Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)

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The technical section of the village pump is used to discuss technical issues about Wikipedia. Bugs and feature requests should be made at Bugzilla (see how to report a bug). Bugs with security implications should be reported to or filed under the "Security" product in Bugzilla.

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Abandonment of Reflinks [edit]

  • There is no reason to disable Reflinks [1] and other useful tools just to make people come here and sign a petition. I believe community consensus would be to keep those tools working. Be rather hypocritical to force your will upon others, in order to make them protest someone else doing the same thing here. Dream Focus 00:20, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
@Dream Focus: It appears that Dispenser's tools were blocked by the WMF, not taken offline to encourage petition signing. GoingBatty (talk) 00:52, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
First they just have the protest encouragement there, then suddenly they are blocked. No reason to block them though, not with such popular tools being used for years now. Just happened the moment they tried protesting. I find it unlikely it can be unrelated. Dream Focus 00:57, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
You may think it unlikely, but it is unrelated. It came to the attention of the admins that Dispenser was violating the Labs Terms of use, in particular in having and running non-free software. He was asked to remove such software and refused, hence the block and the message GoingBatty linked. Some of the conversation leading up to this situation is in the #wikimedia-labs logs starting around timestamp 19:42:50. Anomie 01:58, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
It is indeed unrelated. — Dispenser 03:34, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
So much for IAR. I rely heavily on Reflinks. Too bad that WMF didn't consider the value of these tools to the project before simply switching them off. - MrX 15:43, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
  • This WMF action also includes the shut down of two of Dispenser's tools used on the DYK nomination templates: Dab links and Checklinks. — Maile (talk) 16:13, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
    • WMF's response reminds me of Dogma - TP 01:03, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
      • Reply - Bring back Reflinks! That is all! --Jax 0677 (talk) 06:56, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
      • Reply Bring back Reflinks. It is an invaluable tool and I relied on it. It is too onerous to convert footnotes from bare URLs manually and the number of those in the pages I work on are piling up at a great rate as users are too lazy to use the Wiki cite templates. --P123ct1 (talk) 08:36, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Missing this tool: I am missing this tool. This has been a very useful one. (after reading this notice) --TitoDutta 17:11, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
  • @Ser Amantio di Nicolao, Jax 0677, P123ct1, Titodutta, Maile66: if you read up you'll see that the tool shutdown has nothing to do with the superprotect right or Dispenser's opinion on it; he shut them down in a fit of pique after he was banned from labs, quite rightfully, for hosting non-free software in direct violation of the labs terms of use. Ironholds (talk) 04:36, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
  • @Ironholds: thank you. Looks like I did not read the main post here. The tool is a useful one and I was missing it and got this thread's link in a notice (linked in my last post, just above). Why are they linking this thread, if it is unrelated? (posted using android) --TitoDutta 04:49, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
    I don't know; that's a question for Dispenser. I'd guess either a continuation of said fit of pique, or a feeling that superprotect and his banning are linked in consisting of "occasions on which the WMF has said no to something" (which I don't think is a decent comparison, since in the case of the banning, what they said no to was 'terms of use violations', but..) Ironholds (talk) 11:38, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Ironholds, well however and why ever things happened, the fact remains that Dispenser had tools that are needed. If Dispenser is not providing these at this time, perhaps WMF can provide replacements:
1) Reflinks
2) Dablinks
3) Dabsolver
4) Webcheck links
5) Watcher
— Maile (talk) 18:29, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
No idea; I don't make WMF product decisions. These tools are widely used, yes (I use them); I think the answer is for them to be resurrected by someone not interested in violating the site's TOU. Ironholds (talk) 02:00, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
@Ironholds: Or perhaps it isn't Dispenser who doesn't know why he is angry but the WMF. Perhaps it is superprotect and NOT his WMF Labs ban that has spurred this action. Afterall, it's not like it wasn't a piece of cake for him to set up his own web hosting. Seems more logical that he would protest something he can't control, like superprotect, than something that is quite easy for him to overcome.--v/r - TP 18:32, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Or perhaps he refuses to change his behaviour and so the two are roughly analogous. It's kind of irrelevant; we're just hypothesising here. The fact that his ban is complained about in BIG LETTERS and superprotect in small letters is indicative, however. Ironholds (talk) 02:00, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I thought the superprotect message was already there, and he added the message in big letters when he was banned from toolserver. (I thought it was in big letters to differentiate it as more directly relevant, though this doesn't seem to be very successful.) Anyway, this is kind of off topic. —PC-XT+ 05:18, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

I've just hacked together a non-VE client to the Citoid server which hopefully does a similar job to reflink. Just add importScript('User:Salix alba/Citoid.js'); to your Special:MyPage/skin.js. It uses mw:citoid service and borrows heavily from the VE interface User:Mvolz/veCiteFromURL. It works by adding a toolbox link, click on this and you get a dialog popup where you can enter a url, submit it to the server and get a citation template as a result. See User:Salix alba/Citoid for details.

