiki is to show that you can use your current privileges to benefit the wiki.
  2. Work well with others. We all (hopefully) have the goal of improving this wiki and making it as encyclopedic a resource as possible. Nonetheless, we're all unique individuals and it's natural that we won't always agree on everything. It's helpful for all users — and vital for admins — to be dispassionate when discussing differences of opinion regarding the wiki's articles. There's nothing wrong with disagreeing on something as long as you're willing to calmly and objectively discuss it. And remember — sometimes being objective means admitting that you were wrong. However, being prone to outbursts when someone else wants to do things differently is a sure way to shoot yourself in the foot.
  3. Respect the current admins. As I said before, the admins are not supposed to be thought of as "in charge". You have as much right to respectfully disagree with them as you do to respectfully disagree with any other user. However, admins do have the responsibility to try and keep the wiki in order, and sometimes that means protecting a page or blocking a user. If you feel that administrative power was used incorrectly, the proper course of action is to respectfully address the admin about it. The proper course of action is not to get a group of your friends together and gang up on him or publicly undermine his position. If (after you have respectfully addressed the admin about your concerns) you still feel that he isn't using the privilege correctly, you may call on another (preferably uninvolved) experienced user to mediate the dispute.
  4. Make a nuisance of yourself — in a good way! When I first started editing here, there were quite a few problems that were beyond my ability as a regular user to fix. But I made it a point to report these problems to the admins so that they could deal with them, and in a very short time, I was surprised to find out that I'd been given the sysop flag so that I could fix the problems myself. We have a lot more admins now than we did then, and chances are there will be one who has the time to fix the problems you report. All the same, we take notice of users who make an effort to get problems fixed — even when it's beyond their ability to do so personally.

My current project(s)

I'm currently working with a few other users to make Semantic MediaWiki notations throughout the wiki. This will ultimately assist us in generating a lot of the wiki's content automatically. Specifically, I'm working on inserting our new SMW infobox into all the edited DBZ episodes. This will probably be the slowest portion of the series to annotate, since I'm writing summaries for the episodes as I go — which requires me to pretty much watch the whole episode. The uncut episodes all have already-written summaries in one place or another, so progress should move quicker once the edited episodes are finished. SSJ4 Lewich has also been helping to annotate the DB episodes.

For the time-being, I think it's best if we don't have too many people working on this at one time. The new infobox can be very sneaky about finding its links for previous and next episodes, and if someone were to annotate the first episode of DBGT, for example, the last annotated episode of DB would choose that episode to be its next one! (In other words, we don't want too many cooks in this kitchen or there will be chaos!)