User talk:Bryan

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After the chat we had about the limitations of the internal search system of MediaWiki I took a look at wikimedia for search extensions. "Lucene Search" seemed to be the best bet, but after fighting to get the backend for it built and installed I learned it wasn't any better than the built-in system. (In truth, its worse. No ability to select additional namespaces to search in, requires manual dumping of the database and importing into the backend for indexing, etc...) All the code is there to support it, though. However I've shut down the search daemon and disabled the extension. I'm going to go back to poking at the MediaWiki internals to see if I can change the default search to include the User namespace. ShadowWolf 21:22, 21 July 2007 (EDT)

When Wikipedia's under extreme load it shuts down the internal search engine to conserve resources and instead present a wrapper for a Google search limited to the server, perhaps you could use something like that? Wouldn't work until Google started spidering us, which I don't know if they've done yet, but with MediaWiki's search as poor as it is it may be an improvement. Bryan 02:42, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
There are several extensions on MetaWiki for Google searches. As far as I can tell from the stats page Google has started the indexing process. (look down under the "bots" section). I'll get to work doing the reorg so Category:Author points to author homepages and Category:Stories By Author is the stories themselves. (It's better if we stay ahead of the curve, no?) ShadowWolf 13:13, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
Sure, though staying behind the curve also has its advantages (we'll know more about what the organization of Shifti actually looks like :). I'd advise lowercase titles for pages and categories where possible, BTW, it makes them more natural to link to. Bryan 13:18, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
Now you tell me. I've already gone and finished the reorg. How about I put together a few templates to somewhat automate the categorization and linking process? ShadowWolf 13:39, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
If you like, though I don't really see the point of turning [[Category:Author]] into {{Category author}} and such. I'll convert over the category to lower case, I'm used to doing that sort of thing over on Wikipedia. Bryan 13:49, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
I was thinking more along the lines of {{AuthorPage}} adding [[Category:(Author Name)]] to the {{Title}} template. No need to go crazy with stuff like that. ShadowWolf 14:04, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
A potential gotcha you might run into: If you put {{PAGENAME}} on a template, it resolves as the template's page name. So every author page could wind up categorized in Category:AuthorPage. You'd probably need to take the category name as a parameter, or ask that every user substitute the template rather than transclude it (if you use "{{subst:template name}}" instead of just "{{template name}}" the text of the template page is inserted directly into the article the moment you click "save"). Huh. I see now that you already use this in Template:Title and it works the other way. I'm going to have to double-check my Wikipedia experience on this one. :) Bryan 14:28, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
I'm also not a fan of categories in templates because it makes it impossible to use the template elsewhere (such as on a help page describing its usage) without incorrectly categorizing the other pages it appears in. I really think we're not a big enough wiki yet to be worrying much about this, I'm capable of cleaning everything up manually. It only took me two minutes to switch everything over from Stories By Author to stories by author. Bryan 14:21, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
Not a problem. But look at the hoops I had to jump through for the {{part}} template, which refused to resolve inside the table on the help page. ShadowWolf 14:31, 22 July 2007 (EDT)

Searching and redirects

I think we might be able to sidestep the whole "search upgrade" thing by adding redirects - put on at Companion (Bob Stein), have it redirect to User:Posti/Companion and it should work, no? ShadowWolf 14:48, 22 July 2007 (EDT)

Yup. Wikipedia uses redirects of common misspellings in the same manner. No need for the parenthetical (Bob Stein) unless there's some other page already called "Companion", though. Bryan 15:06, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
Actually, I guess the parenthetical might be useful for people who are searching for "Bob Stein". The category would be a more useful place to find that but I guess people might not know to look there initially. Bryan 15:47, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
That was my thought on it. It would allow for a search for Bob Stein to turn it up. Though you are correct, the category page would be the better spot. ShadowWolf 16:29, 22 July 2007 (EDT)

Dragons of Histh organization

About the "Dragons of Histh" stuff... I'm not to comfortable with "Book the One", "Book the Two" and such being main namespace entries. I'm asking before I do anything, but I'd feel better if they were moved to, say, "Dragons of Histh: Book the One" or "Book the One (Dragons of Histh)". As well, does this "Kinglake Film Partnership" actually exist or is it just some fluff name that 'Loathesome Dragon' created to make the setting seem more important/famous than it really is? (And if it is just a fluff name then I think it should be moved to User:Loathesomedragon/Kinglake_Film_Partnership. If it isn't it seems like rampant advertisement and I will delete it with that being the reason.) -- ShadowWolf 00:03, 5 August 2007 (EDT)