Its very much an pre-alpha release, virtually untested but worked for the first two urls I tried. Very much open source, people are encouraged to clone adapt to their own needs.--Salix alba (talk): 16:41, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Congratulations, you've just done a hell of a lot more for Wikipedia content than the WMF has done in months. KonveyorBelt
Credit should really go to @Mvolz: who been working on Citoid as part of Wikimedia's mw:FOSS Outreach Program for Women.--Salix alba (talk): 22:10, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Sadly, Marielle's summer program has officially ended. The Editing team will be supporting the rest of the work. I've used it in my volunteer account for VisualEditor; see this diff for how to enable it in your own account. The important thing to note is that this is still at the strictly experimental stage. It is unlikely to corrupt any pages (it shouldn't save anything on its own), but the service could fall over at any moment. If that happens, it should restart on its own, but it is really not ready for high-volume use. Feel free to leave feedback at Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback even if you're using it in the wikitext editor; Salix alba and I both frequently look in at that page.
Once it is stable, the ultimate plan is to make it available for both VisualEditor and the wikitext editor at all WMF projects. Outside of the biggest, very few of them have any citation filling scripts at the moment, so this will be a big improvement in the end. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 04:36, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
@Whatamidoing (WMF): "The Editing team will be supporting the rest of the work." What does this mean? Do you have project milestones, dates, etc.? --NeilN talk to me 04:48, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
That depends, NeilN: Do you believe timelines written by people whose job titles include the word "manager" or "director"? Face-wink.svg If so, then it will allegedly be deployed (in at least a minimal fashion) for VisualEditor (only) at the end of September. More realistically, I expect it to be up and running in VisualEditor later this calendar year. I've not been told a date for extending it to the wikitext editor; all I've heard is that it will happen after it's running in VisualEditor.
I'm not certain about the current status, but a couple of weeks ago, it needed work on service stability and a way to make it generalizable or customizable. Stability has improved since then, but has it improved enough for regular use on a very large wiki like this one? I just don't know. I've not heard anything about the rest of the work. (How to convert each URL into a ref was hardcoded in the software back in July. This is okay as a temporary measure, when you're working on keeping the thing up and running, but it's very bad for long-term use and for expansion.) I don't have enough information to know whether they'll meet this original target, but they're really not shy about having the schedule slip. It will get rolled out when the devs believe that it's reasonably ready, not when some manager's timeline says it should be ready. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:18, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Reflinks, Dablinks, Dabsolver, Webcheck link, Watcher. These are tools that the community uses to help improve Wikipedia on a daily basis and has repeatedly said is important to their workflow process. Is there a good reason that after all this time, we don't have native tools that perform the same or similar tasks? Why isn't the WMF listening? Is it because they no longer represent the community? Viriditas (talk) 20:39, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Wholly support preceding comment by Viriditas. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:49, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Why are we going through all this again? As I noted at 23:24, 1 July 2014 (two months ago), and also at 20:34, 2 July 2014, it is not the job of the WMF to provide gadgets (or other user scripts); they are kind enough to provide hardware where such tools may be hosted, something that they are not obliged to do. It is us, the community, who provide and maintain the gadgets. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:25, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
They shutdown the Toolserver hosting the gadgets, did they not? You can't have it both ways, and somebody must take responsibility for the overwhelming pattern here: the most important tools used by editors are made unavailable while the most bothersome tools that nobody wants are shoved down our throats. You can't escape these facts. Furthermore, while it is certainly a great idea to make everything open source, that consideration should take place before shutting down tools, not after. Putting the cart before the horse benefits nobody. And let's apply this logic to reality. If everything were required to be open source, would we have even evolved as a technological civilization? Would the computer have ever been built? Would we have ever visited the Moon? Designed the telephone? This management style is best described as cutting off the nose to spite the face. Viriditas (talk) 22:49, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
No. WMF did not shut down Toolserver: Wikimedia Deutschland did. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:54, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Wow. That's a serious reality distortion field you've got going on there. Luckily, I can avoid it by setting up a force field like this: [3][4] When you step inside the field, you see this: "Toolserver is in fact hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation...We provide space, power and racks for the toolserver cluster, at a cost of about $65,000/year to WMF according to our Director of TechOps. We also maintain the database replication on our end which enables tools to function....We can't provide the same level of service for the toolserver infrastructure as we do for core operations, and it makes no sense for a chapter to build out the required staffing and expertise to do so (set up/maintain all or some of the aforementioned functions). Even with slightly increased investment, toolserver would always suffer from being second or third tier infrastructure...We're not comfortable hosting the toolserver infrastructure as-is.." Viriditas (talk) 23:02, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
You seem to not be understanding what you're quoting there, Viriditas. Toolserver was run, administered, and (mostly?) paid for by Wikimedia Deutschland. WMF provided space for WMDE's servers in one of their caching datacenters, as well as some technical support (i.e. the database replication feed). When WMDE didn't want to continue to be responsible for the Toolserver, WMF did not want to take it on as-is for various good technical reasons; instead they used the Labs infrastructure they were already setting up to create a "Toolserver 2.0" that would improve on some of the shortcomings of the original Toolserver. Unfortunately there were some people who liked some of those shortcomings (e.g. the lack of a requirement for open-source licenses on all tools, the fact that it was subject to German/European laws, and so on), and they've raised both valid issues and FUD about the situation. Anomie 23:29, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I understood what I read perfectly, and anyone can read it in its original context. The WMF shut down the Toolserver because they wanted to migrate to Labs. That's perfectly clear, and you can argue semantics like an attorney until the cows come home. WMF funded it and hosted it, and made the decision to shut it down through various means. The link is very clear about this: "Chapters are autonomous organizations, and it's WM-DE's call how much whether it wants to continue to invest in infrastructure of any kind (and the decision of funding bodies like the FDC to accept or reject that proposition). However, for our part, we will not continue to support the current arrangement (DB replication, hosting in our data-center, etc.) indefinitely." So, in other words, the WMF made a decision to stop supporting what users want and to start supporting things like Meda Viewer, Visual Editor - things that users don't want. But please, do continue to piss on my leg and tell me that it's raining. Viriditas (talk) 23:45, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
If you claim you understood what you read perfectly and have rejected my clarification, than I can only conclude that you are one of the people spreading FUD about the situation. Please stop, your drama is not helping matters any. Anomie 23:50, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
What is this, a totalitarian state run by the WMF? Will you now call for my arrest (ANI) and subsequent execution (indefinite block)? You've reached an all time low. Viriditas (talk) 23:52, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Really? I thought my all-time low on Wikipedia was probably this from back in 2008, which I see has since been deleted. This is nowhere near that one. Anomie 00:17, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Viriditas, uh. You know that labs provides the same service as Toolserver, right? Better, in fact. Ironholds (talk) 12:48, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I want to apologize for the delay in my reply. I was very busy laughing, so hard in fact, I almost broke a rib. Are you telling me that you interrupted your busy labor day holiday to tell me that labs provides superior service, so superior that it can't even run Reflinks, Dablinks, Dabsolver, Webcheck links, and Watcher? Is that what you are telling me? I am sorry to tell you this, but Dilbert is a cartoon, it was not meant to be taken literally. This may come as quite a shock to you, but please prepare yourself: the Pointy-Haired Boss is the antagonist, not the hero. Viriditas (talk) 22:44, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
What on earth are you talking about? All of those tools were runnable. They functioned perfectly. Dispenser quit because he was trying to host and run copyrighted, proprietary, third-party software in an effort to steganographically go through uploads. Everything else he wrote worked within the labs environment. If labs was that broken it wouldn't host everything else we use.
