Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Submit ideas and suggestions on how we display, catalogue and export the schematics.

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Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Post by Zimoon » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:30 pm

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Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules



Community members can apply for the ability to add and edit schematics. Once granted this ability a "Schematics Maintainer" will see a link named Edit just above the name of the schematic. This guide presents maintainers with hints, tips, and rules. But first some warnings:
  • Save often --- Click Update before you click a link/button to for example add resources or components.
  • Play safe --- If there is anything, post at this forum board about your thoughts or questions; better safe than sorry.


Edit Mode

The base edit web page is named Edit Mode and it has links and buttons which takes you to special pages for resources, components, and experimentation properties, and also several text input fields, drop-down lists, and check-boxes. This section of the guide covers all of these features and walks you through each element one by one.

Topmost these links are displayed...
  • New Schematic --- takes you to an empty web page so you can start from scratch for a new schematic.
  • Duplicate Schematic --- creates a clone of the current schematic so you can edit its name (do that first and save!!!), edit the differing data, and save again; this feature is very handy to add a new schematic which is similar to an existing schematic.
  • Make schematic invisible --- delete, but not really; the schematic is taken off public lists. Do not use this for no-longer-craftable schematics, see Type below.
  • Update Schematic --- saves the changes you have made to the current page.

New Schematic
The above means that to create a new schematic you must first go to an existing schematic, then select Edit, and at the next page -- Edit Mode -- you find the link to create new, or duplicate.


Delete Schematic
You can delete a schematic, or rather make it invisible to take it off the public lists. Later administrators will review the hidden schematic and decide. Always write a note in the comment field. Do not use this for no-longer-craftable schematics, we still want to see them ... for historical reasons, see Type below.


Name
Enter the name of the schematic as it is displayed at the Datapad. For most schematics this is also the name of the created item, but sometimes the created item has a different name. Some loot schematics also change name when you learn them, still use the name as it is read at the Datapad, for consistency reasons; rather add a comment to the comment field.


Category
In SWG all items are sorted in categories and from those we sort all schematics. Notice that these categories are used here at SWGCraft, really, but they do not necessarily reflect a great or cool visual layout but it is the raw data structure as SWG works and presents it for us.

At the drop-down list, select the proper category for the schematic. If a category is missing, post about it in this forum board, see below on new categories. Notice that the category always has two items, for example "Misc [Misc]" where the latter is the parent category but the first is the category for the schematic.

There are two kinds of categories: 1) the Bazaar category, and 2) the component category; category is also referred to as Type; both of these are really defined by SWG. It is the component slots of a schematic that calls for items/schematics from any of these two kind of categories, hence it is important to understand how these works.

The Bazaar category is what we see at the Bazaar, at the Datapad >> Draft Schematics, and at each schematic by itself just above its name. The crafting tools display the categories in a somewhat different fashion at the list where you select a schematic, but overall it is quite similar. Most often there are just two levels of categories, such as Weapon >> Pistol.
bazaar_category.png
Bazaar category: this is a component slot that calls for a named item/schematic, it is found at the Bazaar and at vendors, or in your crafting tool
bazaar_category.png (2.98 KiB) Viewed 7527 times
The component category is used a lot in all kind of crafting. This category is defined when a component slot calls for something that is not a named item but "a phrase". The phrase defines a component category which is very different from a Bazaar category. A component category is "a container" of one or more named items and any one of them is accepted into that slot. --- Note: Either a component slot of a schematic calls for a named item or a component category, but never a Bazaar category.

A component category cannot be found at the Bazaar nor in your crafting tool, but it is really defined by schematics and it is really used by the crafting system in SWG. A component category is defined by the component slot, the phrase it calls for (see image).
component_category.png
Component category: this is a component slot that calls for a component category (in red), not the description for the slot (yellow)
component_category.png (3.11 KiB) Viewed 7527 times
A component category contains one or several schematics, it may also contain one or several component categories, or a mix of these. The one category that accepts the more contains the more narrow category (see next paragraph for an example). However, a component category has only one parent. The category for a particular schematic is displayed in its text, or it is understood from its description, or it is found by practical tests.


New categories, both Bazaar and component categories are added, edited, and properly wired together by the administrators here at SWGCraft. If it is necessary, describe in detail what the component slot of the schematic calls for and which named components that component category accepts. If a category seems to be a more narrow set of items from another component category, then more effort must be put into it to figure out how the involved schematics are wired up. Remember that in the end of the day all of this reflects what is defined, accepted, and used by one or several schematics.