I was thinking of moving those stories myself, actually. The names seemed overly generic and could be confusing. But as for the Kinglake thing, I don't see any reason not to leave it be; it's not likely that anyone's going to name a story that and it's not going to be in any story categories, so nobody will see it unless they're actively searching for it. So there's no clutter. Bryan 00:30, 5 August 2007 (EDT)

New Templates

I've noticed that you've been adding some new templates lately. However, the Help:Templates page still needs updating with the howtos and examples. Or are they still in the rough? --Buck 19:38, 2 September 2007 (EDT)

Not really, I just haven't got to updating it yet (and the external image template is covered in the image help page, which IMO is a more approriate place for it). I'll update tonight after I've done more work on Against Type, my creativity is tied up at the moment. :) Bryan 19:50, 2 September 2007 (EDT)

Against Type

Your ISP is blocking my emails again. I can't send you the current file. It's almost done, too. :P --Buck 22:39, 7 September 2007 (EDT)


In addition to the Captcha there are now two blacklists, one for certain username patterns and one for certain URL's. Username Blacklist can be found at MediaWiki:usernameblacklist and the URL blacklist is at MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist -- ShadowWolf 21:00, 12 October 2007 (EDT)

I've gone and slapped the spam blacklist code around a bit because it irritated the crap out of me earlier. Won't be irritating me anymore, even though it's still installed and functional. — ShadowWolf 02:53, 8 January 2008 (EST)

Can you disable the captcha for me, please? Its a pain to recognize very jabbered letters, I have to post one story many times consuming a traffic. Strange, it requests identify eben for a page without any links.Inry 11:39, 10 February 2009 (EST)

Code Update

You asked for it, you got it. A list of random pages is available via <randompages/> – it currently understands "style" and "class" as standard HTML parameters and can take a "count" parameter, which determines the length of the list generated. It is currently completely undecorated, so I think I'll set it up so it you can do <randompages>title text</randompages>

I also fixed up Special:Random to search NS_MAIN and NS_USER by default while not interfering with the operation of Special:Random/<namespace> —ShadowWolf 23:40, 20 October 2007 (EDT)

Update — added the title bar stuff. Two new paramters to go with it, "titlestyle" and "titleclass" – these control the look of the displayed title text. — ShadowWolf 00:00, 21 October 2007 (EDT)

More news. I've added the requested "Total Number Of Articles" bit to the categories page. Unfortunately it only covers articles and not subcategories. Doing subcategories is going to take another chunk of patching. — ShadowWolf 19:57, 23 October 2007 (EDT)

Unfortunately it's borked at this point and combining sub-categories and articles in one lump. I'm going to disable it for now and go back to the poking. — ShadowWolf 20:00, 23 October 2007 (EDT)
And I've fixed it. Problem is that this would never fly for MediaWiki - it's making a massive database query and iterating over the results to count the articles. On Wikipedia, for example, this would require getting millions of results and iterating over them - quite intensive. — ShadowWolf 20:35, 23 October 2007 (EDT)

другие языки / International

How to correctly add to the Shifti pages on Russian? I have some translation of your stories and some my own stories. 04:00, 20 December 2007 (EST)

Neat! Shifti runs on MediaWiki software, which is fully Unicode-compliant. It should be possible to just copy and paste Cyrillic text straight into the edit window and save it as-is, and you should be able to use Cyrillic in page titles and user names and such as well. Give it a try and let me know if any specific problems crop up.
Also, I'd be happy to see Russian translations of my stories posted here. It's something I'd never have imagined would ever happen :) Just make sure you ask other authors for permission before posting translations of any of theirs, though - copyright remains with the original authors and if they don't want translations posted they get the final say on that. Bryan 04:13, 20 December 2007 (EST)
Same here. BD's stories are excellent and if they have been translated into another language, it'd be nice to see them here so his international fans can read them.
As a side note, it's wonderful that the non-english-speaking furs and TF fans have found Shifti and are interested in participating. This is the kind of thing I was hoping for when I decided to host the site. ShadowWolf 04:24, 20 December 2007 (EST)

Alex Warlorn said ...

