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Updates to Building Character Sheets Wiki & GitHub README

1540578143
Roll20 Dev Team
Roll20 Team
Greetings sheet authors! In an effort to improve the character sheet creation and updating process, we have rolled out changes to the  Building Character Sheet  wiki.  With a growing Github community of 550+ contributors, 590+ folders, and over 20,000 commits, it has become ever more important to try to set easy to follow guidelines in order to abate the challenges that come with a collaboration project on this scale.  The most notable updates include: Minimum Requirements  for submitting to the Roll20 repository on Github, Beyond the minimum , a collection of helpful advanced features Best Practices  contributed by veteran sheet authors The minimum requirements posted in the  Building Character Sheet  wiki are a replacement for the old guidelines formerly found in the  GitHub README . The README has received its own updates as well. The important one to note is:   Pull requests are processed weekly and should be  submitted no later than 6am PST Mondays , roughly 13:00-14:00 UTC. Earlier submissions are encouraged to allow for peer review from other contributors. Getting pull requests in before this set time will help the repository curator to review changes, merge requests, and test submissions prior to the official code push. Submitting these requests early offers a chance for our awesome veteran sheet authors over on the Github to take a look at them. We have several helpful collaborators who generously offer their time to look over new pull requests and provide feedback or help. Additional updates include the  kitchensink  which now reflects the minimum requirements. Questions, comments, and feedback is welcome :) Thank you sheet authors for all your past, present, and continued work in order to make this collaboration project possible!
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Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
Thanks for creating this.  All sheet authors existing as well as future should benefit from this addition to the wiki.
1540808408
Jakob
Pro
Sheet Author
API Scripter
All new sheets are expected to use proper containers elements such as  <⁠div>  and  <⁠span> elements. Hallelujah, no more tables!
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GiGs
Pro
Sheet Author
Are you sure they aren't regarding tables as a proper container element? It is still the suggested format for rolltemplates, after all.
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Edited 1540833161
Cassie
Roll20 Team
I missed the rolltemplates example when doing the wiki updates. I will get that updated today to use <div> & <span>. Tables are perfectly fine for tablular data however an entire sheet and rolltemplates are not generally considered tabular data. :) Feedback on this is welcome as it is a group effort.
1541998544
Andreas J.
Sheet Author
I might have something interesting under works, when it comes to sheet translations.  Here are some partially translated sheets made by my small program.
1542066337
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
Andreas J. said: I might have something interesting under works, when it comes to sheet translations.  Here are some partially translated sheets made by my small program. This would be a cool application.  A real time saver for sheet authors. 
1542075044
Chuck
Plus
As a DM and Player I have noticed since the sheet change, lots of the boarder lines are duplicated and layer over text in some areas and text doesn't stay within the lines. 
1542076834
keithcurtis
Forum Champion
Hi Chuck, Which sheet are you talking about? This thread is about changes to the submission policy for all sheets.
1542132206
Andreas J.
Sheet Author
Vince said: This would be a cool application.  A real time saver for sheet authors.  Yeah I know, that's why I started on it. Had the luck that I could design a mandatory assignment I had to be both useful for my course, and to create a base for something actually useful(outside the learning experince itself). I was gifted credits thanks to this, so now I could get back being Pro, and can see how the output files behave, and generate translation.json files to see what it's missing. :) Will take my time working on it, but going to be a bit on the backburner(like my work on sheets already been for some time), now that it's not a part of my studies. Likely will have a workable V.05 or something around Christmas time. I'll make a separate post about it, when I have something more than the current v.0.1.(mentioned in the readme).
1542157365
Coal Powered Puppet
Pro
Sheet Author
Jakob said: All new sheets are expected to use proper containers elements such as  <⁠div>  and  <⁠span> elements. Hallelujah, no more tables! For those of us who are self taught- via Roll20 and the forehead-to-keyboard-realignment method- a quick example of how "proper containers elements" would not go unappreciated.  And a line or two on styling the "Attribute-backed spans" would have saved me about two hours of frustration.
1542166956
Andreas J.
