Forums: Village pump → Recipe tables
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This subject of this discussion is within the scope of the Recipe Project.

This discussion has been split up. Discussion about the naming of recipe table subpages has been moved to Forum:Naming of Recipe Subpages.

Should Recipe Tables be Standardised?

What do we do with the recipes of various professions? Each profession has its own name and own tables, while I think that all tables must be the same. That would be more pleasing. The name of the articles with the tables has different names so that they are hard to find. What do we do about this?

--Hans Kamp (talk) 18:00, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

As I have closely followed and helped maintain Alchemy_recipes and many of its related pages since 2008, I would definitely want to be involved in any discussion to suddenly change it to become "standardized" with the other types of professions. I'm not opposed to standardisation, it makes sence, but I don't think it is something to rush into without some good discussion and consencus before hand (maybe its just the chill of Wikia rushing into things that makes me think this way, eh?). Ddcorkum (talk) 23:54, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Standardisation can be good, but I don't think the word "must" is really applicable. For example, there are some data fields that might be applicable to Inscription (whether a glyph is Prime, Major, or Minor; what class a glyph is for), that obviously don't pply to anything else. So, let us discuss the possibility ... but let's not get stuck on "must", because the first thing we should idiscuss is, should we. --PaxArcana (talk) 04:47, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Although I said "must", I actually meant to say "should" or "I think it's recommended". I tend to say that with Patch 4.0.3 the recipes will be overhauled, especially those resulting in items, such as Blacksmithing, Leatherworking and Tailoring. Hans Kamp (talk) 11:35, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Recipe Table Difficulty Colours

I've looked at the various professions, and noticed that many have tables that include the skill at which a recipe may acquired, followed by the skill at which it changes colour to yellow, green and grey. I just wanted to hilight a template used by Alchemy recipes which consolidates these four columns into a single template, to reduce typing and make things more clear. The example below demonstrates the result. Be advised that the result is actually 4 columns.D.D. Corkum (T / C) 17:21, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Code Result
{{RecipeTable/DifficultyHeader}} Orange Yellow Green Gray
{{RecipeTable/Difficulty|10|20|30|40}} 10 20 30 40

I am thinking of creating another template RecipeTable/DifficultyHeader that will output the 4 column headers at the top, to further consolidate the transcludes. This is based on feedback someone gave in Talk:Cataclysm alchemy recipes. If I make this template, I'll add it to the example. Anyways, Alchemy has been using this for a long time. Should we consider using this in the other professions?D.D. Corkum (T / C) 17:21, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Unless there is a good reason for inconsistency (strangely different mechanic for a particular profession, somewhat like how Riding doesn't really work like other skills) and you have the time and motivation, you should try to make them consistent.
Keep up the good work. --Gengar orange 22x22.png Fandyllic (talk · contribs) 4:36 PM PST 20 Nov 2010
As promised, I have created the new DifficultyHeader template and the demonstration is added to the above table. The documentation for both pages has also been improved considerably. This will hopefully make usage easier. D.D. Corkum (T / C) 16:01, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

There are different methods that have been used by different professions, as the table below outlines. I see benefits to each different method. The LW/JC method is nice and condensed, wilhe the Alc/Insc method is more "tabular". The advantage of the data being tabular is that it can be sorted and it is more at the discretion of the user agent how it will appear. The advantage of the condensed format is that it takes up less space. If we were at Wikia, I would suggest the condensed method. Since we are not constrained by rediculous skins, perhaps the tabular method is appropriate? D.D. Corkum (T / C) 18:03, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Profession Header Format Uses RecipeTable Templates
Cell Format
Orange Yellow Green Gray Uses {{RecipeTable/Difficulty|10(3)|20|30|40}} and {{RecipeTable/DifficultyHeader}}
The 10(3) orange means that it gives 3 skillup points while orange.
Exception: Apprentice Blacksmithing
10(3) 20 30 40
Tailoring Skill Boring... no colour!
Yellow Green Grey
Uses {{Skill|Skill<br/>|Yellow|Green|Grey}} and {{Skill|10|20|30|40}}
1 20 30 40
I would use the Alchemy method, but add tooltips to the header color names that describe what each color means. Multiple point skillups should be noted with a reference (<ref>...</ref>). --Gengar orange 22x22.png Fandyllic (talk · contribs) 8:59 PM PST 21 Nov 2010
The tooptips are a good idea, for both methods. I will add it to the RecipeTable/DifficultyHeader template. D.D. Corkum (T / C) 04:01, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Meta Data Approach