I just want to say, I'm sorry that my comment offended you. That was not my intention. I have been a fan of your writing for YEARS.

--Alex Warlorn 00:35, 25 December 2007 (EST)

Which comment? I don't recall being offended by any comments on Shifti, so perhaps something's being misinterpreted, or perhaps my memory is faulty. Bryan 01:25, 25 December 2007 (EST)


Hey there, I've been contemplating this since a conversation I had with bard a while back about the number of comments posted to storys on shifti and I've been wondering if maybe there are some people that just arent familiar with or crazy about the commenting method of a wiki.

I've also been pondering a kind of central place where people can post or discuss whatever they want about stuff on shifti or about transformation in general, basically a forum like Proboards linked to from the main page.

Just wondering what you and shadow wolf think about this. User:Devin

Well, I consider TSA-Talk to be the sorta-semi-official "forum" for Shifti. This site originally grew out of the need to replace the TSA with a new archive that would be more flexible and easier to keep updated, so inheriting the associated fora seems reasonable to me. Better to use existing places with existing populations than to fragment the userbase unnecessarily, IMO. But if other fora are created I'd have no problem with listing them here too. Bryan 12:59, 26 December 2007 (EST)

Admin help please

Bryan, I should have read the manual first, but I didn't. I should have moved story "Mermaid" to "Paying attention to detail 1" and "Mermaid Too" to "Paying attention to detail 2" and "Paying attention to detail" to "Paying attention to detail 3" and the irony is not lost on me, but I created new pages with those names and then realised there is no 'delete' function. Now I've created new pages I can't move to them, I think an admin needs to sort out the mess. Apologies in advance - sdw.

No problem. Just to make sure I follow your request correctly, are you're wanting me to delete the pages Mermaid, Mermaid Too and Paying attention to detail? Or do you want the revision histories of those pages to be merged into the new pages' ones instead? For future reference you can request page deletions by adding the string "{{request deletion}}" to the page. Alternately, if you're concerned that people might have linked to the old pages and will now get lost looking for your story sections, you can redirect the old pages by replacing the contents with "#REDIRECT [[new page name]]". Bryan 18:40, 3 January 2008 (EST)

Could You please check if my story The Right of Dreamers is listed properly in search categories and is accessible for anyone who might want to read it. I submitted the story two months ago and there is no single comment on it yet, neither good nor bad one :(. I’m not waiting for many comments for my other two stories as they are written in Russian language and therefore are unreadable for most shifti users, but The Right of Dreamers I wrote in English for it to be readable on shifti. I don’t want to think that my story wasn’t interpreting enough to leave a comment for at least a few people of those who should see it in Dragons category since it is there. Therefore I assume there might be some technical problems I don’t understand myself. GreyDragon 04:49, 17 November 2008 (EST)



I didn't know about watching pages, so I wasn't aware of the comment, I'll be amending my watchlist presently. The story was a request from Soty, and I was familiar with his work, but not the one you linked, thanks for that too. Feel free to have a go at editing the story. I'll go take a look at it as well when I have the time.

--Leasara 01:00, 16 February 2008 (EST)

I have tightened the story up a bit and caught a few typos. Let me know if you think it still needs work.

--Leasara 02:10, 18 February 2008 (EST)

Will do. Sorry I haven't got to giving any help myself yet, weekend's been pretty hectic for me. Bryan 02:48, 18 February 2008 (EST)

U-V said ...

Wow! My goodness, I'm touched and honoured (re: unequal share) That I could help inspire a story like that! It's very in keeping with the spirit of the little scenario I had slightly built up in mind. :)

--U-V 09:30, 27 March 2008 (EDT)

Thanks. I wrote it without referencing the image, just my memory of it, so the setting wound up slightly different - I take it the image was meant to be set on a ship. Oh well, a minor thing. It also wasn't the mass TF implied by the bit of text you included in the image description, but it didn't rule out anything like that happening subsequently. I've got other writing commitments right now so I can't extend it, but maybe later. :) Bryan 11:45, 27 March 2008 (EDT)


Hello again, Bryan. I have just finished creating my homepage on Shifti. I hope that the stories’ list I had just created will be interesting for other Shifti users. The list has only 3 stories at the moment but I hope that there will be more with time either with my own search efforts or thanks to help of more experienced TF readers and writers (including You, sir). As for my own TF stories, they are in Russian language. Will it make sense posting them on my Shifti homepage anyway? --GreyDragon 14:07, 21 August 2008 (EDT)