Sheet Author
Coal Powered Puppet said: For those of us who are self taught- via Roll20 and the forehead-to-keyboard-realignment method- a quick example of how "proper containers elements" would not go unappreciated.  And a line or two on styling the "Attribute-backed spans" would have saved me about two hours of frustration. Yeah this exactly. I haven't put energy to try make my sheets better or without tables because when I looked into it, I didn't get really far and just did how I knew would work at least in some form. So yeah my sheets still have horrible code.(on the other hand I didnt make the SWD6 sheet so not my fault) Suggesting real alternative to the row, col and the old classes shoudl also be made if they after all are bad practice(from times since before I got started).
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GiGs
Pro
Sheet Author
Coal Powered Puppet said: Jakob said: All new sheets are expected to use proper containers elements such as  <⁠div>  and  <⁠span> elements. Hallelujah, no more tables! For those of us who are self taught- via Roll20 and the forehead-to-keyboard-realignment method- a quick example of how "proper containers elements" would not go unappreciated.  And a line or two on styling the "Attribute-backed spans" would have saved me about two hours of frustration. I had missed that bit about attribute-backed spans. That looks like a useful approach except it says in the best practices section:  Spans over disabled inputs .  Attribute-backed spans  are more efficient than disabled inputs. But in the linked section it says: When using attribute backed spans in a repeating section, you should always make a hidden input version of the attribute as attribute backed spans in repeating sections cannot be called without the full repeating section syntax (e.g. @{repeating_SECTIONNAME_$X_attribute_name}). Is it really more efficient to use a span when you have to add an input as well, as opposed to just using an input? That doesn't seem to make sense to me. I realise this is for repeating sections specifically and not general use, but the efficiency recommendation doesn't distinguish between the two.
1542174745
GiGs
Pro
Sheet Author
Andreas J. said: I might have something interesting under works, when it comes to sheet translations.  Here are some partially translated sheets made by my small program. I cant tell what your sheets have done. What is the application you are working on going to do?
1542174867
Cassie
Roll20 Team
Way ahead of you good people. The Kitchen Sink example was updated to include <div> tags. For a more elaborate example I would look at the Dungeon World Official sheet. I too am self taught and my primary guides learning tools were W3Schools and Code Academy .
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Edited 1542208823
Andreas J.
Sheet Author
G G said: I cant tell what your sheets have done. What is the application you are working on going to do? Hmm i though the readme mentioned it. Anyway, I've started to work on a program the automate the creation/insertions of i18n tags for character sheets that dont have them(the giles with the i18n- prefix are translated files, those without are original). It's a bit faulty still but could potentially speed up the process. EDIT: I added an complete example of the trollbabe sheet , with the original thml, and a translated version where the script had inserted 2data=i18n" tags, as well as the translation.json generated by the Roll20 consol tool. I havent modified manually anything on the translated html, but this should show a better "proof of concept", as with just some tweaks my script would be more accurate and output a less faulty html later. ACSI (Automated Character Sheet Internationalizer) is still an early v.0.1, but should be already useful with just some tweaks. 
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Edited 1542297889
Scott C.
Pro
Sheet Author
API Scripter
G G said: I had missed that bit about attribute-backed spans. That looks like a useful approach except it says in the best practices section:  Spans over disabled inputs .  Attribute-backed spans  are more efficient than disabled inputs. But in the linked section it says: When using attribute backed spans in a repeating section, you should always make a hidden input version of the attribute as attribute backed spans in repeating sections cannot be called without the full repeating section syntax (e.g. @{repeating_SECTIONNAME_$X_attribute_name}). Is it really more efficient to use a span when you have to add an input as well, as opposed to just using an input? That doesn't seem to make sense to me. I realise this is for repeating sections specifically and not general use, but the efficiency recommendation doesn't distinguish between the two. From a code resolution standpoint, the attribute backed spans are more efficient than the disabled inputs. This doesn't actually have to do with the attribute backed span though, it's because sheetworkers (when well done) cause less lag on the sheet than a lot of autocalc (aka disabled) fields. It is annoying that we have to duplicate any spans with hidden attributes to get them to work in repeating sections.
1542305209
Sᵃᵛᵃᵍᵉ ǤM
Pro
Sheet Author
Does this mean that I need to redo all of my table based roll templates??
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Andreas J.
