User talk:H. V. McIntosh/Herparium

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"m (removed pattern template since this page is not about a particular pattern. will look over in more depth later)"

and good riddance. Looking over the Wiki extensively, it seems that most entries correspond closely to items available in compilations of Life patterns or terminology elsewhere on the Internet. A missing entry which I needed seems to be verylongship.png, at least missing here on the LifeWiki.

These pattern templates are no doubt representative of an effort to standardize the way in which specific categories of information are presented; even so, editing and symbol manipulation technology should have advanced to the point where more flexibility is possible. For example, why not simply drop lines where the default response "unknown" is used? Or allow phrases such as "approximately ... ," "before ... ,"variable" ? No doubt all these accoutrements are inherited from the real Wiki, and can't be adjusted for a single site.

The reason for not dropping "unknown" is, if it is not present on a page, then it is more difficult to find what information is currently missing from the wiki. If, however, you go to a page a see an "unknown" beside a discovery date (for example), then you know that you can add that information to the page (if you know that information or know where to find it). And I'm all for allowing phrases like "approximately" or some such thing in pattern templates, but I need specific examples of what their usage should be in order to know what you want. In any case, I don't think that a pattern template is appropriate for this page since it seems to be describing several families of different (albeit related) patterns. Nathaniel 01:45, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
There is a problem of aesthetics as well as training here. It is unsightly to have a long list of "unknown" items but as you say, how else is an innocent to know that they are available for dispersing the cloud of ignorance surrounding them? An explicit list also indicates what range of information is appropriate for the box containing the list. As for training, I haven't interacted much with Wikis although I know HTML and PHPBB. So I am having the devil's own time trying to run down the paramater list for "gallery" (I don't dare enclose that word in angle brackets on a page subject to a Wiki editor). So in opening a Wiki page to editing by the general public, one really wants the process to be as simple and intuitive as possible.
As for relaxing the range of allowable parameters admissible as responses to an item, that is a question of tuning the response editor. It is probably futile to try to anticipate every possible phrase, yet confining them to a set format defeats the desire for simplicity. What I think I have mainly noticed here is that the majority of the entries in the LifeWiki seem to have been taken from lists elsewhere, which in turn lack the desired range of information. Getting it would probably require access to copies of Wainwright's Lifeline, or to the archives of the original LifeCA group in Internet or even to the original discoverers joining LifeWiki and volunteering the information. In other words, areal job for a real historian.
Addressing the Pattern Template question, I am just as glad to get rid of it. Especially considering the difficulty of inserting a satisfactory image to characterize the herparium. Surely gathering Life artifacts into families is a worthwhile enterprise, and a long list of "See Also's" or hyperlinks isn't an altogether satisfactory solution; one would like to see some examples all together on the same page. Also, more than still lifes fall in families. Maybe a Family Template would be appropriate, at least after some more examples have been gathered up. -hvm

Two distinct families

There's no simple way to connect the snake/carrier family with the tub/ship (and boat, tho you don't mention that) family, unlike the other snake-based families.

I also think a slightly more efficient component analysis for the horizontal snake family would be in terms of hooks (L-triminos) and Z-tetrominos, in which the plain snake indeed is the heads-only member (similarly with carriers).

This family can, BTW, also accommodate Z-hexominoes and heptominoes:


Moreover… the subfamily of long^n (diagonal) snakes is obviously a part of a larger family of stabilized fuses; this also includes still lifes such as canoes (cis-snakes), shillelaghs, cis-shillelaghs, the eater (as a zero-length shillelagh!), integrals, hooks-with-tails, tubs-with-tails, etc. (There are three basic fuse ends — the hook, the tail, and the claw — and one x-with-tail fuse ending per every tub/boat/beehive/loaf-based still-life, as well as one ending per every horizontal snake/carrier ending in a z-tetromino or hexomino. Working out which end combination goes with which subfamily is left as an excercise for the reader.)


Tri-fuse with a hook


Tri-fuse with a Z-tetromino


Tri-fuse with a tail


Tri-fuse with a claw


Tri-fuse with a vessel

A few notes on the "vessel" family, too: if we approach this as a diagonal (1)2(0 2)*(1) structure, interestingly it's also possible to analyze the block as a zero-length ship, ie 1 2 1… This alphabet also easily covers the ship-tie and its kin, which calls for a …0 2 1 0 1 2 0… sequence.

--Tropylium 15:48, 23 June 2011 (CDT)

Re: proposed deletion

Although this does indeed appear to be original research, I though it was interesting enough, so I'd say don't delete it outright but instead move it to a subpage of the original author's user page. Apple Bottom (talk) 11:49, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. - AwesoMan3000 (talk) 15:04, 30 June 2016 (UTC)