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Author Sticky: New Dialog.tlk Community Thread
Astorax
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Joined: 29 Apr 2002
From: Alameda, CA
Posted: Sunday, 07 December 2003 11:22PM
Hey guys, sorry bout that.

Okay, here's the scoop. I don't have the time to maintain documentation on a community tlk. Wish I did, but my time is rapidly gettin sucked in multiple directions now.

SO, here's the scoop.

I talked to Papermonk (CODI for those that don't know) and here's what we talked about:

CODI will take entries 10,000 - 19,999
DLA will take entries 20,000 - 29,999
and while I haven't talked to Eligio, I'm hoping that CEP will take 30,000 - 39,999. Beyond that, it's up to someone to take over maintaining the list of who's got what if you want. I would SUGGEST that someone start a page on the community wiki wiki which can be found here for the community list. THat's likely going to be the easiest way to moderate a list.
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_ShadowHawk
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Joined: 13 Aug 2002
From: NYC
Posted: Monday, 08 December 2003 12:39AM
Just to reiterate what was previously stated for the sake of this new thread, I'll be using 40,000 - 40,999 for current and upcoming content.
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_ShadowHawk
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Joined: 13 Aug 2002
From: NYC
Posted: Monday, 08 December 2003 01:17AM
I'm dubious as to how to dissuade everyone and his pal Joey from staking out 10k on a lark, but if I can come up with something sensible I'll post and/or host a page.
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Astorax
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Joined: 29 Apr 2002
From: Alameda, CA
Posted: Monday, 08 December 2003 03:38AM
You tell them no. If you're hosting the page, and running things, you just don't let them hold onto 10k entries...
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_ShadowHawk
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Joined: 13 Aug 2002
From: NYC
Posted: Monday, 08 December 2003 12:31PM
Quote: Posted by rabbithail

Decided to truncate some of the late night rambling of my previous post and cut to the chase.

Accessibility
The latest community talktable could be available on a website where contributors could search for text (a la the BW talktableviewer) or by broad subject matter or subcategory or campaign or book (core classes, FRCS classes, DLCS classes, MoP classes, MM2 creatures).

Predictability & Control
Grouping strrefs by reference book would permit reasonably fixed and estimable numbers of needed talk entries for each book/section. For instance, Tome and Blood has a known number of PrCs. Each custom class uses 4 strrefs. Thus, T&B would have a known (4 * # of T&B PrCs) needed entries for the class entries. To a larger extent, the class abilities (feats) would also be finite and bound. Grouping by too broad a category creates a need for new strrefs that may grow at an unpredictable rate wandering into other set talkspace or needing to take new space elsewhere.

Consistency
If reasonably well-planned, there should be little or no need to change existing strrefs once set. Users can have stronger reliability that the strrefs will not change on them.

Only get what you need
The community talktable could just be a resource for designers, a large library of sorts where you can pick and choose your content and the talk entries that go with them already conflict-free. This would reduce the need to distribute massive talktables that are 95% common text.

Ease of use
TLK editors could be designed to scan all the .2das in a hak and allow automatic or manual dragging and dropping of the relevant talk entries into the actual custom talktable that can then be distributed to the players involved.

Minimal Redundancy
Outside of truly unique content, nearly all words, terms, and text will be common to D&D, specific D&D campaigns and material, accessories, or the more frequent non-D&D content around.

Talk entries would be able to be cleanly associated with and organized according to content itself. An individual 2da line could accompany the content itself with the reliability that the strrefs used will work and not need to be reorganized even if mixed into a combo or alteration hak.

I quoted rabbithail's post above because it bears keeping in mind. If we were going to compile a CEP-like community talk table, this would be the way to go. I, however, like Astorax, am sure I don't have the clock cycles to devote to such an undertaking. I'm considering keeping track of what ranges are being used by actively productive creators of content for broad availability, but working alone the compilation of such a file as mentioned would take so long, WotC will have published 5th Edition rules by then.
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Jasperre
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Joined: 05 Jul 2002
From: UK
Posted: Monday, 08 December 2003 12:54PM
I wonder if it is possible to reserve some for the spellmans project. Spells need a hell of a lot of 2da entries, 1 for each item property for starters, as well as 2 for the spell - name, and description.

I'll ask soopaman, the leader, what he thinks
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Sir Pom-Pom
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Joined: 27 Feb 2003
From: Madouc
Posted: Monday, 08 December 2003 01:45PM
Quote: 
I'm dubious as to how to dissuade everyone and his pal Joey from staking out 10k on a lark, but if I can come up with something sensible I'll post and/or host a page.
I'll give my opinion even if noone asked me
Though it is sensible for big, multi-aspect projects to reserve their StrRef before hand, because they need coordination and consistancy during a long span of time, smaller projects should simply get the thing out using whatever StrRefs are available at that time. If anyone starts reserving StrRefs, the comunity tlk will look like a huge gruyère (swiss cheese).There is bound to be some projects that never see the light of day, so would you set an expiration date for the reservations? It's gone to be a hell of a thing to manage...

There is a tool that could be used for that I believe:
Click Here
As is, or with small modifications, I think you could create your mod and only fix the StrRef range at the time of release. If Ewald is around he might be able to tell you more.