Example 1: all drink schematics call for a component category named "Drink Container" which contains "Small Glass", "Large Glass", and "Cask" which all are accepted into that component slot of these schematics. Hence these three schematics fall in the category "Drink Container". Recently SOE removed Barrel from the game and from this category, this did not break any schematics or the wiring that is used here at SWGCraft.

Example 2: ranged weapon schematics call for a category named "Weapon Stock" which contains just one schematic, the Advanced Weapon Stock. All component slots that calls for Weapon Stock accepts the item named Advanced Weapon Stock, hence that schematic falls into that category. SOE may in a future add more schematics to this category, or not, but this does not break the category or the wiring.

Notice: some older schematics may read some category (both in-game and here at SWGCraft) which is changed in newer schematics and the old category is obsolete. In this case, edit the old schematic to use the new category even if the in-game text has not changed. Post a message about the category which is obsolete and a detailed description on how the categories are "wired" now, all the way up to the Bazaar level.

Synthetic component categories: some schematics accept a specific component or its weaker siblings, but what it calls for is really the name of a schematic, how can this be wired together to make sense here at SWGCraft? --- All of the schematics must be contained in a synthetic component category where the weaker has a stronger as its parent, and the component slot is wired to the strongest category. This is the case for schematics that call for Heavy Food Additive which contains the weaker Medium Food Additive which contains the weakest Light Food Additive. Schematics that call for the heavy additive now also accepts any its weaker siblings, but schematics that call for medium additive only accepts medium and light, the system does not look upwards but down. --- I am not aware of any inverted situation where a schematic accept a component or its stronger siblings, but if there is one we must set up a similar system of synthetic component categories for that case.
Summary and example:
Find any schematic that has a component slot that calls for something that is not an item. Let us say a Flame Thrower. One of the component slots call for something named Heavy Weapon Core, but that is not a name of an existing schematic, hence it is a component category. Follow that link and you find that this component category contains two items, the Standard and the Advanced Heavy Weapon Core; now you have a choice. Let us go for the powerful one; now you find that the Advanced Heavy Weapon Core has a component slot that calls for Gas Cartridge which again is not the name of an existing schematic, it is a component category. Follow the link and you find Orveth and Tibanna Gas Cartridge which are two real schematics. Fortunately for this exercise both of these schematics just use resources so the guided tour ends here.

The previous example illustrates that component categories are heavily used in all crafting and that the categorization of schematics is essential. Nobody wants to click Gas Cartridge and find dozens of items that cannot be used in that component slot. Neither do anybody want to find an empty list because the Orveth and Tibanna Gas Cartridge schematics are put in some other category. Also the other way around, a user that reads the Tibanna Gas Cartridge and is curious about which schematics that calls for it, such a user wants to find only the schematics that calls for this schematic, not irrelevant items that has nothing to do with this gas cartridge, this is no good even if those other items happen to be weapon components.


Skill Needed
Select the level when the character is awarded the schematic; for loot or reward schematics the value denotes the minimum requirements to learn it. You can only select one profession--skill level, if several professions learn the schematic you make as many clones as necessary and just updates the skill level accordingly.

If it is an Expertize schematic, select the expertise and its rank. The rank denotes the number of points to claim the specified group, not the total amount of points in the tree; normally the rank is 1. Some expertize groups overlap each other. For example, a chef's "Medium Tissues" are granted by both expertize groups "Chef Schematic" and "Chef Schematic 2".


Complexity and Schematic Size
Enter the values as they are read at the in-game schematic. Complexity governs the minimum combination of crafting tool versus crafting station that works.


XP Gained
This is the base value, the default value without any buffs applied and not in practice mode.


.com ID, skip this because this field is obsolete and no longer used nor maintained.


Type, Manufactured, and Crate Size
Type is the source for the schematic; usually this is regular. This site also supports schematics that are looted, obtained as reward from a quest or bought for coins, from a deconstructed item, bought from a factional officer, or the similar. There is also the two special types
--- no longer craftable -- use this when a schematic is extinct and is nowhere to be found in SWG --- New!!!
--- outdated -- use this when a schematic needs a review, not for obsolete schematics.

Manufactured is selected per default because from most schematics you can create manufacture schematics, even if is impossible for some of them of practical reasons. Some schematics are limited to just a few uses -- there is no field for this info but you can add a comment about it, but not in the description field. However some schematics do not support creation of manufacture schematics at all.

Crate Size is used just for schematics that support manufacture schematics, specify the default size of the factory crates. This value is useful for crafters that must plan for several sets of sub-components.

This far, save (update) the entered data before you proceed with the remaining features.

