Sarna News: Bad 'Mechs - Clint

User talk:Nicjansma/Archive


Infoboxes and Templates[edit]

Ok, I'm really only learning that things I think I know aren't really so. I'm trying to figure out infoboxes (think they qualify as templates), but every time I copy code from MediaWiki or Wikipedia's Help, the box is not...boxed and on the right. I'm pretty much at an impasse. If you have any hints on this, then I can start moving forward again. I'll keep looking, but any help you provide would be much appreciated. Revanche 14:26, 18 September 2006 (CDT)
Nic, have you learned anything regarding info boxes? I've got a few more nights of working that would be good for this kind of leg work. Revanche 23:30, 23 September 2006 (CDT)
I was talking with the guys over at MechWikia, and it sounds like the Info boxes automagically go to the right and in a box once there's enough content on the page. Haven't tested this out. Nicjansma 10:16, 24 September 2006 (CDT)
That doesn't make sense to me. I can see the code involved with each box I've come across om Wikipedia. It refers to a template (hope I'm not using that term wrong) for a specifically-crafted box. Maybe what they mean is, when you insert the code on a given page and fill in the fields for that article (ex: insert code for a weapons box, and insert the data for the small laser), it only shows those fields you filled in. Meh...the help stuff at wiki and mediawiki haven't been to clear for a novice editor. Revanche 22:47, 24 September 2006 (CDT)
Whoo-hoo...figured it out for myself, thanks to the use of one at MechWikia. Check this out! Also, I've taken my lessons and I don't wanta forget 'em, so I'm starting a series of Quick Article 'templates,' where editors can grab the code for specific types of articles (forming communities) and not have to worry about actually inserting templates. That's now my big project. I'll build each quick article and four examples. Hopefully, the souls will pick up from there. Revanche 05:42, 26 September 2006 (CDT)
As for MechWikia, how's it going? Are they open to setting up shop here? Revanche 22:47, 24 September 2006 (CDT) Edit: I started poking around again on MechWikia and I saw your post there regarding joining forces. As they didn't respond there, and you don't have a registration on their page, I was wondering if you had gotten a response from them. Looking around on their site, they have a lot of work done on 'mechs, which would be a huge resource for this site. Likewise, you have tons of information I feel they just could not easily replicate on their site. As sheer data goes, I imagine you have hundreds of more pages [looks like over 2,600 to his 65] and it'd be easier - right now - to port their articles over here. If you'd like, I'd be glad to speak with them also, but I wanted to make sure it was okay to represent Sarna. Revanche 00:33, 25 September 2006 (CDT)
I've spoken with Kevin (Some_Guy) over at MechWikia via email, and he seems fairly receptive towards combining projects -- it sounds like he's willing to bring his resources over to We're still chatting, but things are proceeding smoothly! Let's hope he's going to come help out! Nicjansma 04:49, 25 September 2006 (CDT)
Excellent! He welcomed me on my talk page over there and I expressed my interest in the merger, in response. Revanche 20:51, 25 September 2006 (CDT)


Nic, how do you feel about me working on some SarnaWiki policies? For example, the three-revert rule, community consensus decision-making process, vote calls and vote processes. If you're interested, I'll start looking to see how wikipedia does it and bring some starter ideas over here. (Reason I ask is because of the discussion I started with Rantamplan over his 'My neveron history' article. Having a policy of voting would be helpful, especially in these early days (unless you want it to be by admins' fiat, until the article submission process is firmly established).) Revanche 20:57, 25 September 2006 (CDT)
Sounds great! I dont' have a lot of experience in those areas, and you're doing well. Keep it up! Nicjansma 02:38, 29 September 2006 (CDT)

Special Pages: Active Users[edit]

Nic, do you have the option of adding the 'Active User List' page to 'Special Pages for all users?' Its valuable in that it reduces the users list to only those that have made changes or created pages. I've seen it at MechWikia.Revanche 02:33, 26 September 2006 (CDT)
I don't see it in my list at all. Is it an addon downloadable from somewhere? Nicjansma 02:42, 29 September 2006 (CDT)

Copywrite Policy[edit]

Nic, I've been observing entries over at MechWikia and I see that they have a standard policy regarding copywrited material, and one editor in particular is pretty adament about it? What are your views? Back in the day, FASA didn't really appear to be too strict on that and I know Sarna didn't really appear to enforce it either. Myself, I'm not really much of a stickler about that, so I wouldn't be a neo-police officer/editor on the matter, but if you're outright opposed to it, I want to be sure I don't violate it myself. Any elaboration on this would be helpful. Thanks. Revanche 01:00, 29 September 2006 (CDT)
I'd prefer to keep our content original, copyright-free. That being said, I'm not going to be a nazi checking every post to make sure, I don't think we have the time to do that. Nicjansma 02:42, 29 September 2006 (CDT)
I definitely agree with that. What about our policy in regards to when we (as editors) come across non-original material? Deletion of material, a tag requesting the plagerism to be re-written? Revanche 02:55, 29 September 2006 (CDT)
I believe a tag requesting the plagerism to be re-written would be more friendly, and probably get a better response. Nicjansma 02:17, 4 October 2006 (CDT)
Rgr. I'll put that in my to-do list. --Revanche 11:16, 4 October 2006 (CDT)

Featured Article[edit]

One aspect I really like with some wikia projects (and wikipedia) is the Featured Article of the Day. Since you're in talks with Some_Guy about BattleTechWiki's (BTW) in regards to the Main Page, can you please look at reserving some space for a similar setup for us? I've got a few ideas (leading mostly to an award program) that would benefit from having Featured Articles on the main page. The main benefit to the first-time Reader is that they see an article that interests them (I'm thinking mainly of well-edited 'Mech entries by CJKey right now) and click on it, and end up exploring the links associated with it. Admins could control the length of the Feature time, etc. etc., but installing such a aspect on the main page is - I think - important. Revanche 01:00, 29 September 2006 (CDT)
I like that idea a lot! Check the Main_Page_Test page out, and we can work on a prototype. Nicjansma
Maybe I'm acting too eager, but I'm not seeing anything there. --Revanche 02:57, 29 September 2006 (CDT)
I think the one thing missing from the front page right now is still the Featured Article. Maybe as we develop some more articles we can start to fill it out? Nicjansma 02:18, 4 October 2006 (CDT)
Definitely, but I've been searching for any information on /how/ to build a main page featured article. Media Wiki would seem to be the best source, but nada (that I can find). Revanche 11:19, 4 October 2006 (CDT)


Nic, how do you feel about an awards system here? I'm thinking along the line of the Wiki ribbons, rather than their barnstars and I've already created a few custom ribbons. I'm going to try and load a few, to make sure I understand the process of loading and awarding, so please take a look at Policy:Awards (not yet public) and tell me what you think. --Revanche 06:02, 29 September 2006 (CDT)
I hadn't really heard about it until you mentioned it. I like the idea, but it may take a bit more for BTW to develop (i.e. more people) to get a good system going. Nicjansma 02:19, 4 October 2006 (CDT)
Concur. There are more important items for me to spend my time on, in order to get people to stay. But, I'd like to work on it once the templates are done. --Revanche 11:13, 4 October 2006 (CDT)

500 Internal Server Error[edit]

Nic, I've tried it from two different comps. Edit and save any article; I'm getting the error. The save is made (as you'll see when you return to the article), but it fails every time. Its been this way for several hours. --Revanche (admin) 22:58, 23 October 2006 (CDT)
Doh! I've fixed this. Happened when I upgraded from mediawiki 1.7.x to 1.8.2. Nicjansma 23:38, 23 October 2006 (CDT)
Glad it was an easy fix. What new features do we get with the upgrade? --Revanche (admin) 00:23, 24 October 2006 (CDT)
Can you double-check for me regarding uploading files? I can't seem to do it and not sure if it is the software or my source files. --Revanche (admin) 08:10, 24 October 2006 (CDT)
I think they should be fixed now too. Nicjansma 11:34, 24 October 2006 (CDT)
Works great. Thanks. --Revanche (admin) 11:57, 24 October 2006 (CDT)

BattleMech Portal[edit]

Nic, CJKeys & I are trying to develop a BattleMech 'portal,' where a user can click on a Portal link (following the Canon & Custom links) and see a 'main page' (of sorts) for all things BattleMech on BTW. What I'm starting off with is a copy of the BTW Main Page and will be replacing the directory template with one that displays all the CBT factions. The intent is when someone clicks on faction link within that directory, say the FWL, they'll eb directed to an all FWL category page list FWL BattleMechs. Now, I see this directory list being quite long, once all the factions get added. I could do it with tables, but that means every time a new faction is added, the table has to be adjusted. I'd like the list to automatically divide all the factions into two columns and display it in that one left-side panel. Do you know of any code that would take the list and make it columnar [right word?]? --Revanche (admin) 18:25, 29 October 2006 (CST)
Any guidance, Nic? --Revanche (admin) 16:19, 11 November 2006 (CST)
Sorry, must have missed this the first time. I do not know of anything, but I haven't looked into expanding the MediaWiki software yet. Maybe it will be decently easy? I'll take a look. Nicjansma 20:09, 11 November 2006 (CST)
Thanks. Also, if you could tell me how to shade the background for tables. BattleMech Portal looks a little odd with the white table on grey. The help pages at MW are a bit bare on the subject. --Revanche (admin) 20:52, 11 November 2006 (CST)
It's part of the style="background: #ABCDEFG" part on the first line of the text, such as this: Nicjansma 18:37, 12 November 2006 (CST)
{| style="width: 100%; margin-top: +.7em; background-color: #DCDCDC; border: 2px solid #000000"
That's simply...sniff...beautiful, man. Works perfectly. Thanks! --Revanche (admin) 18:42, 12 November 2006 (CST)

CSS suggestion from Xoid[edit]

Nic, pls take a look on my talk page to see a suggestion Xoid has about indentions and CSS. --Revanche (admin) 20:48, 17 November 2006 (CST)
No problemo, I've added this to our css sheet.

Posting to Downloads[edit]


I'm new to Sarna, although I've hung out at Mordel's Bar & Grill for several years. I have a cardstock model of a Leopard I designed. I'd like to post it in the downloads section. It's a .zip file, with instructions (no photos yet). How can I post it?


Feel free to contact me at [nic at nicj dot net]. Just email me the zip and I'll post it up :) Nicjansma 23:36, 17 January 2007 (CST)

Neveron article template[edit]

Nic, ask a favor? Since you're familiar with your forums, could you ask someone on the Neveron side of the house to pop into my talkpage and suggest what an article on each Neveron faction should have? I'm thinking InfoBox type stuff (name, origination date, size, alliances, membership #, location, etc.) and then main article stuff (founder, history, significant events, external pages). In other words, other than what I just listed, what would a neveron player expect to see if he pulled up his faction's article on BTW? --Revanche 23:09, 29 September 2006 (CDT)

Some sort of template would be very helpful. I have tried to develop an interesting template for my own faction (Kommando Korps), including topics that would be neat for players outside the faction to comment on (enemies, friends, etc). Feel free to take a look at it if you'd like. Superjuke 14:02, 14 October 2006 (CDT)
You're breaking new ground here! Feel free to develop it however you want. Looking great so far! Nicjansma 21:19, 21 November 2006 (CST)

Kudos & Thanks[edit]

I'm very impressed with the level of improvement being made to the Sarna wiki almost daily. It's a very large project, but it is getting done and that deserves plenty of kudos. Katrar 15:52, 14 October 2006 (CDT)

Thanks! I'm excited you're contributing. We're still all getting the ball rolling in a wiki form, but I have lots of ideas for things to expand upon. Very glad you're here! Nicjansma 23:40, 14 October 2006 (CDT)

Fiction in Templates[edit]

Nic, why do you think that the four fiction stories are showing up in the Templates category? --Revanche (admin) 22:39, 13 November 2006 (CST)

I added the <noinclude>[[Category:Templates]]</noinclude> around the category on the Template:NoEdit page. That means that pages that include the NoEdit template won't include the Category part of the template, so they themselves won't be in the templates category. Nicjansma 01:31, 14 November 2006 (CST)
Got it...thanks. Lesson learned. --Revanche (admin) 01:37, 14 November 2006 (CST)

New Help[edit]

Nic, as discussed, I've advertised the site on my own forums. At least two have joined in and started some editing. Jimmy has already posted a story, made a few corrections and joined Project: BattleMechs. I think he's quite pumped. Bowtie Bob, another one of my forum admins, has also dropped by and made a few 'starter' edits. We'll see if we can pique his interest, as he wanders about. I'm anticipating the famous Medron Pryde to pop in and grace us with a number of excellent fan fiction. --Revanche (admin) 01:37, 14 November 2006 (CST)

This is great Revanche, thanks a ton for spearheading this. The new users are making some great contributions and it's all wonderful that they're willing to help out. Let's get the ball rolling! Nicjansma 21:19, 21 November 2006 (CST)