Sheet Author
Savage Gamer said: Does this mean that I need to redo all of my table based roll templates?? That seems like an unreasonable conclusion, given that it would cause troubles for many existing sheet. And we'd have some kind of deadline or some direct indication of this. ( I'm not speculating on the official stance, just saying I wouldn't do so, where I behind this policy change. )
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Sᵃᵛᵃᵍᵉ ǤM
Pro
Sheet Author
Kinda why I was asking the question...to rule out speculation.
1542336287
GiGs
Pro
Sheet Author
Savage Gamer said: Does this mean that I need to redo all of my table based roll templates?? Just to clarify based on previous changes to the rules: No, those are rules and guidelines for new sheets. I'm sure roll20 would be happy if you decided to upgrade your sheet, and ideally we can all find the time to do that, but it's not required.
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Edited 1542340269
Andreas J.
Sheet Author
Wiki : To ensure a consistent quality of character sheets in the repository, all submissions must meet the minimum requirements below. Tread's first post: Minimum Requirements  for submitting to the Roll20 repository on Github Only submitting sheets/changes is ever addressed, in either this post or the wiki, so it should be fairly clear that it doesn't affect existing sheet. 
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Edited 1542374618
Sᵃᵛᵃᵍᵉ ǤM
Pro
Sheet Author
Understood, It's unlikely that I would be submitting my GURPS sheet for a pull request. Since it was made clear that Devs don't want duplication of character sheets. My main concern was that table tags would no longer be allowed and I would have to redo my rolltemplates. It would be nice to have some of those nifty badges like sheet author and script author.
1542519907

Edited 1542539163
Thanks for the good comments on the suggestions. We have a lot of new knowledge is good.:ta
This isn't a character sheet. it's writing for microsoft. I've been playing Dnd for 40 years since ADnD, and I've never once seen character sheets stretched out to absurd lengths of unnecessary gobbledygook just to determine a character's name. I speak English, not computer.  I can make a 5E character in 5 minutes and sit down to a table to play.  Your method would take me 6 months. Doing it your method, by the time my character sheet is ready to play, I'd have finished Curse of Strahd and made level 12. What has me most annoyed, is that everywhere i read about Roll20, the primary selling point was how "easy" it is to use, how "easy" it is to get started playing right away. There is nothing easy about all the macro crap y'all have to use for character creation. The other thing I found uncooperative, was the tutorial.  There are bits that do not work, for example, the dice gui. I rolled the dice a hundred times, and not once did I find where a "gui" was.  I am sorry if I am not proficient in computer language.  Also, the tutorial block would manage to locate itself off screen so it could not be read, or moved, or that portion of the tutorial could not continue.  I'm sure you'll all get a good laugh from my post, if anyone reads it at all.  This site is by no means easy to use, unless you are a professor at Cal-Tech.
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Edited 1544719289
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
@Ted Another gaming dinosaur here with a similar pedigree... I have introduced my similarly "seasoned" friends to roll20 as well.  All have adapted from traditional pen/paper.  Some faster than others.  It did take a little guidance, but eventually there was much less hand holding as we all learned the interface.  It does get better/easier. Unless you have the need/desire to create your own sheet, the methods(basic html, css, and optionally js) of creating a sheet on roll20 is irrelevant.  There are LOTS of existing sheets that cover a plethora of rpg's on roll20.  Other than a handful of "Official" sheets, all other sheets were created by the roll20 community.  While some of the sheet authors consist of professionals with programming and web design backgrounds, most are mere hobbyist at best that have learned the skills right here through trial and error and the gracious guidance and tutorage of others. I would agree that It would be nice if roll20 had an interface that could be used to help someone with no html/css skills to build a basic sheet.  This may already be a suggestion somewhere... Most sheets handle everything you need directly from the sheet.  Most of the macro requests you see on roll20 either stem from players/gm's that want to go beyond the basic rolls or come from a time before character sheets were used on roll20. The macro syntax allows us to make that possible. Before character sheets were introduced on roll20, everything was handled manually by creating attributes and macros.  Character sheets have allowed sheet authors to wrangle auto-calculated attributes and handle complicated rolls all within a nice interface. Please don't forget to use these forums if you need help.  Lot's of wonderful people here to help.