I'm hearing a lot of certainty from you: I'm not hearing a lot of facts. You should go get your rib looked at: perhaps they could do a quick spot check on your bile duct, too. Ironholds (talk) 06:32, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Unbelievable. Talk about missing the point by a parsec. In any case, the pattern here is clear for anyone to see. Whenever an editor, any editor says "where are the tools we need?" the response from the Foundation employees and their retinue of sycophants is "it's your fault, it's his fault, she did it, he did it, I didn't do it, they did it, someone else did it, and I'm not responsible". Every time. Nobody seems to take responsibility ever. All we get are excuses. I frankly, don't give a damn about these tools. I'm here (and on other noticeboards) representing the dozens of editors who do care, and I'm making their voice heard by repeating myself over and over again until someone over there finally gets it. Those tools are not running on the labs servers now, and that's the point you missed. I don't give two fucks how you get them running, and I'm tired of the litany of excuses blaming other people for your inability to service the needs of the community. Viriditas (talk) 08:11, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
And I'm tired of people who think that volume makes up for not having anything of value to say, or any valid way of saying it. The WMF's only involvement in any of these tools was creating a hosting environment for those tools to live on; it didn't take up responsibility to keep any piece of volunteer code anyone wrote running. If someone takes their blog down in a fit of pique, do you shout at the web hosting company because your favorite site doesn't exist any more? No, because creating a space for code does not equate to maintaining said code. If you were looking to communicate "the tools are down, why can't the tools come back up", you picked a pretty terrible way of doing it - and if you can't see how, you and the dozens of (clearly invisible, if you feel the need to speak for them) editors you apparently represent can get together and maybe try to come up with some hypothesis for why perhaps your messages above were read as impolite, histrionic and ignorant of the facts.
By the way: there's no "your" or "you" here. I'm not speaking here for the WMF: I've got absolutely nothing to do with Labs. I'm a researcher. I know why Dispenser's tools vanished because I read the logs Anomie posted in this thread five days ago. Evidently you didn't.
If you want to make the argument for using volunteer-created resources as a way of experimenting with things that should be taken over by the WMF and maintained for as long as there is a use for them, you want to go talk to the Editing team directly, as has already been suggested, not rant on a noticeboard in such a way as to drive away people who would otherwise be interested in helping. Personally, I'm done with this thread: there are some good conversations happening, but you and others like you have ensured it has become more heat than light. Ironholds (talk) 08:41, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
All I see in the above are more excuses, more bureaucratic filing of paperwork A with bureaucrat B down the hall in room C. WMF shut Toolserver down to push Labs, yet when the tools the community actually uses and depends on aren't a part of that transition, and the community gets upset about it, it isn't the fault of the WMF? It sounds like you have no use for the community. So you're a researcher, are you trying to figure out a way to automate editing so you can shut people like me up for good? That would solve your problem, wouldn't it. Automate the editing process entirely, get rid of the community and you can run the WMF in peace and quiet without any distractions from anyone. Then you can pat each other on the backs and take long coffee breaks as the bots write the articles and maintain the site. No more angry and disgruntled humans to deal with. Why deal with the dirty community who expects the WMF to represent their best interests when you can just phase them out and replace them with bots who will never complain? Viriditas (talk) 08:56, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Let me put it this way, by analogy. Your local shopping mall is severely damaged in a hurricane. The mall's owner wasn't insured, and can't afford to repair the damage. A new mall is built in the same town by a different company, and when it opens you visit it, only to find that there is no Abercrombie & Fitch. Who do you blame - the owner of the old mall, the owner of the new mall, the hurricane, or A&F? Or perhaps Abercrombie & Fitch did open a new store, but one day you arrive to find that it's closed because the staff are on strike for higher pay. Who do you blame? If your answer to either question is "the owner of the new mall", it's the wrong answer. It is not the responsibility of the WMF to provide tools that the tool writer has declined to support. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:08, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't need or require your false analogy, as I understand exactly what is going on. The WMF no longer has any use for the community. They've got their 20 million and they are good with that. Everyone else can fuck off now, and accept what they are given from up above without question, and if you complain, you'll be told to complain to someone over there and then someone over there, until you're running around in circles all day. The bureaucratic nightmare you've created (because bureaucracy serves only bureucracy, nothing else) is the end result. The community no longer matters. Ironholds' comments are so far from reality, they can only be described as fantasy. He actually called the numerous editors concerned about the missing tools in this very thread "clearly invisible". That is not just beyond the pale, it is indicative of a larger problem that needs to be addressed. These editors are not "clearly invisible" by any means. They are right here, in this thread, demanding that the tools return. They don't care about your ad hoc analogies, and they certainly don't feel better about having tools they don't want shoved down their throat. You can't rationalize this away and pretend it's not a problem. And I don't need to construct a bullshit excuse or analogy to explain the problem, I can tell you exactly what it is. The WMF is spending thousands on software nobody wants or needs and not a single goddamn penny on the tools Wikipedia editors require. Do you understand the problem yet, or do I and dozens of other editors need to explain it to you another hundred times? Do not respond here with another "it's not our problem" excuse, because it is your problem, and the community has told you about the problem over and over again. Make the tools work. Got it? Viriditas (talk) 09:37, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
You seem to be under the misapprehension that I'm somehow connected with the WMF. I'm not, although I did meet some of them a few weeks ago. Rant at me all you like: it won't make me provide any tools whatsoever, because I never intended to; and those who were considering doing so might be less inclined to assist. My concern is that too much blame is being directed at the wrong people. And for the last time: the WMF did not shut Toolserver down: WMDE did. Do you understand that? Like Ironholds, I'm done here. --Redrose64 (talk) 09:53, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
If you will read carefully, you will see that I did not refer to you as "connected" to the WMF. Dispenser claimed that the WMF shutdown the Toolserver and his interpretation of that action is supported by the linked documents above. Your literalist interpretation, however, as to who finally turned off the lights, avoids the central concerns and acts to deflect responsibility from the WMF. There seems to be a culture of avoidance at work here. That many users have expressed their concern with the loss of these tools only to be told they are "clearly invisible", shows that the WMF has completely lost touch with their core mission. Viriditas (talk) 19:19, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Or alternately it shows that (1) you're reading far too much into one editor's statements if you think it says anything about "The WMF" and (2) you don't understand that the immediate read on "I'm here (and on other noticeboards) representing the dozens of editors who do care, and I'm making their voice heard by repeating myself over and over again" suggests that you're talking for people who aren't talking themselves - IOW, people 'invisible' when you look at the conversation. The long ramble about automation is simply the icing on the cake; that's nothing to do with my work, and your needless hypothesising is, well, needless. Ironholds (talk) 19:32, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
That "long ramble", as you put it, is called satire, paying homage to "The Brain Center at Whipple's', as my edit summary referenced. And my observation about your bureaucratic tendencies refers to the film Brazil. You're still taking everything literally, I see. This thread is chock full of the "invisible" people asking for their tools back. I suggest you take a customer service training class, as you aren't very good dealing with real people. Viriditas (talk) 22:36, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
@Redrose64: So you think the WMF should ignore user needs and do whatever they want. Got it. Hopefully this isn't the new consultative process Jimbo is talking about. --NeilN talk to me 23:00, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Technolibertarianism will always devolve into outright fascism. You can count on it. "Jünger like Marinetti emphasized the revolutionary capacities of technology, and emphasized an "organic construction" between human and machine as a liberating and regenerative force in that challenged liberal democracy, conceptions of individual autonomy, bourgeois nihilism, and decadence. He conceived of a society based on a totalitarian concept of "total mobilization" of such disciplined warrior-workers." Sounds familiar. Viriditas (talk) 23:59, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