I notice that I can't upload them here. Could you please enable them? There are so many decent SVGs from Wikipedia that are under some form 'copyleft' that we could use. --Xoid 18:00, 29 November 2006 (CST)
Sure, is that just a matter of enabling uploads of *.svg? If so, done! Nicjansma 21:49, 29 November 2006 (CST)
I think that'll be the case. Lets see if the disambig image I wanted to upload works. --Xoid 22:12, 29 November 2006 (CST)
Nope, seems you're missing something. If you want, I can research it later today. --Xoid 22:15, 29 November 2006 (CST)
OK, I think it's fixed now. I had to change the MIME detection logic. Nicjansma 23:13, 29 November 2006 (CST)
Excellent. Thank you very much; I'll get to work on uploading what I think will be some commonly used SVGs, as well as some for basic "prettification" of templates. --Xoid 03:46, 30 November 2006 (CST)
Sorry to bother you again, but just something I thought I'd bring up. Wikipedia has their MIME type for SVGs as "image/svg+xml", theirs display correctly. The source of our first SVG also contains that MIME type. --Xoid 05:38, 30 November 2006 (CST)
I've been getting a lot of messages like this one here: The file is corrupt or has an incorrect extension. Please check the file and upload again. for PNGs, despite the fact that the images work elsewhere. Could you please look into fixing the MIME types.
SVGs still don't work properly, and you'll likely need to use Meta's information on how to get that fixed. --Xoid 06:15, 5 December 2006 (CST)
OK, strange. I've disabled MIME verification completely ($wgVerifyMimeType=false). The other two verifiers I used (built-in and file -bi both seemed to not like certain types). Nicjansma 23:55, 7 December 2006 (CST)
Which leads to that problem. This is something I've come to expect from new MediaWiki installations. A right royal pain. --Xoid 02:44, 8 December 2006 (CST)
Any suggestions for how to fix? Nicjansma 02:51, 8 December 2006 (CST)
No idea. Honestly, while I've seen the problems it causes I've never been into the guts of the MIME detection stuff before. I could do some research on it or I could ask the owners the UD and NW wiki how they dealt with it, but I honestly think that'd it be easier to ask at the Wikipedia help desk — it's highly likely that fixing this is going to be something convoluted that we'll need to be walked through and I know they [owners, now Wikipedia's help desk] wouldn't have the time. --Xoid 03:10, 8 December 2006 (CST)
I think I've fixed this by editiing /etc/http/conf/magic so Apache knows the mime type for PNG. You'll have to re-upload previously broken PNG uploads to fix. Are all other image types working? Nicjansma 17:45, 20 December 2006 (CST)
SVGs still look screwier than hell. Apparently, Wikipedia doesn't use ImageMagic, but something else entirely. Obstensibly, this was due to the poor quality of the images after it had been through with them. I'm officially giving up on them… they've delayed me long enough. Just gonna stick with the use of PNGs instead. --Xoid 05:19, 21 December 2006 (CST)

New namespace[edit]

Could you make a custom namespace called 'Policy'? Make sure any pages that are currently named 'Policy:' are renamed to something else before you do, or else they might be permanently destroyed. (General mentioned something about that happening when they did that on the Scroll Wars wiki, I'd take his word on it.) --Xoid 20:37, 1 December 2006 (CST)

All set! Nicjansma 23:59, 7 December 2006 (CST)
While pages weren't obliterated, seems we have yet another problem. Though this one's 'strange' more than problematic. Whatlinks here for 2Policy:Awards. Most curious. Methinks I'll be asking the gurus at meta about this… oddity. --Xoid 15:13, 8 December 2006 (CST)
Yeah, to solve the move problem I moved all of the Policy: pages to "2Policy:..." first, then moved them to the policy namespace. So there are probably some weird redirects floating around. Nicjansma 23:29, 8 December 2006 (CST)

Not my forte[edit] has been modifying some articles on planets. They're no my forte, so I can't tell whether its vandalism. His contributions do look suspicious though. --Xoid 13:46, 14 December 2006 (CST)
Yeah, Nic: I was going to step up and the changes, but I'm not certain I'd be judging fairly (looking at some of the entries he made). --Revanche (admin) 11:14, 17 December 2006 (CST)
I rolled back one of the edits that removed all of the Nearby links. For the other planets, I think he is technically correct, so I've left them. Thanks for the heads up. Nicjansma 15:08, 17 December 2006 (CST)
I reverted the rest when I noticed you reverted one. I just thought you missed the rest. OK, I reverted my reverts just now. --Xoid 05:03, 21 December 2006 (CST)

Requesting Cite Extension[edit]

It would make adding footnotes and citations a breeze, and facilitate in the importation of at least some (possibly many) articles from Wikipedia.

More information can be found at Wikimedia's page on it. You may wish to bear in mind the concerns that Wikipedia itself has about the use of the cite extension. --Xoid 02:09, 24 January 2007 (CST)

I really support this, Nic. The more I've gotten educated at Wikipedia, the more relevant this seems to have here. BTW has the opportunity to be the database for even the FanPro factcheckers, but to do so, we need to be able to adequately reference the wealth of material. --Revanche (admin) 11:41, 27 January 2007 (CST)
Cool guys, I've added this extension. Please let me know if you find any issues with it. Nicjansma 01:26, 29 January 2007 (CST)
Wow. That was quick. Thanks! --Xoid 01:39, 29 January 2007 (CST)

Founder Userbar Bestowed[edit]

Nic, I hope you don't think this is too ostentatious, but I commissioned Skuggi at to create some userbars for us. The idea came to me as I worked on the BTW policies today and I realized you had a position that is equivalent to Jimbo Wales' at Wikipedia. So, I asked him to make a custom one for you. Its the only one with stars on it, and all of the userbars make use of BTW's logo (the IS Map with the name across it). I still have to write up the position articles for most of the positions (advocate, moderator, arbiter, administrator), but I figured those people, when they are assigned, should 'wear' their userbars at the top of their userpages, for quicker identification. The Project team members and lead (for example Project:BattleMechs) will put them where ever on their pages they prefer. I was hoping you'd post your's at the top of your Userpage. Anyway, onto the ceremony..."[drumroll]...I bestow the following unique userbar upon BattleTechWiki's founder, Nic Jansma: BTW Founder.jpg

"Congratulations and thanks, Nic." --Revanche (admin) 02:07, 20 November 2006 (CST)

This is awesome looking! I've added it now. Thanks Skuggi and Revanche! — The preceding unsigned comment was posted by Nicjansma (talkcontribs) .

Clan Bloodnames[edit]

I see you have "Clan Bloodnames" on your list of things to do. I have a list of Bloodnames so long it scares me to know I took the time to compile it. If you let me know what you want to do with it, I'll give what I got. Scaletail 16:08, 23 December 2006 (CST)

That'd be great to see what you have. We currently have Clan Bloodnames but I don't know if it's accurate or complete. Nicjansma 11:39, 24 December 2006 (CST)

Old Virtual World page?[edit]

Don't mean to bother you, but I noticed on the orphaned pages list, there is an article that has links to the Virtual World website. Are you planning on adding it to the main links page, or should it be flagged for deletion? There's no pages that link to it, and I'm thinking the information could just be added to the links page. Anyway, just thought I'd ask. --~Malithion~ 19:22, 7 January 2007 (CST)

I currently have a link to it on the left bar (shown on every page). My goal is to spruce the content up for all the links on the left bar soon. Nicjansma 23:36, 17 January 2007 (CST)

Nofollow tag[edit]

Nic, I was just reading up on Wikipedia's nofollow tag policy [1]. It seems to me that, even if spammers still 'hide' links on BTW, it will make their short-term victory meaningless, if we can employ a similar capability here. Is this possible? --Revanche (admin) 18:36, 28 January 2007 (CST)

I oppose this move. Reasons being:
  • It takes several hours for a spammed link to populate a search engine, even the most aggressive of them won't do it more often than that. Search engines that aggressive don't deserve to be accurate anyway, IMO. (Bandwidth wasting, good-for-nothin'…)
  • We are not large enough to make this a necessity; manual weeding out of the problem has thus far been sufficient.
  • Google, the première search engine, has recently upgraded its linkfarm detection system (which was already pretty damn good). Meaning that less than 30% of the search engine market is susceptible to this form of 'attack'.
With all this in mind, there is one final point I'd like you to consider:
  • This could potentially hurt the site rankings of some niche fan sites in the BattleTech community.
--Xoid 01:35, 29 January 2007 (CST)
While I applaud Wikipedia for their nofollow tags, I agree with Xoid here that it may be appropriate for us to not use it. I think we're pretty quick in removing spam. Nicjansma 14:54, 3 February 2007 (CST)

Navigation popups[edit]

Nic, I've found using this tool over at Wikipedia has really helped me when it came to vandal patrols, and in just general navigation ("Do I want to load the next page? Well, let's have a peak."). Its completely optional for use by the editors, but having it available would be nice. Would you please take a look at it and see about turning on its fuctionality here? I also recommend the FAQ for what is involved in installing it here. Thanks. --Revanche (admin) 00:28, 29 January 2007 (CST)

I realize its been only five days, but is this being considered? --Revanche (admin) 11:26, 3 February 2007 (CST)
This extension looks pretty cool. I've enabled user javascript and content. Looks like you'll need to add this to your User:<name>/sarna.js (i.e. User:Nicjansma/sarna.js). I'm going to monitor how the server load is with this, I don't think it'll cause too many problems but it is pre-loading many more pages than you normally would:
// [[User:<you>/sarna.js]]

document.write('<script type="text/javascript" src="' 
             + '' 
             + '&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript&dontcountme=s"></script>'); 

— The preceding unsigned comment was posted by Nicjansma (talkcontribs) .

Thanks, Nic. Look forward to messin' around with it. I really came to miss it when hoping between wikipedia and here. Thanks! --Revanche (admin) 15:44, 3 February 2007 (CST)
Nic, are you getting more than just the 'option' links? Those pop up quite quickly, but I'm not seeing the preview. --Revanche (admin) 16:03, 3 February 2007 (CST) Nevermind, all is swell.
Just saw this on one of the popups: "Preview failed :-( Is the query.php extension installed?" --Revanche (talk|contribs) 23:14, 4 February 2007 (CST)

Another request[edit]

Interwiki linking, please. To wikipedia, preferably with the w: prefix, if at all possible. --Xoid 04:52, 2 February 2007 (CST)

Edit: maybe meta: and mw: too? Considering the amount of links there will be to their help pages (at least until ours are done), facilitating that would make me a happy man. --Xoid 04:54, 2 February 2007 (CST)

Concur. I would help save from importation of general wiki usage pages. --Revanche (admin) 11:26, 3 February 2007 (CST)
I've added these three requests: w:, meta:, mw:. Nicjansma 14:55, 3 February 2007 (CST)
It seems the second two aren't working, I'll determine why shortly. Nicjansma 14:55, 3 February 2007 (CST)
Even without these two working, yer still a legend mate! By god is it ever good to have everything we need at our fingertips so incredibly quickly. --Xoid 18:08, 3 February 2007 (CST)
And you got 'em fixed while I was writing that. XD Good show! --Xoid 18:08, 3 February 2007 (CST)

BattleTech 3056 MUSE[edit]

Nic, I'd like to bring your attention to this discussion Xoid & I are having regarding the source of some pre-BTW Sarna articles, specifically regarding the reference to BattleTech 3056 MUSE. Could you please weigh in. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 11:43, 4 February 2007 (CST)

Thanks, replied! Nicjansma 17:07, 2 December 2007 (CST)

Wiki on PC[edit]

As the only known admin here to have actually installed the wiki software (no slight to Xoid), I thought you might know if it can be installed in a working manner on a PC, so that just one editor can make use of its features. I've a subject matter that I'd like to track via a wiki and I vaguely remember you stating you have your own personal one. Thanks! --Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:33, 8 February 2007 (CST)

Okay, I found Wiki On a Stick and its...okay. However, if you have any guidance on installing wiki directly onto a computer, I'd prefer to do that. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 20:47, 12 February 2007 (CST)
I've been using another install of MediaWiki on this same server for personal purposes for about a year now. I love it. I use it several times a week, and it's very easy to maintain. Here's an article on Lifehacker about how to install apache and stuff on a Windows PC if you're interested. I also remember some hosting companies out there offering free personal wikis that you can get to. MediaWiki might be a bit overkill, but I think it's great and easy to use since I'm using it here on Sarna too :) I also have internet access on my cellphone so I can get to my wiki from anywhere. It's behind a SSL connection, and I have the only login and no one else can create logins, so it's pretty secure. Anyways, let me know if you have more questions! Nicjansma 18:38, 13 February 2007 (CST)
Lifehacker is a great place to start. Great, clear directions. Thanks a lot! That worked well. I had looked at some of the other wiki types, but I wanted to stay with MediaWiki, also. Why waste what I've learned here. Nic, are you willing to provide some advice? I've followed the instructions that the Live to Geek column suggested, all the way through accessing the home server, but I can't seem to access it through my router. In fact, by following the directions, I get my router's admin page, as all it does is ask for my router password. I have the WAMP server up and running, and I can easily access the wiki directly (only thru my PC), but not thru the router. Any advice? (I realize your's is hosted on your server, but I'd prefer not to have to host it on my ISP.) --Revanche (talk|contribs) 22:16, 13 February 2007 (CST)
Most likely your router has an option set to configure your router externally through the web port. What router do you have? It may be an option such as 'Remote Web Administration' or something. I would recommend disabling that. Otherwise, you could set up apache on a different port (8080?) and then port forward 8080 to your computer inside your network from the router's configuration. Nicjansma 02:34, 14 February 2007 (CST)
I have a Linksys WRT300N, brand new this weekend, as the last wireless one conked out. I turned off the remote access; now it doesn't allow me access to the router admin (which is good). I tried to get Linksys support on this, but they didn't even know what a wiki was, so weren't much help. I think I should go to Single Port Forwarding and set up an application ('Wiki') on Externet and Internet ports of 80 (and enabled), but still not having any joy. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 08:34, 14 February 2007 (CST)
Ok...not sure what changed. Maybe it just had to propagate, but now I can access the WAMP5 server page and then the wiki. Most every other link on there is inaccessible to the outside (which is obviously good), but I can 'see' the 'phpinfo( )' info link. Should I press the issue and try and get the wiki to load itself directly (I like being able to access it thru the server)? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 23:18, 14 February 2007 (CST)
Well, I appear to be able to access the wiki just fine now. However, I'm trying to build infoboxes such as we have here. On #mediawiki chat, they helped me identify that I needed CSS styles for class="infobox". However, I copied the commons.css from here and I didn't get the result I was looking for. The template outputs the data without a box and its placed on the left. IOW, its not an infobox. Do I need to add some code or build a referencing template, perhaps? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 20:37, 15 February 2007 (CST)
If you are using a default installation of MediaWiki, you won't have a Common.css. I know you said you added it, but did you mean just the page, or did you also include the necessary hooks to include it in a page? --Xoid 00:44, 17 February 2007 (CST)
<Darth>I find your lack of faith… disturbing.</Darth> --Xoid 00:44, 17 February 2007 (CST)

Inner Sphere Mechs are Done[edit]

I sent this to all the BattleTechWiki:Project BattleMechs members and figured you might also want to know about it. It might be a good thing to put up on the news page.