Schematics' Quality Level --- New!!!
This field denotes the normal case for the end quality of a schematic, nothing else. A quality is HQ, LQ, or sometimes "mixed".
  • HQ: high-quality items; a weapon is always HQ; if a player wants one as decor is not the normal case.
  • LQ: items which quality is ignore in-game.
    - Several schematics can be experimented but it has no practical use; for example a survey device.
    - Several schematics exist without any experimenting properties.
  • Mixed: components that must be HQ in some use but may be any quality in other use.
    It is the use case that determines whichever, not that somebody wants something for decor.
Example 1 of "mixed": without loss of quality a DE can use low-quality Control Units for anything he crafts for himself, however, a Control Unit must be top notch with an amazing if it is used by an Architect who makes a crafting station or while crafting the Micro Sensor Suit for that same Architect. Hence, the use case determines whether a Control Unit can be of any quality or if it must be HQ.

Example 2 of "mixed": regardless of their quality some lower-level items can be stacked to replace one higher level item, but if one is used alone it must be HQ, hence they are "mixed".

Example of not "mixed": the quality of a Camp Battery determines the lifetime of a camp, hence the battery is HQ. However, some players buy short-lived camps with for example a Junk Dealer, hence LQ batteries do have a market. However, even if this is a common case the battery use is not for different schematics, some that settle with LQ and some that require HQ, but it is used in the same schematic and the buyer sometimes settle with any quality -- somewhat similar to the "decoration argument".

The "mixed" quality level is only used for components which must be HQ for some schematics but quality is ignored for other schematics, or end items which sometimes are used as components. The "mixed" quality level is never used for an end use item that is never used as a component. That a user settles with an end item of any quality has no bearing to this property. Thus, not many schematics (components) have the "mixed" quality level.

Notice: HQ or LQ is not determined by if an item is unused in-game. Several schematics exist which are redundant today and they could well be removed. For these, set the quality level to the quality they had the most recent time they were used.



Edit Resources

At this web page you define the resource slots as they are read at the schematic. At the upper right corner, select the number of resource slots that the schematic specifies, do not merge several lines for the same resource class into one line, we really do want the schematic to read in-game values.

There are three columns for the information, per resource slot:
  • Description --- enter the description as it is read at the schematic for the resource slot, for example "Handle"; compare with the image above (yellow).
  • Resource Type --- select the specified resource type as it is read at the schematic.
  • Units --- enter the number of units that is specified for this resource slot.
Currently the description fields are not displayed at the SWGCraft web pages, but the information is indeed stored in the database and it is displayed in SWGAide.

Finally, save (update) the entered data which takes you back to the base editing web page. Should you need more resource slots, adjust the value at the drop-down list and wait for the page to reload.



Edit Components

At this web page you define the component slots as they are read at the schematic. At the upper right corner, select the number of component slots that the schematic specifies, do not merge several lines for the same component or category into one line even if that could be possible. Unfortunately the layout of this web page is not optimized for all columns and options, but we can live with that I guess.

There are three columns, one pair of radio buttons, and two check boxes to add information to, per component slot:
  • Description --- enter the description as it is read at the schematic for the component slot, for example "Droid Personality Chip"; see the image above (yellow).
  • Component --- select the specified component, component category, or item, as it is read at the schematic ¹ ² ³
  • Units --- enter the specified number of components for this component slot.
  • Identical/Single Component --- Identical is the default value for component slots; see the section below.
  • Similar --- select this radio button only if the schematic reads 'Similar'; see the section below.
  • Optional --- tick this check-box if the component slot reads 'optional'; see the image above (yellow).
  • Looted Only --- tick this check-box if the specified component is a loot drop and it cannot be crafted *

    ¹ The drop-down list is ordered and tagged group by group, not a straight alphabetical order: named schematics; component categories are tagged [Category]; looted items are tagged [Non-craftable Item].

    ² If the specified component category does not exist, temporarily add an acceptable component; see the Category section above.

    ³ If the specified looted item is not listed, first add the item at this web page New Items. For items from the Chu-Gon Dar cube, see further down.

    * If the specified component is available both as loot drop and as schematic (looted or not), use the named component, not the looted item, and do not tick the "looted" checkbox.
Currently the description fields are not displayed at the SWGCraft web pages, but the information is indeed stored in the database and it is displayed in SWGAide.

Finally, save (update) the entered data which takes you back to the base editing web page. Should you need more component slots, adjust the value at the drop-down list and wait for the page to reload.
Identical versus Similar
This is a summation of the section on "the number one question on factories" in the Beginner's Guide for Traders, chapter 9.

