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Old March 18th, 2005, 02:07 PM
RainOfSteel RainOfSteel is offline
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I had to think for quite awhile about where to post this. Technically, this is a questions and answers forum, and I suppose this an an "answer" provided when the question hasn't been specifically asked yet.

Some people will find this useful, others will find it a waste of time.


One thing that took me awhile to get the hand of around CotI was the proper use of "quoting blocks" when replying to posts using the “” symbol to "quote" the post.

"Quoting blocks" are the "tag" groups that make the horizontal bars appearing in posts, and these in turn clearly identify text in a stand-out way, so that everyone can see there is something special about that text. In this case, it means that the text was originally posted by someone else. A "tag" is a collection of characters, usually begun and ended by a pair of special characters.

The the software CotI runs on uses something called UBB Code to help with minor text formatting. UBB Code is what allows for italicized or bold text, embedded hypertext links, and "list" formats. If you following the above link, it will show you all the tags and their most basic uses (although that is all it will show you).


Part of the problem with the use of the "quoting block" tags is that the text box that appears with the quoted post's text in it is extremely poorly formatted, usually creating a spaghetti mess of text and tags that is impossible to read or understand just by looking at it.


Let's take at look at Andy Fralix's Revamp of ships' computers topic in The Fleet forum.

If I click the “” quoting symbol, roughly the following appears (attribution and first paragraph):


-------------------------


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Andy Fralix:
[QB] I have an idea for the revamp of Traveller computer design. I would like your input as to what parameters need to be included. Did I miss anything in the proposal below? If you like this idea, give me some input as to the set points of these parameters.
<snip>
[/QB]][/QUOTE]

-------------------------


Now, this is pretty simple. For some people, it might even be the "right" way to look at it. However, it isn't for me.

To start with, both "closing" tags are on the same line, but the opening tags aren't on the same line. It's easy to see and distinguish what is going on in this example, but is not so easy in even slightly more complicated posts.


Let's take a look at something only one stage more complicated. From the All in the family topic of The Fleet forum.

-------------------------

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Bhoins:
[QB] [QUOTE]Originally posted by RainOfSteel:
[qb] [QUOTE]Originally posted by Bhoins:
[qb] In CT Bridge space included such things as Avionics, Sensors, landing gear, airlocks, controls, the Captain's Office, CIC, etc. Though there is a point where the 2% really gets out of hand. I mean really, 2000 tons of bridge space per bridge? So to have a Bridge, auxiliary control and a Flag Bridge I am using 6000 tons (Granted that is a 100,000 ton Battle Cruiser but still, even on those ships every ton counts especially since more than 50% of the ship is engines and fuel.)? [/qb][/QUOTE]For large vessels, you could, technically, with clever layout and design, portion out the dTons from the standard 2% allotment between various compartments and can declare them "assigned" to any particular purpose. However, one "bridge" hit on the damage charts would render them all useless.

What there should be is a "Capital Ship Bridge" rule.

On vessels of 50K dTons and above, a Capital Ship Bridge or Advanced Capital Ship Bridge may be purchased.

[b]Capital Ship Bridge:[/b] Cost is x .2 additional. The 2% dTons allotment is divided into two compartments, bridge, and backup bridge. Both are separate hits on the damage charts (and both may control the ship like a standard bridge).

[b]Advanced Capital Ship Bridge[/b]: Cost is x .4 additional. The size increases to 3% of the ship's total dTons, but the allotment may now be divided into three compartments, bridge, backup bridge, and flag bridge. All are separate hits on the damage charts (and all may control the ship like a standard bridge).

Whenever a bridge hit is determined on the damage chart, for the [b]Capital Ship Bridge[/b] roll d6: 1-3 for bridge hit and 4-6 for backup bridge hit, for the [b]Advanced Capital Ship Bridge[/b] roll d6: 1-2 for bridge hit and 3-4 for backup bridge hit, 5-6 for flag bridge hit. [/qb][/QUOTE]I like it. It doesn't fit with the intention of the rules. But I like it! [img]smile.gif[/img] [/QB][/QUOTE]


-------------------------


Wow! That's is just three levels of nested quotes. Not even serious quoting! And it's a total visual mess.