After working on this for around seven months I am proud to announce that all of the mainstream Inner Sphere 'Mechs that have a TRO entry are finished. I know as the game goes on this will be a continuing process but now we are officially ahead of the curve on the Inner Sphere 'Mechs and I'm sure the Clan 'Mechs wont take too long. The Solaris VII 'Mechs are a creature unto themselves and once I actually buy Map Pack Solaris VII I will start working on those as I have already scanned images for them. I would like to congratulate the whole team. Without everyone here we wouldn't have ever gotten this far. So don't be surprised if you also get this on each of your discussion pages.CJKeys 01:00, 19 May 2007 (CDT)

Awesome, good job! Feel free to edit the News Page yourself! 19:24, 8 July 2007 (CDT)

Blue Diamond and Menkent[edit]

In my updating of Terra, I discovered that Blue Diamond and Menkent have apparently been mixed up somehow (they're both Lyran planets, but Blue Diamond is near the Falcon border, while Menkent is close to the Chaos March). Is there an easy way to fix that? --Scaletail 15:59, 7 July 2007 (CDT)

It would appear that Fletcher and Fletcher (FWL) have suffered the same fate. --Scaletail 16:12, 7 July 2007 (CDT)
Hmm, strange. I don't see any problem with just switching the text for each. 19:25, 8 July 2007 (CDT)
In essence, the titles were swapped out. It may work for the Fletchers (it would take to much to think that hard at the moment). The problem with that idea for the Lyran ones is that planets that are close to Menkent (like Terra) link to Blue Diamond and vice versa. I could just switch the text for them, but then Terra would still link to Blue Diamond (mistakenly believing that it is within two jumps) and the Blue Diamond article would now reflect its actual position near the Falcon border. It wouldn't be a ridiculous amount of work to correct every page that links to it, but I am a bit concerned because this might happen again, so i was hoping that there would be an easier way to do it. Scaletail 12:25, 9 July 2007 (CDT)
Apparently what happened is somebody over at ISCS made an error when they made a map. My mind was almost blown when I thought I realized I had been wrong. The corrected version appears in Handbook: House Steiner. Scaletail 16:11, 15 August 2007 (CDT)
So the House Steiner and House Kurita books from '87 are wrong on that? Is this a retcon gone awry or just someone at FASA, et al messed up a book and now we're stuck with the mistake? Bdevoe 14:29, 18 August 2007 (CDT)
I checked both Kurita (FASA Pub 1620) and Steiner (FASA Pub 1621). They have Blue Diamond and Menkent in opposite places. Unfortunately, my other references don't show either planet, so apparently the latest stuff is corrected. My guess is that the ISCS stuff used the Steiner data for House Steiner, which was why it's backwards. Bdevoe 14:34, 18 August 2007 (CDT)

Uhm, How do i contribute?[edit]

Uhm, How do i contribute?

Ive looked around the wiki, and its pretty impressive, lots of info. but most of em are "Battletech Classic" you guys arent focusing on "Dark Age" stuff?

If i could, can i contribute some simple "Dark Age" Articles and stuff?

And maybe Update some of the Mechs Listed?(pictures of variants etc)

by the way, the maps featured in Planets (Wouldn it be better called "Systems And Planets"? you know, being many planets and moons and stuff in a Solar System and all) stoped in the year 3062, are the cartographers planning on expanding the timeline towards the "Dark Age" era?

and int the features maps, Systems without a jumproute(line going to and from them) how do they interact with the rest of the systems besides them? are there simply no way to jump into the system, or did they purposely not anyone jump to the planets( my lack of basic inner-sphere politics in these parts hinder my understanding ).

my e-mail is

i hope i can contribute to such a great place for Mechwarrior and Battletech Information.

Welcome! I'm pretty new to this Wiki (but not to Wikipedia), and what I've been doing is just finding areas where I know something that hasn't been documented and then adding that information to the wiki. Overall, as you use the site, you'll start searching around and find some things that are incomplete or poorly documented. You should just get in there and get your hands dirty. :) All of my experience with BTech predates the Clans, so that's where I have the most impact.
Welcome aboard and just start checking out what you want to look at and go from there. Good luck! Bdevoe 13:00, 1 August 2007 (CDT)
Welcome! Please contribute wherever you feel most comfortable. We aren't focusing on Classic or Dark Age specifically, and Dark Age stuff is definitely welcome. If there is any difference between sources in Classic and DA material please note that. Otherwise, welcome, and thanks for helping out! Nicjansma 18:13, 1 August 2007 (CDT)

Snord's Irregular[edit]

Hello again, I was just browsing The Snord's Irregular page, and im wondering is the information there canon? if so, then, should we update the Wolf's Dragoons page? to actually include their activities BEFORE 3005, if there was any.

Below is my long winded explanation of the query.

Snord cannot possibly have been a member of Wolf's Dragoons, having been thrown out and met McFinney in 3002... because Wolf's Dragoons only arrived in the Inner Sphere in 3005! Either the dates are wrong, or we served with another merc unit. 19:43, 22 July 2007 (CDT)

We'll check up on that

If you open the Wolf's Dragoon page[2], they FORMALY ENTERED CONTRACT with the Federated Suns on 3005, where the Federated Suns deployed them on border of The Capellan Confederation, this is presumbaly the only theatre the Dragoons were working in. Thus, the engagement of Dragoons in Royal, stated in The Snord's Irregulars page[3], occuring in 3002, on the borders of the Draconis Combine might have happened BEFORE they got a contract with The Federated Suns. The proclamation that they suddenly appeared in inner sphere space on the exact date of 3005 is a bit exagerated, since, mostly unknown mercenary units are not usually paid attention to, since there were so many mercenaries outfit going out and about in the inner sphere. Even the dragoons had a small time when they are not widely known, being a very new addition to the mercenary scene. It wouuld be logically for Wolf's Dragoons to get Oriented with the then current inner sphere before deciding in its course of action(its original intended mission actually), thus a grace period of a few years PRIOR to they're First contract is acceptable. But since im not 100% sure, im gonna ask Scaletail, he'll proabably know better.

This page on wikipedia [4], comments that they caused a lot of panic when they first appeared in the Federated Suns, which says, they were Immedietly spotted on 3005. The thing is, if they were such unknowns, possesing all that hardware would kind make people be wary of thyre intentions. Which raises the question, why would the Federated Suns IMMEDIATLY hire them, it like.

A group of Knights, JUST happen to be visiting a castle of a king, virtual UNKNOWNS, would that king SUDDENLY hire these guys to be his guards?? Without knowing what kind of people they are? How can te king be certain these guys wont kil him? right? The king might need time to observe how they perceive the king, and what advantage would it be to field these knights, etc.

Pardon the VERY bad analogy (did I spell that right?), but you get the picture right? --Agus101186 05:25, 2 August 2007 (CDT)


What are the rules for posting a story on Sarna? Would like to write a short story or two. Thanks Valentinejoesmith 15:39, 12 October 2007 (CDT)

Welcome! We have Category:Fiction -- feel free to post everything there! Nicjansma 01:24, 13 October 2007 (CDT)


Eh, it's not like I did any real work. Just background linking and categorizing. I still fail to have the energy to actually look most things up, but I will get there... soon... I promise.... --Scaletail

I know that a lot of pages were auto-generated, including the planetary database. What would it take to edit that database to update it for 3067, and even 3130? Scaletail 12:15, 2 April 2007 (CDT)
Well, the problem is I don't have the database for 3067 and 3130 :) If you know of a data file (CSV, text file, something) that has owners for those years I'll happily update everythin! Nicjansma 13:50, 2 April 2007 (CDT)
I was kind of alluding to the fact that I would do it (at least for 3067... I'm not paying $40 + S&H or whatever it is for the poster-sized map that is the only complete map for 3130 I've seen). I'm utterly clueless as to what you would need to update it easily, so what would be the best way? Scaletail 12:01, 9 April 2007 (CDT)
The file I used to generate the planetary data is here. If you can update that file, I can easily re-update the current planets! Nicjansma 17:18, 2 December 2007 (CST)
Sweet. When I actually have the time, I'll see what I can do with it. --Scaletail 14:17, 4 December 2007 (CST)


Kittle mused on her talk page that perhaps, given the level of vandalism that we're seeing, that we may want to consider locking the wiki against edits from non-users. I know that Scaletail, Nic, and I have spent many hours correcting vandalism. I thought we should just put it out there to at least have the discussion. Thanks. Bdevoe 12:40, 16 October 2007 (CDT)

How does someone get banned? Because has made fourteen "edits" and all of them were vandalism. ALL OF THEM. Hes not the only one either, has made nearly forty "edits" and ALL OF THEM WERE VANDALISM. Scaletail, Kittle, and Bdevoe have been the ones who cleaned up most of these idiots' vandalism, I'm sure they agree with me. I think that the major part of the vandalism problem can be fixed if we ban repeat offenders. I don't believe that it is necessary to stop non-users from editing, some of them have made real contributions to the site. I believe that after a certain amount of vandalism that individuals should be banned, regardless of whether or not they are members. I might be more frustrated by it than most people since I have obsessive compulsive disorder, but that doesn't make it any easier to clean up after their juvenile behavior. To the contrary, I spend too many hours fixing minor grammar and spelling errors as it is. Why should I have to worry about vandalism as well? --DragonoftheRust 17:04, 22 October 2007 (CDT)

I placed a one-week ban on those two IPs, with account creation prevention. If it stops at that, so be it. It doesn't I'll make them permabans. The reason that bannings haven't been happening over this is because of the fact that Revanche is on military duty, Nic is busy and I was MIA for a good many months (long story, don't ask). There wasn't anyone else with the power to ban people. Since I'm back, for the time being, I'll try to keep an eye on things. --Xoid 02:37, 23 October 2007 (CDT)
I know that we did see quite a few consistent nonsensical vandalism from a few IPs there for a while, but I would say that out of the tens of articles we corrected, there were many other IPs involved in the process. It seems almost intentional, but I can't begin to reason what the purpose is - the pages vandalized seem random, but there have been multiple edits on the same pages over and over. The actual content seems generated somehow - but I just can't seem to figure out what purpose it serves for the vandal. Regardless, I don't think that banning just those two IPs will do much to stem the tide, but we'll just keep doing what we do. :) 11:44, 24 October 2007 (CDT) (above added by Bdevoe 11:45, 24 October 2007 (CDT)).
If you find you're accidentally logged out at the time, you can always replace [[User:your IP address|]] with [[User:your user name|]] instead. Less typing that way. :)
And yeah, I agree that it won't stem the flow much. As I said, it's highly likely that this is being done by a botnet; they typically have a myriad of IP addresses at their disposal so banning single addresses only stops the current spree. VandalBots are generally left on for an extended period of time, then the creator checks to see if they had an impact. If they didn't, they sometimes turn them off… or look for easier targets (be they another page on this wiki or another wiki altogether.) --Xoid 22:39, 24 October 2007 (CDT)
Let's continue this talk on BattleTechWiki:Administrators Nicjansma 17:18, 2 December 2007 (CST)


Due to circumstances beyond my control I was without access to the Internet for a good few months. Couple that with TAFE and such, and I've been strapped for time. I think I can start making time for Sarna again. --Xoid 23:18, 22 October 2007 (CDT)

Welcome back! My work commitment has left me with little time for other projects lately, so I've been only reverting vandalism as I've seen it; not much else. Great to have you contribute whenever you can! Nicjansma 17:18, 2 December 2007 (CST)

Mistitled Articles[edit]

How does one get rid of a mistitled article? I recently created a new article for the Hachiman (Combat Vehicle) only to notice that I had unintentionally created a article under the heading of Hachiman (Combat Vehicle. I recreated the article under the proper title, but I don't know how to get rid of the old article! Any advice you have would be appreciated. --DragonoftheRust 15:57, 24 October 2007 (CDT)

This one is rather simple. By default it's not possible to delete anything on MediaWiki unless your account has the SysOp flag set (this is to limit the damage that vandals and/or inexperienced editors can cause.) Add the {{deletion}} template to it and one of the SysOps will get around to deleting the offending article. In some cases we'll nuke it without it having the deletion template; almost universally in cut-and-dried cases (like this one). --Xoid 03:42, 24 October 2007 (CDT)
The SysOps regularly check the articles flagged for deletion -- simply add the template and we'll get to it when we review the list! Nicjansma 17:18, 2 December 2007 (CST)

Category for In-Character Knowledge?[edit]