Oh what the hell, I'll mention it . I made some time ago a program to use custom tlks with a module, and also alter Bio strings in dialog.tlk "on the fly" without modifying dialog.tlk itself. With some modifications it could be used as a developement tool too I guess (using that until the time of release and then converting into a "true" custom tlk) , but if I'm not mistaking Ewalds tool is more apropriate for that.
On the other hand it could be used by persistant world, for instance, wishing to have their own custom tlk (or simply insert their text in the place of Bioware's OC text) without tempering the community tlk. It is compatible with Bioware's tlk (actually I didn't try it myself since I don't have HotU). It has big drawbacks though :
1) Though I think it simple once you get the trick of it, and a few people use it, it never caught, and I'm afraid there is a reason for that .
2) The big one: the program is windows only, since I don't have linux, the code for it is somewhat suspended in midair. This means that Linux users would have to download the temp files my program produces (dup.tlk, and hackpacks). And replace their dialog.tlk with dup.tlk... not nice.
Ok sorry for that advertising, I suppose I grew more attached to that thing than I thought . Anyway if anyone is interrested the link is in my sig, dialog updater (somewhat of a misleading name, since it doesn't "update" anything).
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Eligio_Sacateca
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Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posted: Monday, 08 December 2003 02:48PM
Quote: Posted 12/07/03 23:22:25 (GMT) by Astorax
...and while I haven't talked to Eligio, I'm hoping that CEP will take 30,000 - 39,999.
Works for us.

We will likely be putting creature names, placeable names and other entries that are not, strictly speaking, required into our section. There are many reasons for this including the previously mentioned point about performance, the convenience if somebody wants to translate the CEP into another language, and because we are planning on doing custom standard palettes which require talktable strings for palette entries.

For at least some things, like weapon names and creature names, we are likely to pad with a reasonable subset of standard content (i.e., all existing PHB weapon names, MMI and II creature names, etc.)
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Custom Content Guide v2.01
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Edited By Eligio_Sacateca on 12/08/03 14:57

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EwaldTheUnimaginative
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Profile: EwaldTheUnimaginativeNWN


Joined: 22 Mar 2003
Posted: Monday, 08 December 2003 06:49PM
looks like a good time to advertise my 2da/tlk patcher (see 2da/tlk/gff editor in signature) . after just a little editing of your custom 2da files the patcher allows you to add your custom 2da and tlk entries to any other set of 2da files without additional work ( well, at least if the 2da files have the same columns ). it takes care of the cross references between the 2da files and even generates constant definitions for spell scripts. this works for spells, feats, classes, races or whatever as the included patches demonstrate. to cut it short : it makes reservation of tlk lines unnecesary since you can merge your tlk/2da stuff with other hak paks and tlk files without any fuss ( as it works solely on 2da and tlk files, it won't help you with strrefs in dialog files or journal entries ! ).
(!)unfortunatly, the patches aren't updated for version 1.59 (HotU) and the documenation isn't too good, but if you are into 2da file editing you should have no problems with evaluating this thing.

The latest editor version also includes some provisions for working with user strrefs in 2da files.
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rabbithail
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Joined: 19 Jun 2002
From: The Land of Frolicking Naked Nymphs
Posted: Monday, 08 December 2003 10:53PM
Hmm... that's an idea. If Ewald's tlk editor (and others in the future) could all automatically resolve strref conflicts that people are currently doing by hand right now, then perhaps there really is no need for a community talktable per se and it should just be a common "Large Project Teams" talktable.
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Jasperre
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Joined: 05 Jul 2002
From: UK
Posted: Tuesday, 09 December 2003 12:38PM
It must be a decent, easy program to use then, with so many entries

I think I'll look at that program tonight and stuff. Maybe a special "Custom TLK" one could come out for 1.60? I remember it being said the entries still start at 0, but the 2da files start from something like a million you have to put in.
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mr_bumpkin
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Joined: 26 Aug 2002
From: Portland, OR
Posted: Thursday, 11 December 2003 02:51AM
So what numbers would you recommend individual content makers use?

I want to come up with some of my own content, but still be able to use the community stuff at the same time.
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_ShadowHawk
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Joined: 13 Aug 2002
From: NYC
Posted: Thursday, 11 December 2003 03:10AM
Quote: Posted 12/11/03 02:51:52 (GMT) by mr_bumpkin

So what numbers would you recommend individual content makers use?

I want to come up with some of my own content, but still be able to use the community stuff at the same time.

If it's for your own use (PW, guild servers, etc.) use the first 10k for your stuff. If it's to be made available for general public use, I think the previous suggestion to simply pick an unused range, being prepared to change it before you post the finished product if by then someone else has made stuff available using that range, makes the most sense. I can see already that tool makers are going to be modifying TLK file editors to shift numbered entries up or down as needed.
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mr_bumpkin
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Joined: 26 Aug 2002
From: Portland, OR
Posted: Saturday, 13 December 2003 07:30AM
Yeah, but shifting can be quite a hassle, I bet, because you would have to change all the content that refers to the numbers you were using before so it refers to the new numbers.

Better just to be careful. If I ever come up with anything of monumental import - I'll make sure and look here before putting in the talk table stuff.
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_ShadowHawk
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Joined: 13 Aug 2002
From: NYC
Posted: Saturday, 13 December 2003 07:38AM
Actually, it shouldn't be a hassle at all. It should at most be a global replace of a couple of digits in your 2DA file, an email to your crew, and an upload. Too, others are talking about ERF updaters as well. It's going to be easy as pie mate. Shaving that morning would be more of a task.
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Edited By _ShadowHawk on 12/13/03 07:41

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