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Sᵃᵛᵃᵍᵉ ǤM
Pro
Sheet Author
Vince said: @Ted Another gaming dinosaur here with a similar pedigree... I have introduced my similarly "seasoned" friends to roll20 as well.  All have adapted from traditional pen/paper.  Some faster than others.  It did take a little guidance, but eventually there was much less hand holding as we all learned the interface.  It does get better/easier. Unless you have the need/desire to create your own sheet, the methods(basic html, css, and optionally js) of creating a sheet on roll20 is irrelevant.  There are LOTS of existing sheets that cover a plethora of rpg's on roll20.  Other than a handful of "Official" sheets, all other sheets were created by the roll20 community.  While some of the sheet authors consist of professionals with programming and web design backgrounds, most are mere hobbyist at best that have learned the skills right here through trial and error and the gracious guidance and tutorage of others. I would agree that It would be nice if roll20 had an interface that could be used to help someone with no html/css skills to build a basic sheet.  This may already be a suggestion somewhere... Most sheets handle everything you need directly from the sheet.  Most of the macro requests you see on roll20 either stem from players/gm's that want to go beyond the basic rolls or come from a time before character sheets were used on roll20. The macro syntax allows us to make that possible. Before character sheets were introduced on roll20, everything was handled manually by creating attributes and macros.  Character sheets have allowed sheet authors to wrangle auto-calculated attributes and handle complicated rolls all within a nice interface. Please don't forget to use these forums if you need help.  Lot's of wonderful people here to help. I second that. The only way I've learned is through trial and error and help from the community. That being said, I call on the community to share their knowledge, tips, and expertise. This helps us all have a better online RPGing experience.
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GiGs
Pro
Sheet Author
Ted, I think there's a bit of a misconception here. You don't need to make a new character sheet to make a character. There are many, many character sheets already built, and you can just use one of those. You mention the struggle to make a 5e character-  there are at least two, maybe three different sheets already built you can use for that game. When you create a new campaign, pick the character sheet for your game, and you should be good to go. GUI is a term for Graphic User Interface - it just means something with buttons and other stuff on it you can click to make things happen. When you're in a game, look to the left of the screen at that floating vertical toolbar. One of the buttons on that launches the the Dice roll GUI. There are videos on youtube about how to get started with roll20. If you dont have a local friend to help you out, it's a good idea to look into some of those at least till you get an idea of what youre doing.
1544728006
Cassie
Roll20 Team
Ted S., Vince did a great job of explaining so I do not have more to add. You can build a character using an existing sheet without building a new character sheet thanks to the continued help of these fine sheet authors. Savage GM, At this time and for the near future we have no intentions to require the older sheets to be updated to meet all of the standards. There are a few that we will be reaching out to such as the ones that require an API by default making them only viable to Pro users or are potentially violating copy write. Many proactive sheet authors have taken it upon themselves to update their code which is a fantastic contribution to the community effort. :) We generally allow 2 sheets for popular systems and a single sheet for less played rules sets. Currently we do have 2 sheets for the GURPs system. One updated 2 years ago and the other 17 days ago. If a pull request comes along that has an improved user interface and/or better support we will evaluate that sheet to potentially take one of the spots. We would deprecate the older one so users would not be impacted and then add the new one to the approved list. Its still on my radar to gather as many community resources as I can. The CSS Wizardry is a helpful place for more advance options. Often a post on the forums will get you the best feedback for your specific scenario on a sheet. Advanced sheet authors like Scott and Vince frequently contribute advice. I personally used Code Academy to get started in Javascript. Also as a slow personal side project, I have been making my own Sheet Template . I found myself doing some of the same things every time I started a new sheet. I keep adding to it as I work through my new Wrath & Glory. When the version 1 is ready I will flesh out a Readme and make a lot more comments to explain what each line is doing.  Cheers!
1545255510
Dan W.
Sheet Author
Hello,   It's been literally years since I submitted any changes to my character sheet, but I got a request from a user to correct some things.  I'm pretty happy to say I actually figured most of it out and I was very pleased to re-connect with roll20 and see the wiki and README.  HOWEVER...  :-)   After all that time, my git knowledge atrophied, so I'm lacking confidence...    I submitted everything as best I could and made the pull request; everything APPEARS correct.    Is it possible to request some thumbs-up/thumbs-down feedback if I did it correctly and the sheet is just waiting review/approval for the next deadline on Monday?