The topic on identical versus similar has always been a most confusing matter in relation to schematics. To make it clear:
The primary rule is to use "Identical"; a component must always be identical, also if only one item is called for.
The secondary rule is that only if "Similar" is specified at the component slot, similar components are acceptable.
There are a few rare exceptions to these two rules.

This matter is crystal clear if you consider manufacture schematics. If a created manufacture schematic specifies a serial number for a slot, in the factory that component slot only accepts identical components, also if just one component per item. It is no harder than that fact. If it is true that schematic is king in relation to resource classes and caps, then manufacture schematic is queen in relation to identical versus similar and it governs which options to select.
Edit properties

At this web page you define the experimentation properties for a schematic, if it has any. Begin with selecting the total number of sub-category lines that the schematic specifies.

There are two major columns, and a matrix for the weights of the resource stats:
  • Main Category --- Enter the description for the experimentation group as it is read at the schematic; this is the cyan text at the image.
    If several sub-categories, repeat this for each of them, leave no fields blank.
  • Sub Category --- Enter the description for the experimentation line as it is read at the schematic; this is the yellow text at the image.
  • The weights of the stats --- Enter the weights for the one or several stats as they are specified at the schematic.
experimentation_properties.png
experimentation_properties.png (2.03 KiB) Viewed 7527 times
Finally, save (update) the entered data which takes you back to the base editing web page. Should you need more experimentation lines, adjust the value at the drop-down list and wait for the page to reload.


Additional Info

At this text input field you enter the description of the schematic as it is read just under the resource slots, components slots, and experimentation groups. Most often it is just a sentence, sometimes it is just one or two words, but some descriptions are longer. However, we all appreciate your effort to keep the schematics as identical as possible to what they read in-game.

At this input field, do not add anything that is not read at the in-game schematic. Finally, save (update) the description.


Comments

This text input field is open for any community member, not just schematics maintainers, and it is used for whatever useful information there is to say about the schematic. A few examples are: waypoint and quest giver for rewarded schematics, known good locations for looted schematics, min-max DPS for maxed out weapons, max defense for armor, max power for edible buffs, comparable statistics on vehicles, and much much more.

Any user may add unknown or missing data to this field and maintainers will update the schematic accordingly.

In fact, there is no end to what information you can add there, a long as it is facts. Personal comments and nonsense is moderated and most often erased.



Miscellaneous Information

Unknown Values
If there is any value you do not know, leave the field as-is or blank. Then it is easier for others to see that it should be updated. Do not add a value at a guess, others may not realize that a close guess is invalid.


Add A New Schematic
First of all, verify that the new schematic does not already exist, including the "invisible" list that is visible only for schematics maintainers. Then, to save yourself the trouble, verify that all components, component categories, and looted items exist. Otherwise you have to start over and possibly lose some data you just had entered. For the same reason, always begin with components that do not use any sub-components.

If the schematic you want to add is very similar to an existing schematic, navigate to the existing schematic and create a duplicate, then edit its name and save (update). Then change whatever is different and save. It is possible both to add new lines for resource slots and component slots, and it s also possible to delete surplus lines.


Items from the Chu-Gon Dar Cube
Currently such readied items are not supported here at SWGCraft. They are not made by schematics and neither are they looted. I have temporarily added a few as looted items and selected the looted-only check-box. That plus a comment that both the schematic and the item come from the Chu-Gon Dar cube. Let us see what happens in the future.


Mistakes
All mistakes are possible to fix, but some requires the help of the administrators here at SWGCraft. And we all do mistakes, I have done several 8)

What can you do while waiting for help?
Make the schematics invisible, this makes it disappear from public view as if it is deleted.
Always add a comment at the comment field, for the administrators to see.



Testing, testing, ...
There are a few test schematics that you can play around with, but do not duplicate them as a base for new schematics because they are treated specially:
http://www.swgcraft.org/dev/viewschemat ... schem=1431
http://www.swgcraft.org/dev/viewschemat ... schem=1655
http://www.swgcraft.org/dev/viewschemat ... schem=1656






/Zimoon


PS: Devs and Moderators, please go ahead and edit, amend to, correct, or whatever with this post, at any time. There is no need to ask. Thanks in advance.
Last edited by Zimoon on Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:08 am, edited 61 times in total.
Reason: Updated

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Sobuno
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Re: Editing schematics

Post by Sobuno » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:51 pm

The following are test schematics, they are not visible in the ordinary list:

http://www.swgcraft.co.uk/dev/viewschem ... schem=1431
http://www.swgcraft.co.uk/dev/viewschem ... schem=1655
http://www.swgcraft.co.uk/dev/viewschem ... schem=1656

Feel free to play around with them. Do not use them as bases for other schematics (i.e. duplicate them) as they have a special flag that makes them invisible from the standard list.

