Upcoming changes to the FFAQ Editor

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User Info: Devin Morgan

Devin Morgan
6 months ago#1
Hey guys.

I may not post as much as I used to here, but I've been following along with your feedback and frustrations with using the current FFAQ Editor. This is the point where we are making some very wide-ranging changes to the whole FAQ writing process using the Editor, and we are at a point in the development stages where we'd like to share that with you.

**NOTE: Everything you will see below is based on work currently in progress. This may not be 100% the same in the final version.

As you may know, the current process is very straightforward. You start a new document and are immediately sent to the Editor. The new process will be as follows:

1. Create a New FFAQ Editor Document
2. Select a game to associate with that document (this can be changed at any time and will save a step when submitting your guide)
3. Create your guide's individual sections separately (more on that below).
4. Click into individual section(s) and edit content for that section instead of having to load the _entire_ guide in a single Editor instance.

Guide Hub + Section Creation

So, once you create a new guide and choose the product you wish to link to that guide, you will go to a "hub" screen like this:

http://imgur.com/Wc4Qc1Q

As you can see, "Create New Section" will appear at the bottom and that is where you'll be adding each section to the guide. This eliminates the need to use the top two header levels directly in the content itself. Here is another example showing several sections and their subsections:

http://imgur.com/H76mSA1

All of this will work through the magic of drag-and-drop. You can create a bunch of sections at a time, then move them around to reorganize their order. The order you choose to arrange your sections here is the order they will appear once the guide is submitted for approval/posting on the site. That means no more C&Ping entire sections from one place to another in a large document, dealing with the associated lag, etc. You will still be able to link to a different section than the one you're currently working in. It will be as simple as selecting the section name in real time from the "Create Link" popup within the Editor (those who have used the Editor before will understand).

Subsections?

What about subsections (sections within a larger one, like "Chapter 1" within a "Walkthrough" section)? You can drag one section into another one's box and it will be dropped inside, thus making the section you dragged into it a subsection within the larger one. Top-level sections are the old "Header 2" tags you're used to, and subsections are the "Header 3" tags. When the guide is posted on the site, those headers will actually appear in the guide, not to worry. We're just streamlining the whole process for you, the contributors.

How does this benefit you?

This new process is important for a couple of reasons. First, by breaking up your guide into many sections, the Editor won't have to load giant files all at once -- this means editing and especially saving your guide will be much faster and more reliable. Secondly, you can more quickly reorganize your guide by dragging and dropping everything with minimal effort on your part. Simplifying the process means you can focus more on writing great content and not worrying about your browser crashing for instance.

One other reason for splitting your guide into sections -- our goal is to make it so individual sections (or the containing subsections as applicable) appear as one single page when viewed on the site. So, your Equipment section would be a standalone page pretty much. Or if you wanted to link to a specific chapter in your walkthrough, you can link to that directly (the URL scheme would be something like gamefaqs.com/system/000000-/faqs/00000/Chapter+2). To make sure things don't get too out of hand, we will likely impose a size limit for individual sections. This will serve to encourage the author to create a subsection or another top-level section altogether if necessary.

Closing/feedback

I hope this post did well in explaining where we're going with the FFAQ Editor and the guide writing process in general. We will have a follow up post/topic at a later point in the development cycle.

For the time being though, we would like to hear your input. Any thoughts/suggestions on the design shown in the screenshots, things you'd like to see included there or elsewhere in the guide writing process, etc. I will try my best to respond to your comments here (Allen may jump in as well).

As a side note, the FFAQ Editor itself is being upgraded as well. There will be many improvements to address the "clunky" nature of certain features (table creation, C&Ping from outside sources, creating colored boxes). Those upgrades along with splitting up a guide into individual sections will greatly improve your overall experience with the Editor, and once it's live I hope contributors who currently use it or might have been turned off by it in the past give the process another shot.

Thanks for now!
Devin Morgan | CRP #3579
NES FAQ Completion Project:
http://faqs.retronintendo.com

User Info: ShadowWarKing

ShadowWarKing
6 months ago#2
The FFAQ editor needed an overhaul anyway. Glad to see something happening!

Two questions: First, will this affect current FFAQ editor projects? Will the formatting be messed up?

Secondly, this could be a chance to make it more mobile-friendly, simpler and less fiddle and cluttered.

But overall, I'm looking forward to the changes and can't wait to here more!

Edit: My Titanfall 2 guide can only be edited on my computer due to the sheer size and heavy use of pictures. Less loading and crashing os excellent.

User Info: KeyBlade999

KeyBlade999
6 months ago#3
Holy crap, that's f***ing genius.

I almost want to use the Editor now. Still probably won't because I just am more comfortable with the code (plus it works when I'm not online), but I think that really addresses some of the major problems I've been hearing - especially the one about how the Editor tends to be painfully laggy at larger sizes and how C&P'ing tends to be a pain. ^.^

That said.

Devin Morgan posted...
To make sure things don't get too out of hand, we will likely impose a size limit for individual sections. This will serve to encourage the author to create a subsection or another top-level section altogether if necessary.