when the checklinks tool work--Amt000 (talk) 02:57, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

@NeilN: I said nothing of the sort. I said that Wikimedia Deutschland shut down Toolserver. That is a fact, not an opinion on what the WMF should (or should not) be doing. There is a big difference between an organisation taking away a service that they had previously provided, but which the community found useful, and an organisation not giving us something that they had not previously provided, but which the community does want. That WMF chose to provide an alternative hosting service (well over a year earlier) in the form of Labs is to our benefit, not our loss. --Redrose64 (talk) 08:03, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Interesting how the topic of this discussion has been side-railed and never managed to quite get back on track. For the record, I support the addition of superprotect when used to enforce page locks for official office actions (like the legal team protecting a version of the page for legal reasons), and think that we should use our WP:BLACKLOCK for this protection level in templates and userscripts. Speaking of which, is this change live on enwp someplace and a test page protected with it so I can update my script to include it? Thanks. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 14:05, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
    • As far as I know, superprotect has only been used to protect one page on any production wiki, ever. It's possible that it is available on one of the test wikis if you'd like to do some testing for you scripts.
      On a slightly related point, if someone would like to figure out what's got screwed up at the Javanese Wikipedia (see File:Screen_Shot_jv.wp_2014-07-04_at_10.16.31_AM.png), that would be helpful. It's probably something about the site notices. I've asked the admins there, and they have no idea how to fix it. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:24, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Probably off-topic but as Reflinks is currently down, and the "consider signing the petition" link on its page links to this section, I'll just post this here: Reflinks is absolutely vital and it should be fixed or an adequate replacement found as soon as possible, there is currently no other tool that offers the same amount of functionality as Reflinks does that doesn't involve tediously fixing bare URLs manually to some degree. Satellizer (´ ・ ω ・ `) 12:10, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I was a bit fed up about this being used to hijack the superprotect discussion, so I've separated them. —TheDJ (Not WMF) (talkcontribs) 14:35, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Please restore Reflinks. It is very useful. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 22:56, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Agreed, they need to put their differences aside, and get these tools back up for the sake of Wikipedia. If it never comes back, i can't see myself filling refs again. Koala15 (talk) 23:53, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Please bring Dabsolver back. DuncanHill (talk) 17:40, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Regardless of the reason why we're at this point without Reflinks and the like, I've concluded that the more WMF gets involved the worse the situation gets. Wikipedia works better when WMF does nothing but collect donations and keep the servers up. Everything else they've done makes the work of editors harder. Chris Troutman (talk) 17:06, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I added it to this list [5], which is where I found the old one a long time ago. Perhaps there are other places? Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:17, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Rewrite of Reflinks[edit]