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Re: Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Post by Zimoon » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:28 pm

This guide is revised and is now more or less a new guide for community members that are granted access to the editing pages. This review begun as a side effect of the review and overhaul of the schematics categories, which begun because .... eeeh, let us make a long story short and just say that there are some background tasks going on, I hope you will not even notice them.

Anyway, there are tons of data that can be updated, which you clearly will notice once SWGAide has schematics support. Currently that is somewhat stalling on the background tasks at this end :lol:

Have fun and enjoy :mrgreen:

/Zimoon

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Re: Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Post by Sobuno » Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:00 pm

Schematic Maintainers can now set schematics to be invisible or visible. Setting a schematic to invisible basically hides it from the public eye; this should be done instead of asking me to delete schematics ;)

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Re: Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Post by Sobuno » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:19 pm

Sobuno wrote:Schematic Maintainers can now set schematics to be invisible or visible. Setting a schematic to invisible basically hides it from the public eye; this should be done instead of asking me to delete schematics ;)
Schematic Maintainers can now see a list of invisble schematics by going to http://www.swgcraft.org/dev/schematics.php?mode=view and pressing the "Invisible" link right after "All". This way, if you accidentally make a schematic invisible, you can still make it visible again.


Also, most schematics need their XP value updated. Currently 1747 out of 1879 schematics are lacking information regarding the XP amount granted.

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Re: Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Post by Swedishoyster » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:22 pm

Sobuno wrote: Also, most schematics need their XP value updated. Currently 1747 out of 1879 schematics are lacking information regarding the XP amount granted.
Is there a way to actually check how much exp a schematic gives when you already are lvl 90 trader?
Sork Inc. Perdition, Dantooine
Hunterella, Architect/Armorsmith - Sorkella, Ranger/Riflewoman
Snufsan, Tailor/Chef/x - Healerella, Doctor
Bimborella, Swordswoman/Medic - Sniperella, Rifle/BE

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Re: Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Post by Savacc » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:13 pm

Swedishoyster wrote:
Sobuno wrote: Also, most schematics need their XP value updated. Currently 1747 out of 1879 schematics are lacking information regarding the XP amount granted.
Is there a way to actually check how much exp a schematic gives when you already are lvl 90 trader?
No :(

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Re: Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Post by Zimoon » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:23 am

Savacc wrote:
Swedishoyster wrote:
Sobuno wrote: Also, most schematics need their XP value updated. Currently 1747 out of 1879 schematics are lacking information regarding the XP amount granted.
Is there a way to actually check how much exp a schematic gives when you already are lvl 90 trader?
No :(
Or...




...create a crap toon somewhere and ... :twisted:

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Re: Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Post by Swedishoyster » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:16 am

Zimoon wrote: Or...


...create a crap toon somewhere and ... :twisted:
Yeah I suspected that...

Which server is the most populated one?
Sork Inc. Perdition, Dantooine
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Snufsan, Tailor/Chef/x - Healerella, Doctor
Bimborella, Swordswoman/Medic - Sniperella, Rifle/BE

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Re: Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Post by Zimoon » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:22 am

Updated the information regarding the field named Additional info. This field is for the text that is read bottommost at the schematics. Only.

Other useful information is posted at the Comments field.

/Zimoon

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Re: Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Post by Zimoon » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:10 am

A somewhat longer clarification why the category fields are used the way they are.

I understand there are opinions about the best way to visually present schematics, or how to best sort and categorize them. That relates to any visual display, both here and in SWGAide. However...

What is done while editing and maintaining schematics at this site has not much to do with visual display but how schematics relate to each other in SWG. It is more about the plumbing than the painting or gloss. Hence I will discuss this topic under three sections: Component Categories, Bazaar Categories, and Visual Categories. Enjoy.



Component Categories

This is it, a fact: for crafters in SWG there is only one kind of category that is interesting and that is the component category. It is uttermost important that the component categories are correct and that they work properly. Let me explain:

Many schematics have component slots that call for a text phrase rather than one or several items made from a schematic. This phrase define a component slot. Examples of such defined component categories and what they contain:
Drink Container: Small Glass, Large Glass, Cask, Barrel
Ranged Weapon Core: Basic Ranged Weapon Core, Standard Ranged Weapon Core, Advanced Ranged Weapon Core
Camp Module: all the different modules for camps
Base Droid Personality Chip: all ships that governs some droids personality

Essentially, a component category is a definition for a group of schematics that are accepted into some component slots. If a component slot does not accept a certain item then that item is not part of that component category, perhaps by some other component category, or not at all.