I personally don't think a size limit would be ideal unless it's really, REALLY big. The problem being that some sections might simply justify being that big and can't be reasonably subdivided.

Granted I can't say that any particular examples come to mind.
''I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.'' - Mewtwo

User Info: Devin Morgan

Devin Morgan
6 months ago#4
Old Editor files will work in the new Editor, though the old (current) Editor will be taken down when the new process is live. We'll give more details at a later time.

As for being mobile-friendly, it will be as friendly as it can be when using a complicated WYSIWYG editor. Obviously, using an actual computer will be optimal, maybe even a tablet. I think splitting out a guide into smaller sections should help make things a bit more mobile-friendly if you want to work on a less involving section of your guide that way.
Devin Morgan | CRP #3579
NES FAQ Completion Project:
http://faqs.retronintendo.com

User Info: Devin Morgan

Devin Morgan
6 months ago#5
KeyBlade999 posted...
I almost want to use the Editor now. Still probably won't because I just am more comfortable with the code (plus it works when I'm not online), but I think that really addresses some of the major problems I've been hearing - especially the one about how the Editor tends to be painfully laggy at larger sizes and how C&P'ing tends to be a pain. ^.^

Yup. The lag and clunky nature of using an online editor for guide writing in particular was frustrating, but we're finally going to address all of that.

KeyBlade999 posted...
I personally don't think a size limit would be ideal unless it's really, REALLY big. The problem being that some sections might simply justify being that big and can't be reasonably subdivided.

True, but the size limit would be something on the higher side anyway. In my opinion, if you have a subsection (picture a "Header 3" section) which is over say 100KB, you're likely doing something wrong and need to consider splitting it into more granular sections.
Devin Morgan | CRP #3579
NES FAQ Completion Project:
http://faqs.retronintendo.com

User Info: StarFighters76

StarFighters76
6 months ago#6
Devin Morgan posted...
Hey guys.

I may not post as much as I used to here


Who are you again? ;)
1,000 maps goal achieved on 04/12/2010!
2,000 maps goal achieved on 04/15/2016!

User Info: Krystal109

Krystal109
6 months ago#7
Devin Morgan posted...
Old Editor files will work in the new Editor, though the old (current) Editor will be taken down when the new process is live. We'll give more details at a later time.

Hope you guys will be able to offer us more information on how older files will be divided up in the new system. I worry about information being lost or needing to be moved if the division occur in places, due to headers that my guide uses, that isn't intended to be a different sub-section. Also, I agree with what Keyblade said about size limits. While you don't want people making a whole document in a single section, which is what a size limit would prevent, you should allow authors with experience to make some sections large enough for a given area, which varies greatly from game to game. Worst case, it may be something that needs to be tweeked as the problem with the limit arises (on the word of more experienced authors).

On a side note, glad to see some of the changes we have been discussing since I worked at GameFAQs haven't been lost over the years and new ideas have been brought to the table since then and added/implemented.

Edit: Will the test file/preview page be updated to allow us to preview these new editor files? Without being able to see the whole file at once, it would be easy to make a mistake in section ordering or header/sub-sections that can be easily seen when you can preview the whole document with the table of contents, etc.

User Info: Arkia

Arkia
6 months ago#8
Didn't I suggest this like a year ago? I'm glad it is being done, but gawd it would have helped like two months ago.
Aria of Vile Info's FW Rap Sheet: http://imgur.com/a/XXn2r
Arkia is now part of SinNoAria. I stream on twitch.

User Info: Devin Morgan

Devin Morgan
6 months ago#9
Krystal109 posted...
Hope you guys will be able to offer us more information on how older files will be divided up in the new system. I worry about information being lost or needing to be moved if the division occur in places, due to headers that my guide uses, that isn't intended to be a different sub-section. Also, I agree with what Keyblade said about size limits. While you don't want people making a whole document in a single section, which is what a size limit would prevent, you should allow authors with experience to make some sections large enough for a given area, which varies greatly from game to game. Worst case, it may be something that needs to be tweeked as the problem with the limit arises (on the word of more experienced authors).

On a side note, glad to see some of the changes we have been discussing since I worked at GameFAQs haven't been lost over the years and new ideas have been brought to the table since then and added/implemented.

Edit: Will the test file/preview page be updated to allow us to preview these new editor files? Without being able to see the whole file at once, it would be easy to make a mistake in section ordering or header/sub-sections that can be easily seen when you can preview the whole document with the table of contents, etc.

We haven't completely decided on what to do with guides already posted on the site. However, if you have existing Editor documents in the system when the new stuff goes live, we will be running a script to split those into separate sections based on your Header 2 and 3 tags. There will be more details on this process at a later point.

As for previewing on the test file/preview page, yes you will be able to see the new Editor files there.
Devin Morgan | CRP #3579
NES FAQ Completion Project:
http://faqs.retronintendo.com

User Info: Krystal109

Krystal109
6 months ago#10
Sounds good. Thanks for the info Devin. Hope to hear more in the near future.
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