Hi folks! I've made a quick-and-dirty rewrite of Reflinks: (Source). It currently doesn't have the XSS editing interface like the original tool, so you'll need to copy-and-paste the generated source back into the article. Could you test it out? Thanks a lot! Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 13:48, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Pinging Zhaofeng Li. Maybe I'm not adept at using this in its present state. I tried it on Hikaru Sulu, specifically on one citation. This was the Result. Or maybe that was correct - I've never done a Twitter ref. — Maile (talk) 20:37, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Here's another: I tried Rodney Alexander as a "Fix Page", and did not save the changes to the page. It looks to me like while it fixed the refs, within the article it also randomly substituted a question mark in place of dashes in dates (1988–2004 to 1988?2004), quotation marks and apostrophes elsewhere. The substitution on apostrophes was not consistent - hit and miss type of thing. — Maile (talk) 20:53, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
@Maile66: I've fixed the display of some Unicode characters. Could you test it again? Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 23:00, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. It worked fine but does not seem to create a |publisher = | field for webcites . Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:04, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
@Alanscottwalker: Thanks for trying it out! Basic matadata parsing is now available (work, date, author) for sites with metadata embedded (e.g. Forbes, Engadget, Time, etc).commit Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 12:38, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the response but I am unclear, are you saying that a publisher won't be included for any site (or only some sites) if not can the program just insert a blank publisher field? Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:45, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
@Alanscottwalker: Yes, |publisher= won't be included. There is but I haven't seen it in any site I know, so I haven't written the code to parse it. I can add a blank field for publisher, but I'm not sure if it'll clutter up the source. Maybe leave it to the editors to manually add the field? Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 13:07, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Two points. 1) the old tool generally put something there (it often had to be corrected because it was often just the web address or somewhat less informative site name like,, but 2) at least with a blank field it will either remind people that this information is part of the information we want, or may even lead them to actually adding it (now or sometime in the future). (As for clutter, it's my experience that blank field show up in the code but not in the article.) Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:22, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Alanscottwalker: Okay, an empty |publisher= will be added to the end.commit Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 13:35, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. Crossing my fingers that I have not lead you astray :) Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:48, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Works well, and it actually resolves New York Times urls, which the original never did.--Auric talk 13:39, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Zhaofeng Li, your rewrite works. Thanks. Any chance of getting it into the sidebar toolbox similiar to this one:
// Add WP:Reflinks launcher in the toolbox on left
addOnloadHook(function () {
"p-tb", // toolbox portlet
"" + wgPageName
+ "?client=script&citeweb=on&overwrite=&limit=30&lang=" + wgContentLanguage,
"Reflinks" // link label