Instead of putting the skill requirements into a table, and linking to the item/recipe, I am begining to think that it would be more useful to insert the skill requirements as meta data on the item/recipe page itself, and then simply use a template to import the data. For example, something like {{:Minor Mana Potion|tpl=RecipeTable/Difficulty}} and the item would have meta data |skill=10(3) 20 30 40. Obviously this requires a bit of standardisation to avoid conflicting with the tooltips, but I think it is possible. I am going to conduct a small trial tomorrow to see if this works.D.D. Corkum (T / C) 03:01, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

On further thought, this would lead toward gradually making the entire table into a template. It would be nice if the entire table was something like the following preformatted text sample. This would make it very easy to change the appearance of the tables in just a few clicks in the future. D.D. Corkum (T / C) 03:48, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

I have created a sandbox in my userspace to experiment with adding attributes to a Minor Mana Potion. The following table is created using {{:User:Ddcorkum/Sandbox|tpl=RecipeTable/Difficulty}} D.D. Corkum (T / C) 15:18, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

The table below is created using {{:User:Ddcorkum/Sandbox|tpl=RecipeTable/RecipeRow}} and all of the information is based on meta data in my sandbox tooltip. The source column is not complete because I need to create some more meta data to cover all possible source scenarios (rep vender, BoP recipe, trainer, etc). D.D. Corkum (T / C) 16:35, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Although I like this approach overall, I'm concerned that new editors will be completely confused by it. You may want to work up a commented out raw wikitext table version for new editors. Also, make sure to document at least the parameters of your templates as clearly as possible. --Gengar orange 22x22.png Fandyllic (talk · contribs) 9:40 AM PST 27 Nov 2010
Agreed -- I will provide full documentation similar to Template:Tooltip or Template:Proftip. Right now I am noticing that there are conflicts between Tooltip and Proftip that prevent both from being used on the same page (which is appropriate for some alchemy recipes), namely that the two share a few common attributes but with different purpose (for example, does cooldown= refer to the period you have to wait to craft the next item or the time between use of the created item). I will ensure that no similar conflicts exist with my attributes, by using uniquely named ones whenever the meaning is not identical to that of Tooltip. D.D. Corkum (T / C) 17:48, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I've changed things up a bit. I tried to create a template that would accept the names of the recipes as parameters and do everything for you, including making the table structure. However, doing this effectively requires the use of loops and I don't think there is any loop extension installed. So instead, I have gone in a different direction. The RT/RecipeRow syntax is probably going to be confusing for users, so I have decided to simplify the syntax. The preformated text and output table below demonstrate the new input/output I have coded. D.D. Corkum (T / C) 22:26, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
The table (and preformated code sample) below demonstrates different types of recipes (differentiated by how they are learned). I have made improvements to the template so that it will do a better job of handling missing meta-data attributes. Before I move to the next step, does anyone have any ideas of "unusual" recipes that I could use to test this with? D.D. Corkum (T / C) 22:01, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Can you handle recipes that require special objects to activate or be nearby (anvil, forge, moonwell, etc.)? Just a thought. --Gengar orange 22x22.png Fandyllic (talk · contribs) 5:42 PM PST 5 Dec 2010
I am adding  [Cardinal Ruby] because it is learned through a quest and requires the alchemist to be in possession of a  [Philosopher's Stone] (which is similar to a requirement to be near an anvil, conceptually). I will move this discussion to another heading though, because it really is an issue until itself: should such a requirement be displayed here, or perhaps on the proftip? D.D. Corkum (T / C) 04:22, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Proftip has a tools= attribute for things like  [Philosopher's Stone]. I've added to it a nearby= attribute for things like Anvil. I also am working away at making it possible to have proftips appear as a tooltip. In the example below, the recipe for transmute: cardinal ruby has this as an example. D.D. Corkum (T / C) 05:55, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I think you have to ask Pcj about proftip support in tooltips. In your {{item}}  [Transmute: Cardinal Ruby] link, the tooltip doesn't load proftip info. The {{loot}} template version [Transmute: Cardinal Ruby] doesn't work either. --Gengar orange 22x22.png Fandyllic (talk · contribs) 11:06 PM PST 5 Dec 2010
Proftips are now programmed to be used as a tooltip -- although I'm going to take things one step further and next weekend design an actual recipe link template to give the fancy yellow text and everything. D.D. Corkum (T / C) 05:57, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I have removed all of the code samples above and placed it into a separate section below, to isolate discussion from the table. The table will be updated to reflect the "current status" only -- I won't bother keeping outdated examples since it just clutters the page up! Anyways, right now I have [[Transmute: Cardinal Ruby] up. I have made a big change from previous versions of this idea: I am linking to the "spell" to create a cardinal ruby, rather than linking to a cardinal ruby directly. For transmutes it makes sence, because the page exists. For most other items, the page does not exist (on Wowpedia, though several database-oriented fan sites follow this approach). In order for this template to work, it would require that every crafted item have the following pages:
  • [[Love Potion]], the item that is created (when applicable), should have an item {{Tooltip}};
  • [[Love Potion (alchemy)]], the "spell" to create the item, should have a {{Proftip}};
  • [[Recipe: Love Potion]], the item that teaches the spell (when applicable), should have a {{Tooltip}};
This approach would be a massive undertaking, except perhaps for enchanting where proftip is already used. Once completed though, we would have a robust set of meta-data to carry us forward. My RecipeTable template is a simple example of how a little scripting could then use that meta-data to create a rich view for the user. The alternative is to duplicate the information in multiple places, which is generally poor information management and more work in the long run. What do you folks think? D.D. Corkum (T / C) 02:52, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Test Example