Look at how the reply is pulled right up to the ends of the tags "I like it. I doesn't fit" winds up getting pulled up right before a [/qb][/QUOTE] tag pair.

The beginning isn't too good, either. To an eye new to the subject, it is difficult to distinguish which tags are associated together as a pair.


What to do about these tag messes? Well, they are created by the software running the board, and as such, no matter how bad they are, probably aren't going to be changed.

What do I do?

If I had wished to reply to the above post, even for such a mildly complicated nesting, I would go in and shove the tags around, adding and deleting line-breaks, so I can see how they were all paired up (ok, this is how it works for me). I would make the above post appear thus:


-------------------------


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Bhoins:[QB]
[QUOTE]Originally posted by RainOfSteel:[qb]
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Bhoins:[qb]
In CT Bridge space included such things as Avionics, Sensors, landing gear, airlocks, controls, the Captain's Office, CIC, etc. Though there is a point where the 2% really gets out of hand. I mean really, 2000 tons of bridge space per bridge? So to have a Bridge, auxiliary control and a Flag Bridge I am using 6000 tons (Granted that is a 100,000 ton Battle Cruiser but still, even on those ships every ton counts especially since more than 50% of the ship is engines and fuel.)?
[/qb][/QUOTE]
For large vessels, you could, technically, with clever layout and design, portion out the dTons from the standard 2% allotment between various compartments and can declare them "assigned" to any particular purpose. However, one "bridge" hit on the damage charts would render them all useless.

What there should be is a "Capital Ship Bridge" rule.

On vessels of 50K dTons and above, a Capital Ship Bridge or Advanced Capital Ship Bridge may be purchased.

[b]Capital Ship Bridge:[/b] Cost is x .2 additional. The 2% dTons allotment is divided into two compartments, bridge, and backup bridge. Both are separate hits on the damage charts (and both may control the ship like a standard bridge).

[b]Advanced Capital Ship Bridge[/b]: Cost is x .4 additional. The size increases to 3% of the ship's total dTons, but the allotment may now be divided into three compartments, bridge, backup bridge, and flag bridge. All are separate hits on the damage charts (and all may control the ship like a standard bridge).

Whenever a bridge hit is determined on the damage chart, for the [b]Capital Ship Bridge[/b] roll d6: 1-3 for bridge hit and 4-6 for backup bridge hit, for the [b]Advanced Capital Ship Bridge[/b] roll d6: 1-2 for bridge hit and 3-4 for backup bridge hit, 5-6 for flag bridge hit.
[/qb][/QUOTE]
I like it. It doesn't fit with the intention of the rules. But I like it! [img]smile.gif[/img]
[/QB][/QUOTE]

-------------------------


What is the advantage of viewing the post in this "rearranged" presentation of the tags? Well, for one thing, there are now three clearly isolated starting "pairs", and three clearly isolated ending "pairs".

If, as I added my own response, I wished to quote other posts, too, I would wind up adding more "starting and ending pairs". Then, of course, I test it out in preview, and some garbage mess of tags appears. As long as I keep to the above style, a quick count of starts and ends shows me where the error is. For more complicated four and five level nestings (which don't happen that often), it does take a bit more work, but I still think the above style helps me control it all with far more ease than relying on the pre-messed up goop that the board's software spits out.



Ok, now that I've finished up with the "basic" way I do things in regards to using the board's "quoting blocks", I'll finish up with one quick tip.

How To: Make successive attributions appear non-bold.

What am I talking about?

When you quote a post, the attribution is in non-bold format, and the text of the quote is bold. However, if you go to a second level of nesting, only the first attribution in a block is non-bold, the second and any successive attributions are all bold. Basically, it doesn't look quite right (or at least it doesn't look quite right to me).

Here is the above post, redone so that all the attributions are non-bold. Note carefully the way I've eliminated some of the [QB] and [/QB] tags.