I'm thinking that we may want to add a category for those items that are sort of general in-character knowledge (like MechWarrior (pilot) or C-bill). They're not really part of any existing category. There may be other categories as well (Game Mechanics for instance) that may be needed to properly categorize things. I think I'm one of the few to really run across this issue as most of my contributions have been in the "humanities", so to speak, of the Inner Sphere, rather than on the engineering elements ('Mechs and Vehicles). The only thing I can think of for a category is Milieu, which is probably too "William F. Buckley" for most people. :) I don't have any specific recommendations, so perhaps someone else does. Thanks! Bdevoe 12:14, 24 October 2007 (CDT)

I agree with what you're saying. 'Game Mechanics' sounds appropriate, or maybe 'Terms' or something? Nicjansma 17:18, 2 December 2007 (CST)

Bulleted lists[edit]

This diff concerns me. The resulting code from those extra lines is

<li>Bullet 1</li>
<li>Bullet 1</li>

as opposed to

<li>Bullet 1</li>
<li>Bullet 2</li>

This makes things harder for text-to-speech synthesisers to handle and increases page size. Doing it the (currently) proper way results in source that is nigh on unreadable with long lists. Would it be possible for you to alter MediaWiki to render

* Bullet 1

* Bullet 2


* Bullet 1
* Bullet 2

does? --Xoid 23:42, 24 October 2007 (CDT)

From what I can tell, any blank line in a list (either # or *), restarts the list. I think this is just by-design for MediaWiki. I didn't come up with anything in searching for how to change this behavior, but I agree it's frustrating. Any ideas? Nicjansma 17:18, 2 December 2007 (CST)

Hello from Wikia[edit]

Hi There, I wanted to reach out and compliment your wiki. Its pretty awesome. I manage the Gaming division at Wikia and would love to talk to you about the future of this wiki. Wikia has become the home for lots of independently run gaming wikis (i.e Paragon Wiki) recently as we provide free hosting/bandwidth, product & technical support, advanced SPAM and vandal fighting tools, as well as marketing support. I would love to tell you more about us if you are open to a conversation. On a side note, I noticed you work at Msft. I worked there for 4 years (mostly in the XBOX and Games for Windows Groups). You can email me at angie at or leave a message on my talk page Angies 13:52, 19 November 2007 (CST)

Greeting and thanks! FYI there is already a BattleTech project at wikia as well. We were trying to work with them a while back to coordinate (or merge) work. I don't see much activity over there any more. Nicjansma 17:18, 2 December 2007 (CST)


I just edited Lucien Davion, and when I clicked "save page," I was prompted to complete an addition problem because I inserted a new external link. 1. I was signed in and 2. The "external link" I added was apparently the stub template. On another note, the text of the section edit links is quite large (it seems to be matching the section its attached to). I'm not sure if that change was intentional or not. --Scaletail 15:31, 30 November 2007 (CST)

RE: Captcha on adding a URL when logged in, a new version of the ConfirmEdit extension changed the defaults. I've modified it so logged in users don't get the captcha on URL addition. Thanks for pointing this out! Nicjansma 17:18, 2 December 2007 (CST)
RE: Large [edit] text, I've fixed this. Nicjansma 17:18, 2 December 2007 (CST)
Revanche noticed that the edit toolbar is missing, so I figured I'd point it out. --Scaletail 11:54, 6 December 2007 (CST)
Hmm - what tool bar are you talking about? Nicjansma 11:29, 8 December 2007 (CST)
Nic: the tollbar in questions is the one you see above the edit field for all wiki edits. It has bold, italics, wikilinks, sig buttons, etc. We had them up when I left in the spring and was wondering if they were lost in the recent upgrade. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 15:03, 8 December 2007 (CST)
Cool, found what you're talking about. Looks like it was misplaced from the Skin in the upgrade -- should be all fixed now. Nicjansma 01:41, 9 December 2007 (CST)
Great! Thanks, Nic. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 08:20, 9 December 2007 (CST)

Want to contribute[edit]

Hi there, iv been trolling about the CBT community on the net for some time, ive played a bit, but i pore over the books and pretty much everything that goes online regarding the CBT universe. Seeing as how i have insomnia id like to contribute some of my considerable amount of time to giving back to this cause. But im not so sure as to how i can go about this, any direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Master Of Disaster 19:26, 6 December 2007 (CST)

Welcome! What are you interesting in most? We have the To-Do list setup, just as jump-start ideas if you're looking for something to work on. There's also the different projects, such as BattleMech, Planet and Biographies you can contribute to. If you have another idea, feel free to run it by one of us or just go for it! Nicjansma 11:27, 8 December 2007 (CST)


...on your engagement. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:07, 21 December 2007 (CST)

Yes, congrats! --Scaletail 13:55, 21 December 2007 (CST)
Thanks guys! It's a very exciting time! Nicjansma 00:22, 23 December 2007 (CST)
Indeed, congratulations from me, too! Frabby 06:14, 23 December 2007 (CST)
A little late to the party, but absolutely - congrats! Bdevoe 19:35, 23 December 2007 (CST)


One of the things that attracted me to BattleTech so much was the incredibly detailed history and associated dates and timelines. So since I've joined, feel like I'm becoming the timeline dork.

I've asked Scaletail if there was a way to synchronize the year/year items with the main timeline. I don't know much about MediaWiki so I'm not sure if it would be some sort of template or macro that could be developed that when you add an item to the timeline or to an item to a year, they could be synchronized and we don't have to keep going back and forth between the two keeping them manually synched.

Is this possible?

Also, I've not found other timelines but the main one. I'm probably missing something and it's right in front of my face, but the next item could be some sort of tags to allow the automatic creation/updating of the various faction timelines. Locis 14:51, 23 January 2008 (CST)

Cool! It's great to see that you've found a part of the site you can focus on. Unfortunately I don't know of any easy way to keep the two timelines in sync. We could make each year a template and show the text on both the Timeline page and for each year, but that seems like a waste... any other ideas? Nicjansma 17:46, 26 January 2008 (CST)
I've been thinking about it and maybe something like the "before; current; after" tags? For example, create a tag {SL} that means Star League and the timeline item under the year is tagged with it and then the Star League Timeline is autogenerated from all year templates that have {SL} items?
For example:
2235 year template has 5 items. 2 Items are surrounded by {MT} for Master Timeline, 3 items are surrounded by {TA} for Terran Alliance. The associated timelines are generated by using the {MT} and {TA} items.
The tags would work in reverse also, in that any item surrounded by {MT} (etc) on the individual timelines would generate that item on the associated year template.
I'm not entirely sure of the mechanics but that is my basic idea.
p.s. I've found the other timelines but sheesh, I really don't feel like keeping them manually synched! lol Locis 08:47, 27 January 2008 (CST)

Expanded edit toolbar[edit]

Nic, I remember someone asking a long time ago if you could add new edit toolbars, like Wikipedia was using. I wandered across a great step-by-step 'extension' that took little 'ol me just under a hour to add in (and that was with re-ordering the buttons in the style I desired). Here it is, if you're so inclined. (Note: in the step where you upload the images of the buttons to the server, rename each one so they start with lowercase letters.) --Revanche (talk|contribs) 23:22, 12 March 2008 (CDT)

Image transfer[edit]

Is it possible to transfer the images that are currently located in the media archive to the wiki? This wold make it easier to use images that are already on Sarna. Maybe the images could simply be moved to the wiki, thus saving space on your server? --Scaletail 17:58, 5 May 2008 (CDT)

You're more than welcome to copy (re-upload) any of the images you wish from the media archive to the wiki. I can try to see if there'd be an easy way to auto-import all of them. Nicjansma 03:32, 14 June 2008 (CDT)

Carrying the BattleTechWiki banner out into the world?[edit]

Well not necessarily a banner but is there anything like a standard user bar, logo, etc. one could use to show it on other community's like the catalyst forum or any othere place where BT fans gather? --BigDuke66 21:54, 16 July 2008 (CDT)

There sure is! Check out the Userbar_Gallery under either 'BattleTechWiki' or 'Sarna,' courtesy of our own Skuggi. (You have NO idea how glad I am you asked that question; I created the page (over 8 hours of work) to provide just such a source for one-stop shopping...Sarna's original mission, if I recall correctly). Enjoy! --Revanche (talk|contribs) 10:17, 17 July 2008 (CDT)
Userbar taken. Thanks for providing. Frabby 11:05, 17 July 2008 (CDT)
Dito. Thanks!--BigDuke66 21:12, 23 July 2008 (CDT)

Planet Data Files[edit]

I see you imported all the Planet data, do you know how to get into contact with the guys from Teamspam IS Atlas? I would like to get my hands on the latest set of data files. The set in the download section looks old. I guess not much has changed but well over the years I'm sure that here and there some minor corrections were made.--BigDuke66 21:19, 23 July 2008 (CDT)

His website is [5] and [6] -- don't know if you'll be able to reach him though. Nicjansma 21:31, 28 July 2008 (CDT)
Well I'll try it, thanks.--BigDuke66 20:44, 1 August 2008 (CDT)

Main Page change[edit]

Nic, I know in the past you've given me free reign to develop the Main Page, but I wanted to invite you in on a concept, before instituting it by myself. I'd like to add a new section, resembling the bottom box and situated on top of it (beneath the Destination and News boxes) where 'perishable' issues would be announced. For example, Scaletail, Frabby and I have been working on the Canon policy for the site, and we would have enjoyed having more input. By advertising it there, and then removing it when the issue has passed, we can more quickly bring active Editors' attentions to the matter at hand. The section would be employed as a site administartion notice board, out of keeping with the regular news posted. When the canon policy is ready for site voting, I'd like to have this section up and ready, in order to announce the vote. (this would replace the current under-visited Minor News link.) What say you? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 22:56, 19 August 2008 (CDT)

Sounds great, I'm all for it! Nicjansma 17:01, 24 August 2008 (CDT)
Done! --Revanche (talk|contribs) 22:11, 24 August 2008 (CDT)

Policy: Canon[edit]

Nic, another issue I think is important enough to have the Founder take a gander at, since it helps define the 'attitude' of the site. I don't think there will be any surprises for you (such as a major policy shift), but I think Scaletail, Frabby and I did a good job of helping to avoid canonicity disputes on BTW. Just a word of agreement, or areas you think are off base, would be appreciated. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 22:19, 24 August 2008 (CDT)

Thanks Revanche, taking a look! Nicjansma 01:04, 9 September 2008 (CDT)


I just sent you an e-mail thru the BTW system. Please review when you get the opportunity. Thanks. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 18:22, 26 August 2008 (CDT)

Replied :) Nicjansma 01:05, 9 September 2008 (CDT)

Planet Coordinate Data[edit]

Hi Nic. I was looking through the planets that are in the Wiki and noticed that all of them (or at least all the ones I checked) had incorrect coordinates. All of the X and Y coordinates are the same. Looks like it was probably an auto-generation issue, but I wanted to bring it up to see if you would be able to correct it, especially since you have the original data that was used to develop the entries. Thanks a lot! Bdevoe 17:13, 18 August 2007 (CDT)

Thanks Bdevoe, I will determine if I can auto-update the coordinates. Nicjansma 17:18, 2 December 2007 (CST)
Hi Nic, not sure how active you are right now but I feel a major overhaul to this wiki's stellar cartography is called for. See User talk:Scaletail#Stellar Cartography overhaul

Vandalism to front page[edit]

Hi Nic, please take a look at the history of the front page. Two spammers (bots I presume) created user accounts and added a lot of gash to the page. When I tried to protect it I found it was already protected, so I suppose protection is only against edits from non-registered users. Is there anything you can do to totally lock the front page to all but admins? Frabby 07:44, 8 January 2009 (PST)

I've verified the Main Page is "full protected", as opposed to semi protected. This means only Admins should be able to edit the front page. Are you seeing any more vandal activity lately? Nicjansma 22:22, 25 January 2009 (PST)

Non-canon content[edit]

I do acknowledge and appreciate that this wiki began its life as a fan site. I also acknowledge that Fanon is welcome here. But to be honest, I would rather segregate Fanon material into the newly created Fanon wiki (see front page). The reasons are manifold. Most importantly, I feel that some potential contributors are put off by the prospect of encountering unvalidated Fanon in the articles of the BT Wiki. I have repeatedly explained our policy, and that Fanon is segregated from official/licensed material. But many users seem to expect that a BattleTech Wiki would not contain Fanon at all. To be painfully honest, I do agree with that sentiment, and deep down in my heart disagree with the policy.
The reason why I raise the topic here is that you, as the owner and bureaucrat, have the say in this matter as far as I see it, as this is your site. I feel bad about taking Fanon stuff away from the contributors, but the inclusion of Fanon, even if clearly marked, may damage the reputation of the wiki and hinder its evolution into "The" BT wiki - especially if we have people like User:Cray contributing here. I therefore suggest to take the step and purge all Fanon articles from here, moving them to the Fanon Wiki instead and keeping them separate in the future. (I can totally live with the proposal being shot down in flames, but felt I had to voice my feelings on the matter.) Frabby 06:51, 26 February 2009 (PST)

I'll totally agree with Frabby especially the point about evolution. To be honest I didn't even knew this wiki allows fanon that's why I marked an article for deletion that is fanon.--BigDuke66 13:06, 26 February 2009 (PST)
As far as I know, the problems only arise when people don't flag fanon contents as fanon. Maybe that's being done out of ignorance, but even so. And if that would be the case, then I'd rather suggest raising awereness of the {{fanon}} tag. Onisuzume 04:23, 27 February 2009 (PST)
I'm certainly not opposed to the new Wiki for Fanon, if the need exists and people want to create content there. I do think BTW's {{fanon}} tag works adequately enough; I want people to still be able to post Fanon here as well, if they wish, as long as it is tagged accordingly. Nicjansma 17:34, 1 March 2009 (PST)

Understood. Just to clear this up, the BattleTech Fanon Wiki has already been set up some time ago by a user from this wiki. Next questions:

  • Is it okay to actively point people to the Fanon Wiki (through Talk pages)?
  • Is it okay to add a notion to the Policy:Notability about the Fanon Wiki?