To stress this and make it uttermost clear:
  • component categories exist, they really are defined by schematics --- this is nothing we can change or deny
  • schematics that are accepted in component slots that call/define a component category must be categorized into the appropriate component category, nowhere else. This is true also if some other component slots call for these schematics by name
But why is this important?
This is the only way for SWGCraft and SWGAide to be able to display what can be used in such a component slot. When you look up a drink schematic and click at "Alcohol" you end up at that schematic, right? Back to the drink and you click at "Drink Container", then you want to see what you can possibly use to craft the drink, right? And the only way to tell is to mark the above listed schematics as members of the Drink Container category, right? You do not want to find numerous schematics that cannot be used in this slot. And you do not want to find an empty list because the possible schematics are found in some other category.

Sometimes these categories must contain yet another component category. This is to tell that the category itself contains schematics but a component slot that calls for this category also accepts schematics from other component categories that are defined by other schematics (examples will follow). Component categories can be either real or synthetic:

Real component categories are always defined by one or several schematics, and if they link to each other it is because some of the contained schematics must be contained by another, more strict or more relaxed component category, either a real or a synthetic category. Example: Shipwright armor "Mark V Durasteel Plating", it calls for "Mark V Armor Upgrade" which is a component category (no schematic with this name exists). However, in this component slot you can use not only the two schematics the component category contains but also any item from the weaker component categories that are defined by other schematics' component slots, all of these are real component categories because they are defined by one schematic or another.
---> In this example these component categories link to each other, the weakest to the stronger to the strongest. This is the most common case.

Synthetic component categories, let's begin with an example: Chef tissues, a schematic that calls for "Light Food Additive" only accepts that type of additive, nothing stronger, so there would be no need for any category this far, it calls for a schematic named Light Food Additive and such a schematic exists. However, a schematic that calls for "Heavy Food Additive" accepts also the weaker additives. Indeed, one could argue that the schematic calls for the schematic that is named "Heavy Food Additive" and not a component category and we would have a never-ending hair-split discussion. Well, pragmatically we invent a synthetic component category that is named "Heavy Food Additive" which contains the same named schematic but also the synthetic "Medium Food Additive" component category, etc. Then, when you click "Heavy Food Additive" all 3 possible schematics from the 3 different synthetic categories are displayed.

Clutter, is it not?
For any other player than a crafter component categories are utterly useless, they just add a lot of extra clutter. Also, a crafter that is not interested in the exact use for each schematic is also confused by this extra clutter. So, clutter it is, yes! But when the same crafter suddenly is interested in a certain schematic the component categories are suddenly essential. Now, useful clutter it is!!! They display what to select for a particular component slot, and they can display which other schematics that can make use of a particular component.

Or put differently: Usually you never have to bother with how the telephone system works or how the inside of a relay station looks like. You are just fine with those 12 buttons at the display, right? But if you are a telecom worker who is about to add some new line or to repair something that is broken... And I can assure you, the inside of these locations are not a sight for the faint of heart.



Bazaar Categories

I guess this kind of categories are the easiest to relate to and to accept. We see them in game, both at the Bazaar terminals and when we read the datapad -> draft schematics, and also in the crafting tools even if they are displayed differently.

To sort schematics in some way we use Bazaar Categories, but this is just one way of several to sort schematics that are not contained in a component category, left-overs so to speak. Any other sensible way would be just fine, no doubt about that. In fact, it would be just fine to let those schematics be uncategorized and hang free --- but personally I say it is better to have an order than none.



Visual Categories

So far I have proved that the plumbing with component categories are essential and the bazaar categories are better than nothing. I have also agreed that for casual use the current visual display is cluttered. I guess this is more true for SWGAide which displays everything in a tree-like style; and, this is not so true for SWGCraft because it uses a simpler display with alphabetical tables of schematics and categories, just when somebody wants to drill down these lists there are several more levels to pass by.

Now, visual display can be completely decoupled from the real plumbing. Indeed, visualization can be done in any way that makes sense for the viewer/reader, or for the publisher. This is very much true about research results, not many of us want to see all those tons of number-crunched data tables, the less to read them. But if they are collated into some fancy graphics that conveys the message we love it, right? Now, does it not depend on the message to get across and the kind of audience? Yes, it does! Hence visualization can and should be selected and adjusted for the purpose and the audience.

How to accomplish this?

What if we set the schematics to other categories at the maintainer edit screen?
No, this does not work ... or, it might work but only for those schematics which are not part of a component category. And if we change the Bazaar category it affects everything everywhere. And not all users might have the same wish, desire, or need as You do, right? Hence, let the plumbing be just that, plumbing, which is better hidden behind paint and gloss.