{| class="darktable zebra"
|+ My favourite recipe list
! {{RecipeTable/Header}}
| {{RecipeTable|Cardinal Ruby}}
My favourite recipe list
Recipe Reagents Difficulty Source of Recipe
Orange Yellow Green Gray
 [Transmute: Cardinal Ruby]
1x  [Cardinal Ruby]

1x  [Scarlet Ruby]

1x  [Eternal Fire]

Using Inv misc orb 01.png

450 N Alchemy [10-30] Cardinal Ruby

Going Live

I am now putting this template into use on the main namespace, as I think the test here was successful. The illustrious section of Alchemy recipes uses this template for recipes that may be learned from a trainer. The red links throughout the table are a result of the recipes not yet being documented on wowpedia (the item they create is documented, ususally, but the recipe is not). Please provide feedback on this live deployment here. D.D. Corkum (T / C) 17:08, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Request to break this page up into separate posts

It's getting hard to track all the threads and you may discourage people from engaging in discussion when they see the "wall of text" (and tables Winky.gif). Just a suggestion. Break it up any way that seems logical. --Gengar orange 22x22.png Fandyllic (talk · contribs) 10:34 AM PST 9 Dec 2010

I agree. Instead of making it separate threads, I am going to take the initiative to structure this into an actual project. See Wowpedia:Recipe project (still a work in progress). D.D. Corkum (T / C) 03:15, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Split done. I may do further splits. D.D. Corkum (T / C) 05:47, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Recipe Project

I am now initiating the Recipe Project, to continue and expand the work of this discussion (before the split) in a more organised and coherent manner. All persons interested in further developing recipes on Wowpedia are encouraged to view the project scope and tasks, and consider joining. Hans Kamp, I hope you will consider joining and taking the lead on some of the tasks, since you got the ball rolling on this in the first place. D.D. Corkum (T / C) 05:50, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Duplication of work