Frabby 23:25, 1 March 2009 (PST)

This leads to another problem: Can other BT-fansites demand that you also link to them, for equal treatment among fans? (I encountered exactly that problem in another SF-wiki.) --Detlef 05:04, 2 March 2009 (PST)
Well, if they link to you, then its only a common courtesy to link back to them I guess. Its also only a small effort to edit to links page. But still, demanding it sounds a bit too... drastic. As for the fanon wiki, my only problem with it is its lack of contents. Onisuzume 05:32, 2 March 2009 (PST)
If we can agree that this wiki should actively seek to promote the Fanon Wiki (in an effort to concentrate on canonical/official content), then I would tag all Fanon articles here with a request to the original creator to port them to the Fanon wiki, and perhaps do it myself (with appropriate credits). That should give the Fanon Wiki some more content to evolve from. Personally, I'd like to see a co-existence of both Wikis with the aim of more clearly segregating Fanon from official products. Frabby 05:48, 2 March 2009 (PST)
A co-existence with a clear separation sounds perfect to me.--BigDuke66 07:31, 3 March 2009 (PST)
My only concern is actively promoting moving content to another site, that after 6 months, has only 6 articles. I wouldn't want to redirect content to a site that's only going to get a portion of the exposure content would get here. Nicjansma 23:47, 27 March 2009 (PDT)

ParserFunctions upgrade[edit]

Hi Nic. With the upgrade to 1.15, the ParserFunctions extension also needs to be updated. You can download version 1.15.x here: Thanks so much for the help! --Ebakunin 00:34, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Updated! Let me know of any other extensions that need to be updated. Nicjansma 03:28, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Other extension suggestions[edit]

I know you've been spending a lot of your time updating BTW, but you might want to consider adding these extensions as well:

Also, if you turn on search suggest (which would be great), you might want to install the TitleKey extension. It allows for case-insensitive suggestions.

Nic, I really do appreciate all the work you put into the wiki. Thanks a lot. --Ebakunin 05:20, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Ebakunin, all of those links point to TitleKey. I also wanted to say somewhere (so might as well be here) that the site appears much more mobile-friendly now, which was unexpected. Second the appreciation, Nic --Revanche (talk|contribs) 12:02, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Links are fixed --Ebakunin 13:12, 3 July 2009 (UTC) Tongue.gif
ImageMap is too awesome for words. Can you imagine using the current maps to move to other planet articles? Come on! A lot of work (unless Nic's bot could automate it), but the result would be awesome. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Totally awesome. However, we have a double-layered problem here:
1) Many individual systems/planets/worlds on this wiki are misspelled or misplaced, which leads to:
2) The world database requires a complete overhaul. I'd say it cannot be fixed. Which in turn teaches us that however we implement the ImageMap system, it absolutely requires an user-friendly maintenance option for updating it with newly found systems or correcting misplaced/misnamed systems. Trying to do that under the current structure requires an enormous amount of work on dozens of articles each time.
3) And while we're at it, I would like (read: think we absolutely need to) create a new, unified template for Systems to differentiate System names from planet/moon/asteroid/habitat names with general system information (sun type, # of planets, politcial timeline); we also need sub-templates for individual planets and all the extra data available on their topography, population, special features, moons etc., and last but not least, a list of sources referring to the individual systems/planets. So really, a gargantuan project that, if ever completed, will send the IS Atlas packing. Smiley.gif
Oh, and to be sure, I am actually serious about every word I just wrote. Frabby 13:52, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay in response, Frabby, but couldn't tolerate the idea of carrying on a conversation via an iphone while on vacation.
Are you suggesting a Project (with a capital P) for this? If so, I'm willing to assist is someone took up the leadership mantle, with guidance. If yes, please start a Project page (or re-focus the current one) and I'll be along. I'm interested, because I know how involved you are in planetary research and I'd like to conduct a Factory Project, but feel it needs to follow a successful planetary one.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:06, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I seem to be very good at starting huge projects that run out of steam long before they are finished. Will adress this one on the Projects Planets as you suggested (and my first point would be to make it into Project Systems), but this is queued in behind my essay about Canonicity in the BT universe... whenever I get going with that proper. Frabby 21:07, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Roger that. Feel free to reverse-poke me when you do. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 22:04, 7 July 2009 (UTC) Wink.gif

Followup: I've installed the following extensions:

I've also turned on $wgAutoSuggest so you should get auto-suggest for the search box. Nicjansma 18:04, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Thank you so much Nic! --Ebakunin 18:07, 8 July 2009 (UTC) Smiley.gif
Seconded! --Revanche (talk|contribs) 20:25, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

On this day...[edit]

When you look at the main wikipedia page you see the "On this day..." area. I wonder if something similar would be good for this wiki. Problem is that when I look at the timeline all entries just show the year and not an exact date but I guess exact dates are quiet rare to find.--BigDuke66 13:28, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

You hit the nail on the head — I doubt we have 365 exact dates to work with. In general, the Powers That Be just give us the year. --Ebakunin 16:01, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

"Interwiki" links for Sarna's downloads[edit]

Just had an interesting thought: why not make interwiki links for such things as Sarna's various downloads section? While not really an interwiki link, it just seems right to have local files appear as if they're not sending someone off to an external site. If you deemed it worthwhile you could make a simple script to change all the current instances of "[ link_text]" to "[[Download:rest_of_path|link text]]" without flooding recent changes or the usage of 'bots with the 'bot flag set on their account. I was originally thinking that you might could set it up with 5 interwiki links (data:, designs:, docs:, media:, and programs:, but just plain "download:" would probably cause less confusion. --Xoid 17:24, 19 July 2009 (UTC)


Testing external links with ReCaptcha

The previous, unsigned, unlogged-in comment with a link was brought to you via ReCaptcha :) Nicjansma 23:16, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
[action]: Revanche doing the 'You really don't wanta see Revanche dance' dance. -- 23:28, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Hey Nic![edit]

I was cruising around the net and decided to see if Sarna had died and gone to archive heaven. I'm glad to see it's still running. Congratulations on getting a job at MS. I always knew you were smart. ;) Take care and Godspeed brother. -Phil (Phillip Tseng) Benton. The real Ghost Bear. :)

Hail Phil! Drop me a line (nic at nicj dot net). I'd love to hear how you're doing and what you're up to. Nicjansma 05:50, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Hy I found your BattleTech Wike in the last month, I know you see my Addings, my englisch :) is not very perfect, oder soll ich sagen Scheiße so we call in german LOL...I hope I bring some flavor on the site... Doneve 00:02, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

helping out[edit]

Nic, I appreciate the Wiki page and have found it useful several times. I'd be interested to add a few entries in order to help the effort though when you warn against copyright issues, I am not sure how to proceed. Any image I add is going to be something I crop from somewhere else. It seems that's what already in use so is it OK if I do that or would it be best if you admins enter the images from your own supply? I can certainly just enter the specs & weapons and just summarize a minimum amount of fluff. Other than that, all I could do is copy what's in the TRO and I'm not sure that's what you want. I could certainly make up some fluff but I doubt you want that.— The preceding unsigned comment was posted by (talkcontribs) 08:13, 19 September 2009 . its great to hear that you've enjoyed the site. A lot of us put a lot of effort, time and knowledge into the site. Its even better to hear you want to take part; we look forward to your input. When it comes to pictures, we follow the 'fair use' concept and utilize the pics where appropriate. The fair usage supports all uploaders, so feel free to add pictures where ever you deem appropriate. As for text, we cannot protect direct copying of official writings, so we ask you take yourself back to your student days and re-write the material. Most every article on here uses only official material that has been reported on in original words. So, if you find material in a TRO (or other official source), feel free to write about the subject of that material in your own words, and then cite the source. (By clicking on the edit tab, you can see how other Editors have accomplished the articles and mimic their style.). Feel free to contact myself or any other active Editor for assistance. Welcome! --Revanche (talk|contribs) 00:44, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the welcome. I tried my first page for the Alacorn. I thought I uploaded a photo but I can't seem to have it show on the actual page. If you could take a look at my work & let me know where I went wrong, I would appreciate it.


Nic, I was looking at the to do list and was curious, what do you want done with the Rememberance? Do you want what info can be found via web and books? Or are you looking for something different? Faithfuldemise 23:00, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

I was hoping to compile all of the official verses from the various bits and peaces in all of the books (novels and reference). Just haven't had time to do so... Nicjansma 05:34, 4 April 2010 (UTC)


Dear Nic, I feel that Doneve really deserves some special merit/award for his contributions to planetary information. He is citing Chris Wheeler's IS Atlas to replace the erroneous Y-coordinates with the actual values, and as Chris Wheeler is (himself) cited as a BattleTech fact-checker in regards to timelines and planetary information, the source is pretty sound. This task has been on the "to-do list" for planetary data for some time, and requires ~2000 separate edits for the Inner Sphere alone. It is quite a task, and I feel he deserves recognition.--S.gage 23:33, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

I fully agree. I had given him an Founder's Honorable Mention Award for in recognition of all his great work. Nicjansma 05:36, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Server's PHP Upgrade[edit]

The server's PHP version was upgraded from 5.2.x to 5.3. I've found this has broken a couple things, and am fixing them as I go. Please let me know of any problems you see. Nicjansma 06:35, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Using the "rollback" function produced a php error, so I went and used the "undo" function - only to find out that "rollback" had apparently worked despite the error message (which unfortunately I didn't copy). See my recent two edits to Solaris VII directly preceding this edit. Btw, I could swear that the changes from "rollback" didn't register as a change before I used "undo". Frabby 06:56, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
PS: Still, thanks for your continued work on the site! Care to get a Random Appreciation Award? :) Frabby 06:56, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! I've found an error with the database and repaired it, and Rollback seems to work now. Let me know what else you find. I hate having downtime, or causing problems by upgrades, but I needed PHP v5.3 features for other pages on the server! Nicjansma 07:41, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Better safe than sorry, so upgrades can be good. Don't want Nic's Squirrels Gone Wild, Nic's Perfect Pork Martini nor Nic's Anti-Switzerland Rant pages to ever go down.
On a serious note, I'd like to explore the possibility of upgrading the wiki software, with a few more hacks thrown in. Maybe later? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 10:12, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Sure. We're on 1.15, and it looks like the latest (non-beta) is 1.15.2. Are there any major improvements in 1.15.2? Or different extensions? Nicjansma 15:25, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I may jumped the gun a bit. Let's at least wait until 1.16 has had time to spin its wheels as a non-beta. I know I want to readdress the UserScore (there's gotta be some better tools available to non-WikiMedia organizations), but I need to reach out and touch some developes/users for that.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 22:19, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

CBT Tables page[edit]

Hi Nic, could you please take a look at Talk:CBT Tables. Some (including me) suggest to delete this page as per the discussion there. Frabby 06:47, 6 April 2010 (UTC)


Hey Nic,

Just so you know, you probably need someone to go through the pages periodically and check the spelling on the sight. I've found so many spelling mistakes its painful to read it. You may want to fix that.

Thanks, John

Chiming in on this point: Yes, some editors seem to have a spelling/grammar issue. But we figured having badly spelled content is still better than having no content on any given topic, and hope that somebody will eventually clean up the bad spelling. This is a wiki after all where everybody is invited to contribute to the best of his abilities. Frabby 09:07, 4 December 2010 (UTC)


Hello Nic!

Thanks for doing this great site, even if you don't play much anymore. I played my first game in seventeen years this past weekend, so I'd not feel bad were I you.

Way, way, way back, in a place far, far, far away, I played enthusiastically with a hardcore group that came up with a lot of unique 'Mech variants. This is all in 3025 tech, and I have these wonderful hand-stenciled datasheets that these guys painstakingly made. If I scanned them and put them in a zip archive, would that be something I could put here, perhaps in the noncanonical section? I can scan a sample of one or two, if you like.


Chad Johnson; Seattle, WA

Chad, sounds great. Send me an email to: nic at nicj dot net with one of the scans and I can see where it'd go. Nicjansma 05:49, 18 November 2010 (UTC)


Not sure if this is the appropriate place to ask my question but here goes. I am trying to install/use the Vehicle Factory 3 downloads in hopes that it will work with windows 7 where VF 2 will not. I continue to get responses saying certain files are missing or cannot be found, etc. Any suggestions? I am not savy with this sight so if doable my Email is for any response you could give.

Jeff Wright SSgt USMC

SSgt Wright - Unfortunately I haven't tried VF in quite a while. The author's site,, is still being updated a bit -- you may wish to try there. Nicjansma 23:12, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Engine Tables[edit]

Hey there, I unfortunately had to leave my entire game collection in Washington when I moved, and as an avid Battletech fan, This site has been a god send. However, so far I have only found one thing missing that I am really having trouble living without. I miss my compendium because I was constantly in it rebuilding and modifying mechs, aerospace and other goodies. I have most of the information memorized, but I never forsaw not having my book, so I didn't bother to memorize the fusion engine table. It is in the Battletech Compendium, under Battlemech Construction. It falls right around the second set of glossy pages showing the resin models of the Timberwolf, Summoner, Mad Dog and Toad Suit. If we could somehow get someone to upload that little tidbit of information, that would be awesome! Also on a side note, if you are in need of some fun new models of equipment, I am more than willing to devote some time to the custom section of the equipment lists and put some of my designs in there.