This:

-------------------------


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Bhoins:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by RainOfSteel:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Bhoins:[qb]
In CT Bridge space included such things as Avionics, Sensors, landing gear, airlocks, controls, the Captain's Office, CIC, etc. Though there is a point where the 2% really gets out of hand. I mean really, 2000 tons of bridge space per bridge? So to have a Bridge, auxiliary control and a Flag Bridge I am using 6000 tons (Granted that is a 100,000 ton Battle Cruiser but still, even on those ships every ton counts especially since more than 50% of the ship is engines and fuel.)?
[/QUOTE]
For large vessels, you could, technically, with clever layout and design, portion out the dTons from the standard 2% allotment between various compartments and can declare them "assigned" to any particular purpose. However, one "bridge" hit on the damage charts would render them all useless.

What there should be is a "Capital Ship Bridge" rule.

On vessels of 50K dTons and above, a Capital Ship Bridge or Advanced Capital Ship Bridge may be purchased.

[b]Capital Ship Bridge:[/b] Cost is x .2 additional. The 2% dTons allotment is divided into two compartments, bridge, and backup bridge. Both are separate hits on the damage charts (and both may control the ship like a standard bridge).

[b]Advanced Capital Ship Bridge[/b]: Cost is x .4 additional. The size increases to 3% of the ship's total dTons, but the allotment may now be divided into three compartments, bridge, backup bridge, and flag bridge. All are separate hits on the damage charts (and all may control the ship like a standard bridge).

Whenever a bridge hit is determined on the damage chart, for the [b]Capital Ship Bridge[/b] roll d6: 1-3 for bridge hit and 4-6 for backup bridge hit, for the [b]Advanced Capital Ship Bridge[/b] roll d6: 1-2 for bridge hit and 3-4 for backup bridge hit, 5-6 for flag bridge hit.
[/QUOTE]
I like it. It doesn't fit with the intention of the rules. But I like it! [img]smile.gif[/img]
[/QB][/QUOTE]

-------------------------

Becomes:

-------------------------


Quote:
Originally posted by Bhoins:
quote:
Originally posted by RainOfSteel:
quote:
Originally posted by Bhoins:
In CT Bridge space included such things as Avionics, Sensors, landing gear, airlocks, controls, the Captain's Office, CIC, etc. Though there is a point where the 2% really gets out of hand. I mean really, 2000 tons of bridge space per bridge? So to have a Bridge, auxiliary control and a Flag Bridge I am using 6000 tons (Granted that is a 100,000 ton Battle Cruiser but still, even on those ships every ton counts especially since more than 50% of the ship is engines and fuel.)?
For large vessels, you could, technically, with clever layout and design, portion out the dTons from the standard 2% allotment between various compartments and can declare them "assigned" to any particular purpose. However, one "bridge" hit on the damage charts would render them all useless.

What there should be is a "Capital Ship Bridge" rule.

On vessels of 50K dTons and above, a Capital Ship Bridge or Advanced Capital Ship Bridge may be purchased.

Capital Ship Bridge: Cost is x .2 additional. The 2% dTons allotment is divided into two compartments, bridge, and backup bridge. Both are separate hits on the damage charts (and both may control the ship like a standard bridge).

Advanced Capital Ship Bridge: Cost is x .4 additional. The size increases to 3% of the ship's total dTons, but the allotment may now be divided into three compartments, bridge, backup bridge, and flag bridge. All are separate hits on the damage charts (and all may control the ship like a standard bridge).

Whenever a bridge hit is determined on the damage chart, for the Capital Ship Bridge roll d6: 1-3 for bridge hit and 4-6 for backup bridge hit, for the Advanced Capital Ship Bridge roll d6: 1-2 for bridge hit and 3-4 for backup bridge hit, 5-6 for flag bridge hit.
[/QUOTE]I like it. It doesn't fit with the intention of the rules. But I like it! [img]smile.gif[/img]
[/QUOTE]-------------------------
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--------------------
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