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Edited 1545256353
GiGs
Pro
Sheet Author
As you know, the roll20 github overlords (hehe) review submissions on Mondays I believe and push them live that night. If there are any issues with your push request, there's no way to know before then.  You can check it is in the queue on this page:  https://github.com/Roll20/roll20-character-sheets/pulls If it shows up there, your work is done and all that's left is waiting.
1545258982
Cassie
Roll20 Team
Dan, If you have submitted a PR you can @clevett on Github and I'll take a quick look at it. I wont be doing full merge & testing until 7th January but I can at least glance over the PR itself. The main thing you'll want to ensure is there are no Merge Conflicts. GiGs, Overlord ? My process now is to review & merge Monday to check for issues before our updates go to live on Tuesday. :)
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GiGs
Pro
Sheet Author
Is that a picture of your work uniform, Cassie? roll20 are very formal!
1545265046
Andreas J.
Sheet Author
Dan W.  said:   Is it possible to request some thumbs-up/thumbs-down feedback if I did it correctly and the sheet is just waiting review/approval for the next deadline on Monday? Sure, I can take a quick look. Every now and then, I look at the new PRs & their code, comment on them if there are some obvious problems, or give a thumbs up on new sheets that are okay on a glance.
1545342395
Dan W.
Sheet Author
Hi Andreas,    Thanks -- it's the Fantasy Craft sheet in the PR queue.  If you can at least assure me there are no merge conflicts that would be great.  I had to change around my git setup and use the desktop version whereas before I was doing it via command line.  Since they are slightly different it's kinda hard for me to tell.  If there is a tell-tale sign of a merge conflict to look for, that would be swank, too.   Oh, and please don't judge me about the sheet's style.  It is truly horrible.  If I could bend css to my will like c++ it would be different, I assure you.  But css defies logic if you ask me...
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Edited 1545343296
Andreas J.
Sheet Author
Dan W. said:   Thanks -- it's the Fantasy Craft sheet in the PR queue.  If you can at least assure me there are no merge conflicts that would be great.   There is no merge conflicts on the PR, it says so right at the bottom of the PR. I ignored it eariler as it had no merge conflict and an actual description of what the update was suppesed to be about so it passed my speedy "Is it a dumpsterfire?" glance with flying colors.  Won't comment on the  actual changes as that would need me to get familiar with the sheet, I might get back to you later if actually insist me to look further. I was under the impression you where submitting a new sheet, in which case  I would have checked that nothing crazy was going on the sheet in general or the files, but not much else. I do wonder why you are uploading the nochar html and css files, what purpouse do they serve? Usually each sheet have only one html and one css file.
1545345033
Dan W.
Sheet Author
I  do  wonder why you are uploading the nochar html and css files, what purpouse do they serve? Usually each sheet have only one html and one css file. You know, I don't remember ...  :-P   I thought those were required for some reason...  then it seemed like they were new.  I wasn't sure and I thought it better to include them than not.  Happy to have them deleted, I may have had them to help testing when I was working on them more regularly years ago. it passed my speedy "Is it a dumpsterfire?" W00t!  :-)
1545345199
Andreas J.
Sheet Author
it passed my speedy "Not a dumpsterfire"-test with flying colors. Ninja edit
Hello, I was developing a Savage Worlds sheet and need see how it works, my effort is more to create designs than coding... so i need to see results of css, but I dont have a pro account. How I can do this?
1546783999
GiGs
Pro
Sheet Author
The only way is to get a pro account, unfortunately.
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Edited 1546790998
Andreas J.
Sheet Author
And the only way you'd be able to use it, is if the creator of a campaign is a Pro user and have chosen "custom sheet" as option. You couldn't use it as free nor plus user by yourself anyway. If you take a month of pro and develop your sheet, and then create a few games with the custom sheet as base, you can continue having the sheets in those games even if you let your pro-membership end. Oh, and as there exist a Savage Worlds sheet already, you have practicly no chance for it to be added to publicly available sheet(and thus also to free accounts). You're welcome to improve existing sheets, but to propertly improve and test them you'd need a pro account anyway.
I'm having issues with the Rifts character sheet skills addition. It seems that when new skill slots are created, the skill can be typed in, the base can be typed in, the per level can be typed in, but the total shows an algorithm (calculations) without showing only the preferred total.