All the best, ~Dom

Unfortunately I do not have it handy either. It might go into the Tables section if you find it! Nicjansma 23:12, 3 August 2010 (UTC)


I'm currently planning a campaign with some new players and have been fleshing out some of the detail that has never been covered (to my knowledge) in official publications. While it would suit me and my style of play, would it be suitable to post this sort of information to this wiki? For example I'm currently just planning some more detail on the Planet Lima as it is the base planet for the players first training mission. So just some background on the size and physical details of the planet, name of the administrator, major cities / population. That sort of stuff. Maybe even a fractally generated world map. Should I add this to the wiki, or put it elsewhere? Many thanks. Batty 23:13, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Chiming in here to answer the question. As per BTW's Policy:Canon, the mingling of fan-made information into articles regarding otherwise canonical subjects is discouraged. Fan-made material must be clearly segregated and including a selfmade description in the article about an otherwise canonical system would likely be a mess. Still, BTW does welcome fanmade input. Therefore, I'd suggest to create an article named Lima (Fanon) with all that information, and provide a link there from the canonical Lima's article. Oh, and there's also a dedicated BattleTech Fanon Wiki that you might want to check out for your purposes. Frabby 08:45, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for that clarity. I'll look at the fanon wiki and keep it separate.Batty 10:27, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Picture File Reorganization Question[edit]

Hi Nicjansma. I'm little fuzzy on what re-organization your undergoing for the site. So are PDFs are being converted to something else? Is this going effect linkages to articles linked to them? Are pictures formats going to change? I'm not highly cutting edge type person so i'm just trying get feel on what is being done so i don't mess it up. Thanks -- Wrangler 12:31, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

It appears i'm too late to advice you not delete the MAPS we were using for articles. We WERE using the File:Dark Age 3130 Republic Worlds.pdf for show the Republic of the Sphere looks like after the collapse. Appears the other PDF maps are gone as well. Why did you think NO one was using it? *sigh* -- Wrangler 12:41, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Hi Wrangler. There are two things that I did yesterday: Cleaned up any unused/unlinked images, and moved all non-images to the Downloads section. This includes moving all PDFs there. The reason I'm moving all non-images to the Downloads section is that then they are then supported by the CDN (Content Delivery Network) that I use, which reduces the overall load on the webserver. It allows the Wiki to scale better. There are already several GB of files in the Downloads section, including PDFs, so I moved all of the PDFs that were embedded in the wiki there.
The other problem with non-images that were uploaded to the wiki is, as you saw, the inability to determine what pages are using the PDFs. There is a special page I can use to determine which images and files are not embedded on pages, but it cannot tell when a random page links to the random PDF. Thus, you found that I removed some of the PDFs you were concerned with. I can restore any deleted file, so I restored them and uploaded them to the Downloads section ( and updated the page to point to the CDN file instead. Feel free to email me, or message me, any time you need a PDF uploaded. I also hope to update the Downloads archive to add a form for you to automatically upload to.
Back to the PDFs that were marked as unused, I tried to run a search for the PDF file name on the wiki before I removed them, and I found a dozen PDFs that were linked from various pages that I put on the CDN last night. I am unsure why the Republic of the Sphere article did not come up as using them.
Sorry for the trouble, hope that explains things. Nicjansma 18:11, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Hi Nic, can you also restore PFF from this address, this was map for Free Worlds League in the Dark Age (after it was restored in 3139.)? -- Wrangler 12:55, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Yep, it was already moved to Did I miss an article that was linking to it? Nicjansma 18:15, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately there alot of them. Covenant Worlds, Duchy of Tamarind-Abbey, Clan Protectorate, Tall Trees Union, Protectorate Coalition, so far. I wrote these while ago, so i still trying figure out other ones i was referring that file.-- Wrangler 18:51, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Looks like searching for "Free_Worlds_League_3139.pdf" shows most of the pages referencing it. I'll update these links. Nicjansma 19:49, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Stupid me, thanks for fixing it! -- Wrangler 20:24, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Download Section Request[edit]

Hello, i know your in middle of re-shuffling files. Is there a help file that in lamin terms on how to upload non-pictures? I don't do it that often, such as maps you just restored. I was pondering on uploading the canon pdfs that found on the BattleTech forums regarding the Dark Age, which are considered to be canon. -- Wrangler 18:59, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi Wrangler. Right now there isn't a way to upload non-pictures. I will be updating the section to be able to upload files this weekend. In the meantime, if you want something uploaded, you can email them to me: nic at nicj dot net Nicjansma 20:00, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

CCG Images[edit]

Hy Nic, i see your last News update, please can you uploade or bring my uploaded CCG Images to the download section, there are a lot of, and sorry for my german school english ;), thanks.--Doneve 19:08, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Hy again, what you think about to upload all, posted (with image summary and clearly reference) to the image file to the download section with their own category. What you thinking about this.Greetings--Doneve 19:16, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Hey Doneve -- I think the CCG images are perfect where they are. I'm so glad you added them, thank you! Nicjansma 05:53, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

UBP icon[edit]

Evening, Nic: I could have sworn that the BattleTechWiki:Project Unfinished Book icon, a black book opened in the middle, was present on all of the project's tags. Could you please look to find and restore this, if possible. Muito obrigado.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 01:07, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for catching that - restored. It didn't have {{not orphan|MediaWiki:Common.css}}, so it was removed accidentally. Nicjansma 21:01, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Roger roger. Thanks. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 18:54, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Problems with Ads[edit]

Hi Nic, i think i'm having some problems with advertising ads on the site. Everytime (from home) go to edit a article, the ads on the webpage interfer with my computer. It normally, is broadcasting what i'm doing to what ever website is the sponsor for Sarna's ads. However, these things are becoming a problem. One point, i almost lost a article i was working on, because stupid ad faded in when i was doing preview of what i had typed. I managed to get it back by press the (back arrow) on my IE i use. I don't quite have same problem other location, since the network computer system is bit stronger in security. I realize that ADs are important way to sustain the Battletech Wiki, but when it interfers when i'm trying edit something i have to say something. I believe interference depends on the ads themselves. I wish there was something that could be done about this. I hate see this place become viral environment. This was webpage that comes up recently. It hijacks the page from what person is doing. It doesn't need to be editing. -- Wrangler 03:01, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Hi Wrangler! Sorry to hear you're having problems with the advertising. The next time you have an ad that interferes with what you're doing, can you take a screen shot of it and send it to my email? nic at nicj dot net. I have not seen any ads that would interfere with your editing. Namely, the only ads that are on the site are the banner ads at the top of the screen. They cannot get larger, nor should get they in front of your keyboard input or anything. If you are seeing that happen, I would be worried that you have a virus or other spyware on your machine that is inserting these ads instead. Another thing that you can do, as a logged in editor, is change your "Skin". Click on "my preferences", then the "Skins" tab and select "Sarna" instead of "SarnaAdsense". This changes your skin to not show any ads at all. If you do that, and you still see advertising, it is very like that you have a virus on your computer. Best of luck! Let me know what you find. Nicjansma 06:09, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Alrighty, I'll give it a shot. I just changed my skin to Sarna verse SarnaAdsense. Hopefully it will resolve the issue. If does happen again, i'll send you a screen shot.I'm not sure what it will show, since the weblink above litterly what came up. -- Wrangler 10:55, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Front Page Question[edit]

The Front page (since i've changed my skin) has been acting funny. Search and tool bars on the left of ths screen have been displaced below entire page. I can't tell if me or the page. -- Wrangler 13:29, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

  • There has been a change, but it is only positive for me. The exact opposite of what happened to Wrangler (sidebar moved below mainpage) is now visible in its correct location on my mobile and remains in that location on my various PC browsers. Now, I haven't changed my skin, as Wrangler has, so that indicates a change has either occurred to the code that displays positioning of main page elements or Safari on my mobile has been upgraded (less likely). --Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:20, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Now I'm seeing it the way Wrangler reported. At work, I'm using IE7. However, with Firefox and Safari Mobile, I'm seeing it correctly. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:21, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't care for the changes to the front page myself. The left navbar looks off. It doesn't do this on the other pages, nor is it a major hindrance. But I vote "nay". ClanWolverine101 21:42, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
There haven't been any changes to the Front Page or Skins for several months. Would you be able to capture a screen shot and send it to me at nic at nicj dot net? Please include the browser version you're using, and I can look into it! Nicjansma 06:01, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I wish i could send you a picture, but work computer at work has no paint programs to convert it to image to e-mail. Other pages do not have this problem, so know. -- Wrangler 12:37, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Revanche was able to send me an image, and I think I figured out the problem. Please hit CTRL-F5 in your browser to force a refresh of the styles, and let me know if it's fixed. Nicjansma 03:55, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
I did CTRL-F5 and it worked! I went back to screen and it still held. Will I have to do this everytime? Or once in a while? -- Wrangler 11:51, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Glad to hear it worked for you. You shouldn't need to CTRL-F5 any more -- that was only to ensure you had the latest CSS that I updated. Nicjansma 06:28, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Its appears to be working now with out the CTRL-F5. Thanks alot for fixing it!

Main Page[edit]

Nic, I believe one of the changes you made last night pushed the sidebar below the 'fold', at least for IE7. I see the sidebar in the proper place everywhere (so far) other than when I'm on the main page.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:08, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks! The Main Page HTML was missing a closing </div>, causing all sorts of problems on IE7.— The preceding unsigned comment was posted by Nicjansma (talkcontribs) 22:00, 27 April 2011.
Thanks for the quick repair, Nic. Looks fine on my gubmint computer.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:35, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Login problems & template problems[edit]

Hi Nic, something seems to be amiss. At least two people (User:Neuling and User:ClanWolverine101) report that they cannot log in anymore. Copied over from User talk:Frabby#Infoboxes:

Nic - This is ClanWolverine101. The problem (isn't) one article. Its EVERY article that has an infobox. I have a Firefox browser. Now, I can't do anything at all because when I login, the screen goes blank. Please change back whatever you were doing? You can contact me at my account's email addy. 18:20, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
(Copied over to Nicjansma's talk page; also emailed him about the problem below. Frabby 22:23, 29 April 2011 (UTC))
Frabby - Its ClanWolverine101. Whenever I login to my account, the whole screen goes blank. I've tried this on multiple computers, and nothing will pop up. Is it possible I was blocked somehow? I can't even get in to change my settings. Please contact me at my account's email. Thanks. - CW 18:13, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Neuling seems to have similar problems. Something is obviously amiss. Personally, I can log off and log back on fine, and I don't see any problems on the pages. All infoboxes seem to work fine. Like I wrote above, I've sent an email to Nic. Frabby 22:23, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

(I run win7, firefox, standard Sarna skin with no modifications and everything seems peachy on my end.) Frabby 22:40, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Thank you, Frabby. Nic - Please help? These problems seem to be related to whatever changes have been made. I've tried multiple browsers, and I have the same problem. I can read the site perfectly fine as long as I'm not logged in. The moment I login, I get a blank white screen of death. I would tell you what my user-account settings were... but I can't login to check them. :P - ClanWolverine101 22:50, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Hmm, i have no problems with the loggin and site problem, i use in my preferences skin CSS, allways looks fine on, i use a Firefox browser, i hope the problem can repaird so far as well.--Doneve 00:24, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Sorry everyone -- I had removed the old skins that (I thought) no one was using. This was causing problems on login for those people who had their skins set to these now removed ones. I've moved everyone who was on a removed skin to the default Sarna one -- you should be able to login now. Nicjansma 04:29, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Its alright with me, the skin that allowed for the avertisements was my main problem since it was loaded up with tracking software and wrecking havoc when ever i ended up editing something. Since using new one, it my problems went away finally.
Nic - Thank you very much! Its a huge relief. I will miss the old skin I was using, but I can certainly live with this. Thanks. ClanWolverine101 13:38, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Old Skins[edit]

Nic - Was wondering about the removal of the old skins. I preferred one of them aesthetically, and wondered if restoring them was a possibility. Thanks. ClanWolverine101 03:23, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

It's a possibility, though I had removed them to be consistent across all of the options. Which one were you thinking of? Nicjansma 18:43, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
I can't remember the names, I'm afraid... I just know I preferred a couple of them. ClanWolverine101 18:43, 29 May 2011 (UTC)


Hy Nic, i hope always is well with you, i have a question about spamm attacks over the last months, how we can handle this, i know always admins have the permission to delete any violance, spamm, etc., iam a long time BT fan, and you can read in other posts or award nominations, iam a trufully contributer to sarna as it is well, the question is have only admins the permission to delete spammers, YES, you know what i mean, iam a little bit frustratated, can we open this "little" or "big" problem, to give long time BT users, (BrokenMnemonic,), (Clan Wolverine101), (Cyc), (S.gage) (Wrangler), (myself) etc. some skills to delete spambots, for myself i don't want to become a admin (good jock or) :). I want to talk this to you, it is a idea a ..., ??? and a !!!, thanks.--Doneve 21:02, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Hm, I'm not sure if there is a way for non-admins to mark something as SPAM. I'll look into this, good idea! Nicjansma 17:16, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for response Nic.--Doneve 17:57, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

MediaWiki 1.18 Upgrade Issues[edit]

2011-12-16: As of noon today, we are running MediaWiki 1.18.0. I've noticed a couple things off, here's what I'm working on fixing:

  1. The "Navigation" box on the left floats to the top of the screen. (Fixed: 2011-11-16)
  2. The sidebar on the left (that contains Background, Downloads, Official Game Systems, etc), come and go. An edit to Mediawiki:Sidebar fixes this (even a no-op edit). (Fixed 2012-01-13)
  3. Special:UserScore doesn't seem to be compatible ( (Fixed: 2011-11-18)
  4. The Edit Bar does not show on editing pages. (Fixed: 2011-11-17)
  5. Clicking on an Advanced Template was not doing anything. (Fixed: 2011-11-17)
  6. Performance of the site is worse after the upgrade. (Fixed: 2012-01-13).
  7. The BTW site logo was missing. (Fixed: 2012-01-13)

Please let me know if you encounter any other issues. Nicjansma 12:13, 16 December 2011 (PST)

Overlapping Site Logo (Fixed)[edit]

Ah ok, this say all to my login problem, iam a test dumy ;).--Doneve 12:06, 16 December 2011 (PST)
I see no changes when iam logged in, ok i use my own preferences by CSS code, but when iam logged out the navigator box on the left over lap the wiki logo.--Doneve 12:18, 16 December 2011 (PST)
This should be fixed now. Nicjansma 12:58, 16 December 2011 (PST)

Sidebar (Fixed?)[edit]

Nic - Having some problems - the Navigation bar is missing the "Recent Changes" links among others, and the lower left-hand links are gone as well. Just keeping you posted. ClanWolverine101 21:13, 16 December 2011 (PST)
Nevermind - it seems ok now. ClanWolverine101 21:55, 16 December 2011 (PST)
It's very strage, it come and goes. Once I edit Mediawiki:Sidebar (even a no-op change), it comes back. Trying to figure out why... Nicjansma 22:35, 16 December 2011 (PST)
I haven't seen it disappear for two days now, I think this is fixed. Nicjansma 14:39, 18 December 2011 (PST)
[bzzzt] Just disappeared on me. Did a no-op edit and it returned. I wonder if its a site-wide issue (i.e., no one could see it until I made the edit) or its local. I suspect the former.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 19:30, 19 December 2011 (PST)
I made a change last night that might have fixed the issue. Let me know if it disappears after this point at all. Nicjansma 09:46, 13 January 2012 (PST)

Looks like the problem is fixed. Thanks, Nic! Frabby 12:47, 15 January 2012 (PST)

Edit bar (Fixed)[edit]

Hy Nic, when i edit an article i miss the Edit bar on the top of the page, oh and i missed on the image uploade page the copyright info template .--Doneve 00:24, 17 December 2011 (PST)

That goes for me, too. I had to think about my sig line code! -Revanche (talk|contribs) 04:20, 17 December 2011 (PST)
I think this should be fixed now, please let me know if [not]. Nicjansma 22:11, 17 December 2011 (PST)
I see it, but it seems to be missing some options. Anyone recall what's missing/needed/wanted? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 06:33, 18 December 2011 (PST)
The reference buttons and some others missed.--Doneve 08:30, 18 December 2011 (PST)
These are fixed now. Nicjansma 14:39, 18 December 2011 (PST)\
Some are missing again. I saw them slow to load at work today, but load they did. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 19:30, 20 December 2011 (PST)


Nic, I don't know if you intended to add an additional reCaptcha check when URLs are added/edited, but if so, its not working right now (at least for me). -Revanche (talk|contribs) 04:20, 17 December 2011 (PST)

Did we have a Captcha showing for logged in users when adding a new URL before? Or, are you saying, we didn't before but we do now? Nicjansma 22:18, 17 December 2011 (PST)
You didn't have it before, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to have it enabled. You can see my talk page for the line to add to the LocalSettings.php--Seth 06:02, 18 December 2011 (PST)
Actually, it looks like your "$wgGroupPermissions['*']['edit'] = ;" line is set to true now too. It needs to be set back to false so bots who are not logged in can't spam more articles. --Seth

As Seth was saying above, Nic. We're looking at requiring anyone adding a URL to have to do a reCaptcha again. So, once when registering and once when adding/editing a URL. Seth's talk page gives easy code.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 06:32, 18 December 2011 (PST)

(Got rid of the code that only concerned the sysop)

I explained it in more detail on my talk page.--Seth 23:30, 18 December 2011 (PST)

Thanks for the suggestion and details Seth, but that requires a major change to our settings: not allowing any anonymous edits. We've specifically chosen to allow anonymous edits (so far, though we could revisit this decision if we wanted).

Ideally, we would keep all of our existing settings:

  • Anonymous users have a Captcha for: creating an account, editing pages, creating pages, and adding urls (which is redundant since it's covered by editing pages)
  • Regular users never see Captchas

We would ideally only want a single change to this configuration:

  • Regular Users would only see a Captcha when adding a URL

Without your suggested major change (disallowing all anonymous edits), the configuration of ConfirmEdit doesn't allow this.

Unless we want to revisit allowing anonymous editing, I will start by looking into your suggested Anti-SPAM plugins. Many thanks for the suggestions! Nicjansma 10:50, 19 December 2011 (PST)

ReCaptcha Alternatives[edit]

It looks like ReCaptcha isn't catching all the spam bots registering with the wiki and spamming their own talk pages with junk. The confirmedit extension page states that some spam bots have found a way around ReCaptcha and that it might be worth trying one of the other captcha types. There are several alternative on this Confirm Edit Extension page.--Seth 23:11, 23 December 2011 (PST)

Other ways to fight spam bots[edit]

I suggest looking into ways to fight bots besides captchas. I've been running a MWO wiki since the beginning of November, and I haven't dealt with a spam bot yet. And my MW4 wiki was dealing with new bot accounts everyday, but since adding the following extensions, I haven't had one new bot account. Right now I am using the following mediawiki extensions; --Seth 23:37, 18 December 2011 (PST)
Thank you, I've implemented these extensions. Let's see how they do! Nicjansma 11:02, 19 December 2011 (PST)
You're right, I don't think you can have all those setting require captchas for anonymous users and only have captchas on URLs for regular users. I hope those anti-spam extensions take care of the majority of the spam bots on their own.--Seth 11:18, 19 December 2011 (PST)
After enabling the plug-ins, I was looking for some sort of validation or log that they are working correctly. Do you know if there's a log anywhere? Thanks again for all your suggestions! Nicjansma 13:23, 19 December 2011 (PST)
I've never tried looking for a log, but you can see a list of your installed extensions at your Special:Version page.--Seth 14:08, 19 December 2011 (PST)
Yeah, we've got a handle on that page. I presume we'll know if at least one extension is working if we see a drop in spam hits over the next 24 hours. Thanks a lot, Seth!--Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:48, 19 December 2011 (PST)
Looks like they're working to me!--Seth 13:57, 20 December 2011 (PST)
Nic, just came across this. Check the response to the Usefulness? query. It indicates a log can be built.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 19:58, 19 December 2011 (PST)

Advanced Templates (Fixed)[edit]

Nic, the Advanced Templates made available during editing (show up underneath the summary edit box) appear to be disconnected, as clicking on them does not result in the template being added to the edit field.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 07:59, 17 December 2011 (PST)

I think this is fixed now, please confirm. Nicjansma 22:18, 17 December 2011 (PST)
Confirmed. Thanks, Nic!--Revanche (talk|contribs) 06:34, 18 December 2011 (PST)

Year Pages[edit]

Hey Rev take a look on 3011 all year pages there use the template have an error on the left bar, an "l" is showing, i think Nics update was the problem.--Doneve 07:37, 17 December 2011 (PST)

Sorry, Doneve, I'm not seeing a problem with the 3011 page. -Revanche (talk|contribs) 07:53, 17 December 2011 (PST)
Ok i upload this screen shot image, please delete when you have show it, that explain what i mean
File:TestDoneve.jpg.--Doneve 08:00, 17 December 2011 (PST)
I see your picture and I see the bug you're reporting. However, I don't get that in my Firefox nor my IE browsers. Please add that to Nic's error report. (I'm not erasing the pic, so that you can show him.)--Revanche (talk|contribs) 09:23, 17 December 2011 (PST)
Thanks Doneve. I'm not seeing it either. Which browser are you using? Nicjansma 22:19, 17 December 2011 (PST)
I use the Firefox browser.--Doneve 05:24, 18 December 2011 (PST)
What version of Firefox? I don't see this on 8.0.1. Nicjansma 10:54, 18 December 2011 (PST)
Firefox version 8.0.1, hmm very strange!--Doneve 11:10, 18 December 2011 (PST)
Oh i forgot to say i use my own preferences by CSS code, i think this was the problem, when i take a look on pages there have a image gallery like Assassin article, the text is out of the thumbnail box.--Doneve 11:14, 18 December 2011 (PST)

Edit Counter (Fixed)[edit]

Did we lose this? ClanWolverine101 20:13, 17 December 2011 (PST)

Which specific one are you talking about? Nicjansma 22:20, 17 December 2011 (PST)
Special:UserScore It doesn't work anymore. ClanWolverine101 23:00, 17 December 2011 (PST)
This was broken because of changes to MediaWiki, but I fixed the problem and submitted an update to the original code. Nicjansma 14:39, 18 December 2011 (PST)
This is what I get when I click it : "The action you have requested is limited to users in the group: Bureaucrats. Return to Main Page." ClanWolverine101 14:54, 18 December 2011 (PST)
Should be allowed for everyone now. Nicjansma 15:36, 18 December 2011 (PST)
Thanks so much! ClanWolverine101 21:47, 18 December 2011 (PST)

Rescent Changes[edit]

Hy again, i cant use the Invert selection, Associated namespace fields on the top of the page.--Doneve 09:46, 18 December 2011 (PST)

I don't remember those being part of the standard MediaWiki options, are they part of custom JS? Nicjansma 14:42, 18 December 2011 (PST)


Hi Nic, first off, thanks for the upgrade. I'm not entirely sure if this belongs here, but since the upgrade took place this site appears to be much slower for me. It's not an issue on regular article pages, but special pages (which I use often) have become painstakingly slow. It was normal for the Recent Changes page to take some 4 seconds to load, for example; now it takes 19 seconds. Mind you, this isn't really a problem. But if anything can be done, it would be nice. Frabby 06:22, 19 December 2011 (PST)

I must agree, it seems slower. Also : Typing the title of an article into the "Search" bar seems to not work as well as it did. ClanWolverine101 09:09, 19 December 2011 (PST)
You are right CW, the search function was very very slow :(.--Doneve 09:35, 19 December 2011 (PST)
The site seems relatively the same speed today. Do you still think it's slow? Nicjansma 11:03, 19 December 2011 (PST)
Absolutly, when i use the search function ca. 20seconds for search and ca. 5seconds to view the page.--Doneve 11:07, 19 December 2011 (PST)
It doesn't seem to take that long for me. What are you searching for? What page are you loading that takes so long Nicjansma 11:39, 20 December 2011 (PST)
In general if i type in the seachfunktion, the loading is longer before the update.--Doneve 11:48, 20 December 2011 (PST)
The entire site feels noticeably slower, not just the special pages. But it's the special pages where it has become a minor nuisance. Frabby 12:11, 20 December 2011 (PST)
I made a couple changes last night to improve the performance a bit. Does it still feel slower than before? If so, I can do some profiling to see what's causing it to be slow. It seems a bit faster to me. Nicjansma 09:47, 13 January 2012 (PST)

Looks like the problem is fixed. Thanks, Nic! Frabby 12:47, 15 January 2012 (PST)

NavBar Missing links again[edit]

Hey - This has come up again. Most of the left-side navbar links are missing. ClanWolverine101 17:16, 20 December 2011 (PST)

Hm another mistery, i see the navbar correct.--Doneve 17:32, 20 December 2011 (PST)
I see it too. Correcting.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 19:30, 20 December 2011 (PST)
Thanks! ClanWolverine101 11:12, 22 December 2011 (PST)
This might be fixed now. Let me know if it is not. Nicjansma 09:48, 13 January 2012 (PST)

Redirect Button Missing[edit]

Its a small thing, but this seems to be missing? ClanWolverine101 11:13, 22 December 2011 (PST)

The redirect button (#R) is there for me. --Seth 23:13, 23 December 2011 (PST)
Where? ClanWolverine101 19:02, 25 December 2011 (PST)
It seems the button is only available when your using the Liao skin and then only when I edit the whole page. I don't see it when I edit a sectoon. I suggest Nic takes a look at the .php files for the skins and see what's missing from the other skins.--Seth 21:40, 25 December 2011 (PST)
Still a problem. ClanWolverine101 05:02, 1 January 2012 (PST)
Still a problem. ClanWolverine101 16:53, 6 January 2012 (PST)
I was curious about this as well, because I was missing the ref, redirect, sub- and superscript keys, etc. I was using Safari as my browser, and decided to look at the others I had not been using but I had already downloaded, Fire Fox and Opera. Turns out, only Opera of the three has the keys, and they are all present. As an added benefit, the article does not wobble when I scroll from the top to the bottom of the page. If you are using a Mac, switch the the most recent version of Opera and your problem should be fixed. If you are using Linux or Windows, you could test other browsers compatible with your OS and see which one fixes the problem for you. The other option is fixing the editor interface. Best of luck!--S.gage 21:27, 6 January 2012 (PST)
I haven't been able to narrow down what causes this yet. Still looking into it. Sorry that it's taking so long! Nicjansma 22:20, 12 January 2012 (PST)

Missing Sarna Logo image?[edit]


I just realized that the logo image (battletechwiki_logo.gif) isn't loading. I consistently get an error under the Steiner skin.--Mbear(talk) 07:26, 2 January 2012 (PST)

Hy i use the Marik skin and the error comes periodichaly at this time i can see the logo.--Doneve 08:34, 2 January 2012 (PST)
Thanks, I just saw this as well and it should be fixed as soon as the CDN refreshes it. Nicjansma 22:19, 12 January 2012 (PST)

Looks like the problem is fixed. Thanks, Nic! Frabby 12:47, 15 January 2012 (PST)

New Problem[edit]

I lost several times ago the left naviagion bar, it's periodicaly, but the problem occur sometimes.--Doneve 11:44, 2 January 2012 (PST)

I can't say it's periodical, but every now and then, the left-side navigation bar is limited to a "Navigation" section containing Main page, Community portal, Current events, Recent changes, Random page & Help; then the "Search" field; then the "Toolbox" section. The oter sections are missing. There is no apparent pattern to when/if the left navbar shows completely or in this truncated form. Frabby 11:59, 2 January 2012 (PST)
Oh i want to say, i had a log in problem ca. 2hours, was this a problem of the spambot attack on the site, when i can log in, at first i see a new attack, i became always erros on my login profile but this is gone.--Doneve 12:05, 2 January 2012 (PST)
I might have fixed this issue last nightl. Let me know if it doesn't appear fixed. Nicjansma 09:48, 13 January 2012 (PST)

Looks like the problem is fixed. Thanks, Nic! Frabby 12:47, 15 January 2012 (PST)

2011-12-15: Friday December 16, 2011 at approx 12pm PDT, I will be upgrading MediaWiki from version 1.15.0 to 1.18.0. The update will bring two years worth of better security, performance and features. I have tested the update (which required a few fixes to our extensions and skins), but you never know what will go wrong. Additionally, after the upgrade, I will be looking into better SPAM protection for the wiki. If you see anything out of place, please let me know. Nicjansma 01:09, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

2012-01-18: As of today, I do not know of any outstanding issues with the 1.18.0 upgrade. The previous issues were migrated to my Talk Archive page. If there's still something broken, please create a new topic on this page.