— Maile (talk) 14:57, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

@Maile66: Yes, just made a script. Add {{subst:iusc|User:Zhaofeng Li/Reflinks.js}} to your common.js and it'll work. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 15:18, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Zhaofeng Li, many thanks. — Maile (talk) 17:07, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Great! Zhaofeng Li! Works perfectly here! Thanks. →Enock4seth (talk) 23:41, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
@Zhaofeng Li: Your replacement works very well - thanks for developing this and for being so responsive to feedback on your talk page.
@Enock4seth: You may want to expand the references with |author=, |date= and |publisher=. Happy editing! GoingBatty (talk) 00:28, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
@Zhaofeng Li, Enock4seth: Unfortunately, it didn't work perfectly. It appears it added an incorrect |author= in reference #3. GoingBatty (talk) 00:30, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
@GoingBatty: Oops! Seen it. Thanks for the heads-up! :) →Enock4seth (talk) 10:17, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for creating this Zhaofeng Li, it seems to work so far. I have a question for anyone who can answer it. Is there some logic to the choice of date formats? I ask because Dispenser's Reflinks used YYYY-MM-DD, and Zhaofeng Li's uses DD MMM YYYY? ProveIt follows user preferences.- MrX 01:03, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
WP:STRONGNAT says articles with strong national ties should use the most common date format in the country, hence the use of {{Use dmy dates}} and {{Use mdy dates}}. I'll update the tool to detect such templates and use the corresponding date format, or fall back to user preference if none is found. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 07:32, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Just a note that it now detects the templates for preferred date format. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 14:25, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I will give it try.- MrX 22:18, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
The date format is being picked up from user prefs now, but I think there may be a problem with some of the parsing. Several refs are filled with "date=January 1, 1970". Some of the authors are not being picked up correctly, and there are some issues with the some titles. See this diff which you can compare to Dispenser's reflinks here.- MrX 22:46, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── For clarification, it doesn't follow user preferences here (It has no way to know your on-wiki preferences, anyway), only the templates. By default, it uses the DMY format (e.g. 1 January 1970), but it switches to MDY (e.g. January 1, 1970) when {{Use mdy dates}} is used (in the example given above). Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 09:13, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

@MrX: Didn't see the "1970" error. It was a bug and is now fixed. Thanks. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 04:25, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Zhaofeng Li the dates work great now. In the cases where there us no {{use mdy dates}} or {{use dmy dates}} it may be a good idea to try to determine the citation date format already in use per MOS:DATEUNIFY.- MrX 22:30, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Just a heads-up that diff preview is available on the result page. Give it a try. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 07:34, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Is there a reason why the diff display is a fixed width (apparently based on the monospace font in use by the browser) rather than responsive to the browser window width?- MrX 22:30, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
  • PLEASE restore Dispenser's tools, including Reflinks. There is no good reason to rewrite any of them from scratch. — Lentower (talk) 10:44, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
    • Actually, it has already been done (somehow). Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 12:26, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
      • To make my point clear: Yes, there is good reason to rewrite Reflinks. To my understanding, it's either a) the original Reflinks incorporates code with unclear licensing, or b) Dispenser is simply unwilling to open-source the original Reflinks (unless his financial requirement is met). So in my opinion, rewriting Reflinks from scratch is the best way to avoid more dramas in our community. By the way, I find Coren's action here perfectly reasonable, since he's acting according to Labs Terms of Use. Wikipedia is free, and its tools should be free too, with as few strings attached as possible. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 04:53, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
        • The original Reflinks is GPL'd; its my library that needs to be audited. That "financial requirement" was to use 24 TB of storage already purchased, unused, and no plans for any use.
          Coren has literally changed rules (with dubious justification) to hinder me. I had already removed the non-free software in question and was composing an email to legal requesting permission to use non-free software (Yes, Labs has non-FLOSS) when Coren banned and kicked me. — Dispenser 04:58, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Just tried the new version here, seems to have worked perfectly. I had to put importScript("User:Zhaofeng Li/Reflinks.js"); //Linkback: [[User:Zhaofeng Li/Reflinks.js]] on my common.js. Thanks again, Zhaofeng Li! —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 18:48, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