Sure! There was a fellow a while back who was doing Russian translations of existing stories (see #другие языки / International earlier on this page), I was keen to host a bunch of those here. If you like you could create a category for Russian-language stuff, if more comes along it'd be neat to have a directory of it. Shifti supports unicode, so you can use Cyrillic characters both within the page text and in page titles (eg, Русский язык). I'm not a Russian speaker myself, unfortunately, so I won't be able to help much with the editing and such. Bryan 14:22, 21 August 2008 (EDT)

bobby said ...

great site thanks see u

--bobby 17:13, 23 September 2008 (EDT)

Um, thanks. :) Bryan 19:34, 23 September 2008 (EDT)


One of these days I'll remember to double-check that I'm actually giving the greeting on the right page... I keep forgetting that the "new user" entries on Special:RecentChanges doesn't have a 'Talk' link. And I guess I should also keep from editing when distracted :) -- ShadowWolf 06:12, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

No problem, everything's easily fixable. :) Bryan 07:41, 8 March 2009 (UTC)


Viqsi has said that Web comics comes up as the #2 result on Google in a search for Shifti. That might be the reason that it seems to be getting hit more often than other pages.

Besides that, though, it is looking like Shifti might be pulling in some spammers/vandals who hit a page once or twice to test if the site is being patrolled. There are a lot of Wiki's that have been massively vandalized and the vandals might have been following that pattern.

Beyond that... I had thought about protecting Web comics but decided not to because I was unsure if it could be blocked against just anon-edits. Good to see that it can. -- ShadowWolf 02:38, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Yup, semi-protection blocks both anonymous edits and edits by accounts that are relatively young - I believe the default is four days. That prevents throwaway accounts from being easily used to circumvent it. Good to know why web comics was picked as the target; that means it's unlikely that the vandal will just start picking other pages at random. Not that there are a heck of a lot of publically-editable pages, since most authors seem to prefer the subpage route. Bryan 05:25, 18 June 2009 (UTC)


It seems that the Default Sort Template doesn't work anymore. In Category Pages, my stories appear in User:Forestier/... Forestier 14:32, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

I made a mistake. The story are correctly sorted ; but I remember that they used to appeared under their real title, not under their page name. Forestier 14:49, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, this was previously done by a custom tweak done to Shifti's code that was lost in the crash. It's been noticed and we'll have it fixed back up soon. :) Bryan 08:08, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Forestier 20:13, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Critique Request

Your Xanadu Universe has really struck a chord with me. Since I first discovered it a few weeks ago, it has inspired me to write the first fiction I've done in more than a decade. I would appreciate it if some time, when you have the time, you could read what I've written and tell me what you think of it and or how I could improve it. There is no hurry, and I won't be upset if you decline. I'm a grown up and can take criticism.  :-) Thank you Alveric

Sure thing, I'll give it a read-over tomorrow after sleep (to make sure I read it right :). Bryan 08:31, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

I've posted my stories on Deviant Art and would like to post on TSATalk. How do I properly give you credit for creating the Xanadu Universe? I only know you as Bryan.


On DA I gave a short discription of the Xanadu Universe and directed folks who want to learn more to

When you want to, take another look at 'Wynd, Skye etc.' And tell me what you think so far. No hurry, it's far from finished.


Permission Sought

Despite the long odds against it, I've decided to bite the bullet and see if I can get my Mermaid stories published as a novel. I want to seek your permission first, since the Xanadu setting is such an important inspiration in their creation and Eric and Felix show up briefly as characters. I'll give full credit and, as before, I won't be upset if you decline. Thanks --Alveric 17:07, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

By all means, permission granted! If by some chance you get it published and have the opportunity to add an author's note or forward or other such bit of text I'd be tickled if you managed to slip in mention of the Xanadu shared universe existing beyond just that story, but even that's not really a request. :) Bryan 04:25, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Actually, how would you feel about writing a preface? --Alveric 05:18, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

An Update: My Mermaid stories have been published as The Accidental Mermaid. It's available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You're on the dedication page along with a mention for I'm working on the sequel, The Girl With the Sea-Green Eyes (also here on Shifti). Alot of the questions I get involve the Xanadu Event. I refer people here, but I would still be interested in a preface from you. --Alveric (talk) 16:27, 6 August 2012 (UTC)