Is there really a need to create a spell page for each alchemy 'spell' (and in extension, all the profession spells)? I see it as duplicating the work everyone needs to do. I can understand say,  [Recipe: Vial of the Sands] and  [Vial of the Sands] as they're the recipe, and the item it creates, however do we REALLY need to add a separate page Vial of the Sands (alchemy) when the only new information on it is just a spell id? Especially when it can just be added to the  [Recipe: Vial of the Sands] page? You're just making it more difficult/tedious to update everything when new things are released. Ressy (talk) 23:42, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I do agree there is some duplication of work going on here, but that has always been the case. In fact, simple information about a recipe is often documented in six places.
  • Source section of the created item or of the transmute/enchant
  • Body text of the item which teaches the recipe (ie  [Recipe: Vial of the Sands])
  • Meta data of the recipe 'spell' (generally done for transmutes and enchants)
  • On a profession recipe table (ie, Alchemy recipes)
  • On a crafted item by type table (ie, lists of tailoring cloth gloves or transmute)
  • On other content pages to provide specific subsets of information from a different viewpoint, such as transmutes that produce jewelcrafting mats
I think this is excessive duplication, and I would like to reduce it to storing the information in just one place:
  • The meta data of the recipe 'spell' (but for all recipes, not just transmutes and enchants)
Now at first this might seem like just extra work... but the trick is that once the meta data exists, templates may be made to completely eliminate need to document the information in the other five locations. For example, the source section of a created item could be changed as follows:
{{itembox|The components are:
|Pyrium-Laced Crystalline Vial|q1=1
|Sands of Time|q2=8
|Flask of the Winds|q4=8
|Flask of Titanic Strength|q5=8
|Deepstone Oil|q6=8


{{RecipeBox|Vial of the Sands (alchemy)}}
This would reduce seven lines of text to one. You can do the same thing on the body text of the item which teaches the recipe. Now you have reduced 14 lines of text to two. Don't forget that the recipe table had all this info, so now its 21 lines of text you are replacing. Etc. If we can develop this into a well-documented, well thought out approach, we can actually make editing easier, not harder. The difficult hurdle is the first few steps. As I wrote above, this is not something that I can do alone. I am attempting to create Alchemy recipes/Illustrious as an example of a new direction that Wowpedia could go into the future. You might notice that it is significantly smaller in file size and generally easier to make -- of course it has a lot of red links to recipes that have not been made yet.
To get back to your question: is it really necessary to make these pages? No, its not. If we don't create and employ templates to present this meta data then it is a waste of time to create it. However, I hope the simple examples above have shown how the problem isn't necessarily that the recipe spell page is duplicating other content, rather it is everything else is duplicating it the recipe spell page. Wowpedia editing could actually be easier if we go through with this. D.D. Corkum (T / C) 00:32, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
The problem is you need to KISS. This current way isn't doing that. Its nice that you instead call a single template instead of having to manually type out the ingredients, but you're still duplicating the same info on 2 pages. Users aren't likely to put information into 2 different pages for a single item, when the only difference between them (ie recipe & spell page) is one page has an item id, and the other is a spell id. It'd be easier/faster to just edit the tooltip template for items to accept new values (hidden until they're needed), and then call the hidden data. Ressy (talk) 00:41, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Expanding on the tooltip template is an option I considered (originally it was the direction I was going with this), until I realized that there are conflicts between tooltip and proftip (which is resolvable) and there are some items created by more than one recipe (which really put a crux in it). If we ignore the latter issue, then we'll at least need to take a good rational look at tooltips used by various templates, and ensuring that there is good documentation and assistance from boilerplates in place to help users -- which is all the same things needed for the other option anyways.
As for the user bit, users will use the item boilerplate which right now tells them to fill out this giant itembox on the recipe. They won't do that though if we change the boilerplate to just have a single oneliner template call. Once the page is made, there will undoubtedly be a red link! But once you click on it, users will then be able to use the (existing!) recipe boilerplate to make it in little time. The information is only created once. Yes, its divided into two pages, but its still going to take no more time than what happens now because the pages will not be only differentiated by an item link. The recipe page won't have, for example, info about what that item can be used for (ie,  [Transmute: Cardinal Ruby] doesn't tell you what a  [Cardinal Ruby] can be cut into). Similarly, the item page won't have info about the recipe to make it (it'll have a template that presents it for you). It can be simple. Its just different and needs to be documented and fully implemented to be simple. Right now it looks hard because its not documented, not in the boilerplates and not what we have been doing for years. D.D. Corkum (T / C) 00:54, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
The "make the spell a separate page" concept was tried with item abilities, some good time ago. It was found to be essentially unmaintainable and unmaintained in fact. Just a caution. --Eirik Ratcatcher (talk) 23:28, 17 January 2011 (UTC)