@Zhaofeng Li: - Howdy! Would you like some design help on this? I'm more than willing to help, and I've cleared it so that I can give you some time, if you'd like. You can hit me up on my user page or email me directly (bharris -at- --Jorm (WMF) (talk) 01:04, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
@Jorm (WMF): Thanks a lot! Will certainly do. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 02:06, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
@ATinySliver, Zhaofeng Li: Unfortunately, it didn't work perfectly here, so I reverted the edit.
  • Reflinks replaced a valid dead link tag with an incorrect reference to Yahoo.
  • Reflinks added "North JC Neighborhood Association" in the work parameter
  • Reflinks added "Oakmont Village" in the author parameter
  • Reflinks added "" in the title parameter instead of the title of the article
  • ATinySliver didn't make the necessary corrections before saving the edit.
Zhaofeng Li has done a fabulous job and is working hard to improve the tool, but it will always need humans to double check it and make fixes before saving. GoingBatty (talk) 02:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Guh! Frak! —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 02:59, 10 September 2014
@GoingBatty: It now skips references with dead link tags silently. The other problems will be dealt later, since it's so awkward to type with the touchscreen on my phone. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 04:50, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Reply - Thank you for creating the new version of Reflinks! --Jax 0677 (talk) 04:59, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
You don't actually have to fix before saving but if you don't, you should fix after saving. That's also double checking. Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:18, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that was just an unfortunate case of me paying insufficient attention. I've used it since with greater care. xD —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 18:10, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Part of the problem is the insistence on open-sourced software. Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia not a political movement. Demanding people only run free software, oppose "right to forget" and join Amnesty International are al outwith the Foundation's remit. All the best: Rich Farmbrough11:31, 11 September 2014 (UTC).
The board does not disagree with me.
  • Nowhere does it try to compel people outside the foundation to use free software or to release their software under free licenses.
  • And "right to be forgotten" has no impact on the content of any of the projects I am involved with, it applies only to "outdated, irrelevant or wrong" information, and our BLP requirements are much stricter. Besides which the text you refer to says "Except where required by applicable law" so accepts things like "right to be forgotten".
All the best: Rich Farmbrough11:44, 17 September 2014 (UTC).
You forget that Tool Labs is hosted by the Foundation. People who want to use non-free software are welcome to host their tools elsewhere. And the "except where required by applicable law" isn't saying they support censorship just because some government makes a law, it says they'll comply with the law despite objecting to the censorship. Anomie 12:41, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Very nice version of reflinks, but one glitch i noticed was it doesn't add a ref name= when multiple refs are the same. Koala15 (talk) 16:12, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    Yeah, it doesn't merge duplicated references. There are other scripts that can do this, anyway. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 11:09, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
    BG19bot (talk · contribs) merges duplicated refs. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:03, 14 September 2014 (UTC)


Kudos for the rewrite. When converting refs not using cite, e.g. this ref: <ref>[ Mom blames son's suicide on Luzerne County judge in 'kids for cash' case]. Associated Press. February 22, 2011</ref>, it's losing both the date and publisher, even though this information is both on the source website and in the replaced reference. It would be cool if it could parse one or both of these metadata sources.

Also, it's wanting to add "accessdate=17 September 2014"; I thought that was a bug, but then realized it makes sense, as the tool has been to the site and confirmed that it's still live.

Lastly, it would be cool if it could parse the archiveurl field in order to fill in the archivedate field. However, perhaps its more appropriate for the citation template to simply parse the field itself.

--{{U|Elvey}} (tc) 03:04, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

The |accessdate= should not be automatically changed under those circumstances. The |accessdate= indicates the date on which it is known the reference supports the text, not just that there is a webpage at that address. It is unlikely that the tool has the capability to determine that the webpage has not changed from the time that it was cited. Without verifying that the webpage still supports the text, the |accessdate= should not be changed. The entire purpose of |accessdate= is to give us the date when the webpage supported the text, not just when there was a server that happened to provide content for that URL. — Makyen (talk) 04:46, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
@Elvey, Makyen: It doesn't parse metadata from plain references, only the caption. Expanding of those references can be disabled by selecting "Do not expand captioned plain links" (Should this be made default?) Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 12:53, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
On an unrelated note, New York Times is now blacklisted since it's only spitting the log-in page back to us (We have only 10 free articles per month). Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 12:57, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Why would you blacklist it? Only recent articles count in the 10 free per month. Koala15 (talk) 01:02, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Will investigate into it. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 00:25, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Nice work, Zhaofeng.