This is how to do it...
When you browse SWGCraft you do not actually see the database entries but there is a layer in between that compile and package the raw, ugly database stuff into a nice looking display that you enjoy. You can, for example, select a color scheme. And you can reorder the way resource classes display. Right?

Any kind of scheme (some applications call them skin, theme, or the similar) can be implemented. Such a scheme takes the raw, ugly data and compiles it to the looks you want. But the bottommost, ugly plumbing is not touched upon, it remains as is. And probably it must remain as is --- in this case the component categories cannot be tampered with.

So ... the real issue is to implement and to gather the "translation" from data to view (by computer scientists and developers this is the MVC pattern, Model (data), View, and Control, and the translation task is done as a cooperation between control and view, not by changing the model (data). I will not touch this subject more as most players are not that much interested and it would certainly derail this topic.

Well ... I cannot say for SWGCraft what to do or how to do it, but for SWGAide I plan to add that extra layer of code that makes it possible to allow a player to come up with any "translation" scheme that would display schematics any way you want. More about that over at the SWGAide forum.

Summary

To maintain schematics includes to find the correct category.

Component categories are extremely important to get correct.
The component categories are essential and tell which schematics that can be used in component slots.
A component category contains schematics and none, one or several other component categories.
Component categories lay in between schematics and bazaar categories.
A particular category is contained by only one "parent" category.
All component categories eventually ends up in a bazaar category.
All schematics eventually ends up in a bazaar category (directly or via component categories), which is where they are displayed at a Bazaar terminal.

/Zimoon

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Re: Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Post by Zimoon » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:11 am

I want to show a wrong and a correct way to categorize some items. To ease the typing for me I use a theoretical example.

The assumptions are:
Schematic Alpha calls for a component named Bunch.
Schematic Beta calls for a component named Powerful Bunch.

- No schematic exists that is named Bunch but tests display that two schematics are accepted:
Generic Group and Limited Group; thence Bunch is a component category.
- No schematic exists that is named Powerful Bunch but tests display that
Limited Group is accepted, thence Powerful Bunch is a component category.

Generic Group calls for a component named Item.
Limited Group calls for a component named Advanced Item.

- No schematic exists that is named Item but tests display that three schematics are accepted:
Item - X, Item - Y, and Item - Z; thence Item is a component category.
- No schematic exists that is named Advanced Item but tests display that three schematics are accepted:
Item - Adv-X, Item - Adv-Y, and Item - Adv-Z; thence Advanced Item is a component category.

Obviously it is correct to categorize the three schematics "Item - X", "Item - Y", and "Item - Z" into the component category Item. It is also correct to categorize the schematics "Item - Adv-X", "Item - Adv-Y", and "Item - Adv-Z" into Advanced Item.

The above description looks like the following, does it not?

Code: Select all

    Alpha            Beta 
      |                |
      |                |
   <Bunch>      <Powerful Bunch>
      |  \             |
      |   \______      |
      |          \     |
Generic Group    Limited Group
      |                |
      |                |
   <Item>       <Advanced Item>
    / | \            / | \
   /  |  \          /  |  \
  /   |   \        /   |   \
  X   Y   Z      a-X  a-Y  a-Z
Now, this setup is different from the example with Chef tissues which is discussed in the previous post; a stronger tissue could use a weaker tissue (with a worse result though). This example is kind of the opposite, the generic group accepts weaker and stronger, but the limited group just the stronger. And it also makes things somewhat twisted but there are schematics and component categories in SWG that works this way, which are they?

Wrong
It is wrong to make the component categories Item and Advanced Item sub-categories of Bunch or Powerful Bunch. They are used by schematics in those categories, yes, but they are not sub-categories under them.

It is wrong to let Item be a sub-category of Advanced Item because Limited Group does not accept any item from Item, just from Advanced Item. It is also wrong to let Advanced Item be a sub-category under Item, for the similar reason.

It is wrong to let the component category Bunch be a sub-category of Powerful Bunch. Even though Bunch accepts Limited Group, Powerful Bunch does not accept Generic Group.

It is wrong to let any of the schematics X, Y, Z, A-X, A-Y, or A-Z link directly to the bazaar category where you would see them at the Bazaar. If that is done SWGCraft and SWGAide stops working and will not display them when a user clicks Generic Group or Limited Group.

It is wrong, for the same reason, to let the schematics Generic Group and Limited Group link directly to a bazaar category, that breaks SWGCraft and SWGAide.