Semantic Wiki[edit]

There is a project for this BattlTech Wiki that I would like to work on now that you're running a current version of Mediawiki, but requires the Semantic Bundle extension. The No Cache extension would go great with this too since some pages take a while to update from the database. The Sandbox page describes one of the things I would like to work on.--Seth 23:21, 23 December 2011 (PST)

Can you exlain what it does. I see simple code (the timetable template) that appears to result in three-row, four-column table. Does this mean its pulling data from other pages to create this table?--Revanche (talk|contribs) 07:56, 24 December 2011 (PST)
I can do one better than that, I can show you what it does. Using the same code with this extension installed, I made a sample page [ here]. It pulls data from other pages and displays it on its own page. The real benefit of this is that you can update multiple tables from the one subject page. On the Category:BattleMechs, you might just want a list of all mechs and fast way to sort them by tonnage or to know which ones are clan or Inner Sphere, but on the timetable page you're just interested in knowing when all the mechs were frst made. It's basically a useful tool for displaying data in an organized way.--Seth 10:40, 24 December 2011 (PST)
Looks pretty interesting, I can probably get it installed. My only concern is the sheer size of the extension. Can you explain the project you want this for? Is it a timeline or something similar? Nicjansma 11:15, 19 January 2012 (PST)
A timeline was something I was thinking would be interesting. I don't think I've seen a centralized page that displays all the production, extinction, and reintroduction years of the mechs. The cool thing about this is that you don't have to actually edit a timetable page continuously, you simply edit the Mech's page and the other page is automatically updated. It's basically a great tool for creating sortable tables of information. For example, this (BattleTechWiki:BattleMech Portal) is a pretty cool page for filtering mechs quickly, but with this extension, you can create a single table of all the mechs and sort them by name, weight, weight class, faction, tech, or battle value with a single click. --Seth 01:20, 22 January 2012 (PST)
OK, extension installed, but I haven't yet enabled all of the sub-extensions. I'm thinking we can enable specific ones as-needed? Here's a list of extensions it includes: Semantic Bundle. Is there a project that you would like to start with that we can test it with? If so, do you know which extensions you would use? Nicjansma 10:13, 10 February 2012 (PST)
I think all the Semantic extensions I am used to are included in the bundle, but if I see something else, I'll let you know here. I've started working on a BattleMech Timetable, but there is one thing you could do that would help me out. The list is currently limited to a maximum of 500, however there are more than 500 Battlemechs and I would like them all listed on one page. Would you mind adding the current line to the LocalSettings.php under where you added Semantic Wiki?

Thanks--Seth 13:28, 15 February 2012 (PST)

Sure, updated Nicjansma 11:53, 1 March 2012 (PST)
Thank you, I was going to ask for this as well!--S.gage 12:26, 1 March 2012 (PST)

Semantic Results Formats[edit]

I am interested in creating a timeline for the overall history of the BattleTech Universe. It would be similar to the current Timeline page, but instead of events showing up as bullet points, they would be displayed on a scrollable timeline similar to this one. If it works, it could be applied to timelines for specific eras or wars, like the FedComm Civil War or 4th Succession War. To get this to work though, Semantic Wiki Formats needs to be installed. It can be downloaded from here.--Seth 09:45, 12 March 2012 (PDT)

Cool, it was installed with the Semantic Bundle but not enabled. I've enabled it. Nicjansma 10:59, 14 March 2012 (PDT)
Awesome thanks! You can see what I am working on with this now on the Sandbox page where I've laid out all the wars onto a single scrollable timeline. It's one of the more flashy uses for the Semantic addon.--Seth 00:57, 15 March 2012 (PDT)

Deleting Spam Bot Accounts[edit]

Installing the Merge and Delete extension will allow administrators on here to delete all those spam bot accounts--Seth 06:38, 2 February 2012 (PST)

Excellent! Thank you, Seth. --break-- Nic: me want.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 10:32, 2 February 2012 (PST)
Installed! Nicjansma 10:07, 10 February 2012 (PST)


Hello Nicjansma, first I will thank you for that great place in the internet where I can find many informations and add further informaion by myself. I find the formating of the mech variant page not so good. I reworked the marauder variant User:Neuling/Variant Formatting‎ as an example: please tell me what do you think about the new look. Tnx Neuling 13:30, 10 February 2012 (PST)

The problem with that is that when you add all the variants to the menu, it makes the menu too tall and you don't see any of the actual text without scrolling down. You could make it so the text is squeezed between the menu box and information box, but it wouldn't look very good that way I think.--Seth 09:14, 17 February 2012 (PST)

Uploading Database info[edit]

Hi Nic, hope all is well! I have a database on planet(system) coordinates, relative distances & ownership history(albeit with gaps here and there) in a spreadsheet. The information is first(ownership history), second-hand(coordinates) & third-hand(relative distances) from various CBT sources, and I would like to assist the Project: Planets Team in updating the information on the Planets pages using these data. Doneve advised me to drop you a message to see if there's a way to automate this process of updating the planet pages using the data that I (and others) have collected. Regards! -Volt 16:01, 28 February 2012 (PST)

I think I can help with that, but I would need to know more about what your goal is.--Seth 09:52, 29 February 2012 (PST)
Hi Seth, basically I want to automate updating certain pieces of information on several articles to eliminate the repetitive EDIT PASTE CHECK SAVE, since all the data given are already available but are just in a different medium.-Volt 16:27, 29 February 2012 (PST)
Well, that is certainly possible with Semantic Wiki. Give me an example of what you are looking for and I'll come up with a way to do it.--Seth 22:43, 1 March 2012 (PST)
Hi Seth, I have this excel file here and I'd like to take the coordinates and the faction ownership at a particular year (column) and upload the data into each of the 3009 articles. I'd have to reformat the content of the cells to make it uniform to what the Project: Planets teem wants displayed but that's a minor issue that can be done in a couple of minutes' time.-Volt 13:57, 2 March 2012 (PST)
Oh, I misunderstood what you were asking for. Try giving this site a shot and see if you can simply copy and paste each line you want from the excel file to that page.--Seth 16:27, 2 March 2012 (PST)

Mobile BTW[edit]

Thanks a lot for this, Nic. While I do a lot of my mobile-browsing of BTW vandal-spotting (or at least I used to!), I love the versatility of this mobile version. It operates just like my Wikipedia app. It's great. I like how the article picture leads the page and the sections have hot buttons to open. I'll definitely use it when I am intending to just look up info on our 'verse.
I intend to point out this new feature on the BT forums, but before that: are there any plans to create the Sarna BTW identity for that first page?

Cool, I'm glad you like it. It was luckily easy to do with a recent MediaWiki project MobileFrontend. What do you mean by BTW identity? A special forum on the forums page for the wiki? Nicjansma 09:12, 2 March 2012 (PST)
Sorry. More clear, now that I'm fully awake. I'm talking about when you first type in the url, you see the standard MediaWiki logo/site environment, as well as the search field. There's nothing to indicate to the user they're at Sarna's BTW (other than the disablement preference box). Looking at the extension, it looks like the setting of $wgMobileFrontendLogo would help address this (maybe an Atlas/Mad Cat/Grasshopper silhouette/icon?). But something really needs to easily say, "Sarna" or "BattleTechWiki" (or both). Capiche? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 10:36, 2 March 2012 (PST)
Ahh yes, good point. I've added a logo and a one-liner. Unfortunately the MobileFrontend extension isn't very mature yet so there's no way to include a template for the mobile homepage. Still, it's currently better than before. Nicjansma 15:23, 2 March 2012 (PST)
Yeah, you're right in that it is still lacking, but at least visitors know exactly where they are. The mobile app is a really cool feature. Thanks for adding it, Nic.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 07:41, 3 March 2012 (PST)

Edit Counter[edit]

Hey Nic - Edit Counter seems down again, or at least my link is broken. Can you post to my talk page? Thanks! ClanWolverine101 20:53, 29 March 2012 (PDT)

Should be fixed now! Nicjansma 00:41, 2 April 2012 (PDT)
Thanks! ClanWolverine101 07:33, 2 April 2012 (PDT)

Question: Can we get a count on 'Update Needed' links[edit]

Nic - I was wondering if there was a way to tell how many "Update Needed" links an article has, or to maybe sort a "find" feature on how many. I know there's a category for "articles needing updates", but that doesn't tell us if there are one product listed in the tag or 20. Is there an easy way to do this? Thanks for your time. ClanWolverine101 11:47, 14 June 2012 (PDT)

Hm, since we're just using a simple template to mark pages as "Update Needed", I'm not sure there's a way to get a more detailed list of pages with how many per page. Nicjansma 09:43, 15 June 2012 (PDT)
Okay, thanks anyway. ClanWolverine101 17:21, 15 June 2012 (PDT)


Hy Nic, hope all is well with you, how we can handle the spambot attacks over the last 1-2 months, Frabby do a hell of job to delete and merge the anonymos IPS, is there any way to stopp the spam attackes, can you update some of the sarna code or other thinks to stop them, greetings.--Doneve 19:13, 16 July 2012 (PDT)

There are a number of things that can be done, but it requires an active person who has ftp access to keep on top of this spam. Rotating through different captcha questions and programs is a good idea. Blocking known lists of IPs is another. Changing the id of the forms on the login page is the next project I plan on doing on my wiki, but again, these all need ftp access. Without that, the attacks will only get worse.--Seth 22:29, 12 August 2012 (PDT)
Working with the other admins to discuss how we can fix this issue. Nicjansma (talk) 10:52, 18 October 2012 (PDT)

Spam getting out of hand[edit]


Could you please have a look at BTW:Admins page? Doneve listed a lot of spambots here, and though I've deleted many (and working on more) it's getting a bit nuts. Could you please remove all the "Are you a human" questions and add some new ones? It looks like we've been hacked again.

There are also some nice thoughts about how to eliminate/reduce this from Seth.


--Mbear(talk) 07:18, 25 September 2012 (PDT)

It was actually me who listed the spambots (I don't want to get Doneve in trouble by association) BrokenMnemonic 07:29, 25 September 2012 (PDT)
Working with the other admins to discuss how we can fix this issue. Nicjansma (talk) 10:52, 18 October 2012 (PDT)

Question of Walkthrough[edit]

Hello Nic, first, sorry for my bad english, I'm from Germany so...don't ask me. I've got a question: On the article of Mechwarrior 4 Mercenaries are shown the campaigns, but no walkthrough or some kind of that. I asked myself and so you, too, if I (or Others) can edit a walkthrough of the campaign of Mechwarrior Mercenaries? I already 3 Times played this game to the end so I think I won't have problems with editing it. I hope you reply my question. (Did I wrote it on the right place?) Thanks, MrAtlasfighter (talk) 01:34, 7 October 2012 (PDT)

Chiming in here: Yes, the article needs to be expanded with more details on the individual missions and context. A writeup of the storyline would be appreciated. A "Walkthrough" in the sense of gaming tips doesn't belong on the article page proper, but I reckon it could be written into a subpage.
PS: Schönen Gruß auch, bei Problemen gerne mich fragen! :) Frabby (talk) 02:31, 7 October 2012 (PDT)

User Database Problem[edit]

Over the course of the recent spambot flood, the number of spambot user accounts that produce a database error when trying to Merge & Delete them has grown - from a total of 2 in 2011 to seven in one day today. You said last year that the issue seemed to be benign, and with only two instances it wasn't much of an issue anyways. Now, with the number of cases of Database Corruption skyrocketing, I wanted to bring it up again for a possible re-check. Is it still considered benign, or a problem cascading through the database that's getting worse until it kills the site? Frabby (talk) 08:32, 6 October 2012 (PDT)

This problem is becoming more prevalent. I've been unable to delete several spammers today.--Mbear(talk) 11:21, 10 October 2012 (PDT)
I'm looking into how to fix this properly.