Correct
It is correct to let the schematics X, Y, and Z link to the component category Item. This makes SWGCraft and SWGAide to display them when a user clicks Item.

It is correct, for the same reason, to let the schematics A-X, A-Y, and A-X link to the component category Advanced Item.

It is correct to let the component categories Item and Advanced Item each link directly to some bazaar category, if the items contained by these categories show up in Component--Component that is the place. That adds two sub-categories to this bazaar category but because they contain different schematics that cannot replace each other in a component slot this must be the way. SWGCraft and SWGAide both work, clicking for example Item displays the three schematics, and the parent category is a bazaar category. The list "used in" derives its information and displays correctly.

It is correct to let the schematic Limited Group link to the component category Powerful Bunch. Clicking Powerful Bunch will display this schematic. And Powerful Bunch is ultimately linked to a Bazaar category.

It is correct to let the component category Powerful Bunch link to the component category Bunch. Clicking Bunch will display the schematic Generic Group and Powerful Bunch with its schematic Limited Group. Remember that the schematic Beta links directly to Powerful Bunch and is not aware of the existence of Bunch. However, Alpha links to Bunch which also contains Powerful Bunch which contains Limited Group which is fine with Alpha.

It is correct to let the schematics Generic Group link to the component category Bunch. Clicking Bunch will show this schematic. And Bunch is linked to a Bazaar category.

It is correct to let the component category Bunch contain Powerful Bunch because the schematics that use Bunch also accept the schematic Limited Group which is contained in Powerful Bunch and Powerful Bunch does not contain anything that is not accepted.

It is correct to let Bunch link to a bazaar category, let's say Component--Armor. Browsing would then go Component -> Armor -> Bunch and there you see Generic Group and Powerful Bunch, select Powerful Bunch and you see Limited Group.

Alpha and Beta are schematics linked to some other category. Whether that is a Bazaar category or another component category is irrelevant for this example.

Now the linking rather looks like

Code: Select all

Bazaar -- Something <<----------------------
   |                     \                  \
  Component               \                  \
   | |                     Alpha              Beta
   | |                       |                  |
   | |                       |                  |
   | |-Armor <<---------- <Bunch> <<---         |
   | |                       |         \        |
   | |                       |          \       |
   | |                       |          <Powerful Bunch>
   | |                       |                  |
   | |                       |                  |
   | |                       |                  |
   | |                 Generic Group      Limited Group
   | |                       |                  |
   | |                       |                  |
   | |-Component <<---+------ ---------         |
   | |                 \     |         \        |
   . .                  \    |          \       |
   . .                    <Item>         <Advanced Item>
   . .                     / | \              / | \
   . .                    /  |  \            /  |  \
                         /   |   \          /   |   \
                         X   Y   Z        a-X  a-Y  a-Z
Quite the similar but notice how Alpha rather links just to Bunch, which in its turn links to Powerful Bunch, Alpha will see both of their contents anyway. And here we also see how they link to the Bazaar.



A conclusion:
Most often, as soon as a schematic shows up in the graph of relations it shortcuts the connections so the component category under the schematic must be wired to a bazaar category, the one that displays the items from that category. There may be exceptions from this so I at this point I refrain from stating this as a rule, but I humbly think it is a rule, just that I cannot prove it today 8)


Notice: This has nothing at all to do with Visual Categories which I discussed in the previous post. That is a completely different animal which is not discussed in this post.

In fact, software developers usually never discuss model (data structures) the same day they discuss View or Control. It is essential to get the data correctly modeled, once that is done they can discuss how to manipulate it (Control) and display it (View). Not seldom the visualization phase is developed by a separate team, sometimes this display team do not know exactly how the data is structured nor stored, they are just interested to get smaller chunks out of it and to display the chunks in some fancy way.

Hence, this post more discusses the more delicate way SOE/SWG challenges us to wire up schematics properly, using component categories and bazaar categories.

/Zimoon

PS: Anyone dare say which schematics and categories this post is all about? :)
Last edited by Zimoon on Sat May 01, 2010 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited and corrected

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Re: Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Post by Zimoon » Sat May 01, 2010 2:24 pm

The graphical examples are now corrected, and the text is edited and polished :)

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Re: Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Post by Sobuno » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:03 pm

Screenshots submitted by Schematic Maintainers, moderators and admins are now automatically approved.

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Re: Schematics Maintainers - - - Hints, Tips, and Rules

Post by Zimoon » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:10 pm

Sobuno wrote:Screenshots submitted by Schematic Maintainers, moderators and admins are now automatically approved.
THAT will save me a few cycles :) :lol:

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