Is there now enough confidence in the rewrite that the link (now hidden) to the old Reflinks in {{Cleanup-bare URLs}} could be replaced with a link to the new version?—Quick and Dirty User Account (talk) 20:52, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

@Quick and Dirty User Account: It's almost ready, but I'd like to have the outstanding bugs fixed before it's added. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 00:25, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

VisualEditor available on Internet Explorer 11[edit]

Hi all, I'm writing to inform you that VisualEditor will become available to users of Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 during today's regular software update. Support for some earlier versions of Internet Explorer is being worked on. If you encounter problems with VisualEditor on Internet Explorer, please contact the Editing team by leaving a message at the VE feedback page. Happy editing, Elitre (WMF) (talk) 07:39, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

PS. You can subscribe to the monthly newsletter to receive further news about VisualEditor.

External links/off-wiki URLs[edit]

Is it me, or do these show in a slightly different colour if you've visited those pages? I first noticed it at work today, but I thought it was something our side with the network and IE, but the same is happening at home with Firefox. Has something been changed behind the scenes? Thanks. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 18:03, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

This has always been like this (if you haven't changed your settings). See Help:Link_color. For all webpages, you can change it by changing your browser's settings. If it's for Wikipedia only, you can modify your user-specfic CSS. --Glaisher (talk) 18:14, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Never noticed the difference before today! Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 18:18, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
No, the colour for visited external links in the MonoBook skin has definitely changed in the last day or two - they are now purple; they used to be blue. The unvisited link colour seems to have changed too, but I can't be sure. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:46, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Ahhh, glad it's not me! Yes, every link (if I visited them or not) was the light blue colour, now the visited ones are purple. Anyone else with any info? Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 16:46, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Any more info? Thanks. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead

"subst:"-style function for classes?[edit]

{{subst:}}ing a template makes it possible to see what it adds to and/or how it affects a page; is there something similar for a class? (For example, though it seems to have no effect – probably because the context isn't a table – what is "mergedtoprow" trying to do here: <div class="mergedtoprow">Just some plain text.</div>?) Sardanaphalus (talk) 12:55, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Most modern browsers provide the means to examine not just the HTML source of the page, but also see what styling affects the individual elements, even the CSS rules that are associated with various classes. I find that for mergedtoprow and the associated classes mergedrow and mergedbottomrow there are five rules:
.infobox.bordered .mergedtoprow td,
.infobox.bordered .mergedtoprow th {
  border-top:1px solid #aaa;
  border-right:1px solid #aaa;
.infobox.bordered .mergedrow td,
.infobox.bordered .mergedrow th {
  border-right:1px solid #aaa;
.infobox.geography .mergedtoprow td,
.infobox.geography .mergedtoprow th {
  border-top:1px solid #aaa;
  padding:0.4em 0.6em 0.2em 0.6em;
.infobox.geography .mergedrow td,
.infobox.geography .mergedrow th {
  padding:0 0.6em 0.2em 0.6em;
.infobox.geography .mergedbottomrow td,
.infobox.geography .mergedbottomrow th {
  border-bottom:1px solid #aaa;
  padding:0 0.6em 0.4em 0.6em;
so I would say that they hide the borders between rows in a table, and adjust the padding too - probably to bring rows closer together. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:53, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
In short, though, you're saying I should/could/might be able to see what effect a class is having / trying to have by e.g. saving something like <div class="[classname]">[Some pertinent test material]</div> on a sandbox page, then examining that page using e.g. (here on Palemoon/Firefox) Tools > Web Developer > Page Source...? Sardanaphalus (talk) 20:06, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
No, that won't work, because these particular CSS rules are not applicable to a <div>...</div>, no matter what classes you give it (unless it contains something that does match the selectors of those rules).
Each of the five rules that I gave above has two selectors, and each selector has three classes (these are the tokens beginning with a full stop) and an element (no full stop). Five of the selectors specify the td element, and five specify th so at the minimum they are specific to the <td>...</td> and <th>...</th> elements - no others. The presence of classes in those selectors means that the td/th elements must be nested inside elements that bear those classes. The first selector is .infobox.bordered .mergedtoprow td so this is specific to a <td>...</td> nested inside any element that has class="mergedtoprow" (probably, but not necessarily, a <tr>...</tr>), which is itself nested inside any element that has class="infobox bordered" (probably, but not necessarily, a <table>...</table>)
But rather than trying to mock something up, it's far easier to go to the article where you found the class - I used Didcot - and examine that page using the browser's tools. In Firefox 32, right-click on the word "Didcot" at the top of the infobox, and select "Inspect element". This splits the screen into three panes; the upper pane is the page you're inspecting; the lower left is equivalent to the page source; and the lower right shows what styling is being applied to the element that is highlighted lower left. --Redrose64 (talk) 00:16, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Search index is not being updated[edit]

A simple check is to search for ~2014, which will show that the index saw its last update on 11 September, though the article has been edited several times a day since then. Before suggesting a Bugzilla report to get this fixed, notice that this bug officially says they won't (can't?) fix it. We need to do something about this. Chris the speller yack 13:55, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

@Chris the speller: You can join the sixteen thousand users who are using the new search engine already, just enable the beta feature: Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-betafeatures. According to mw:Search#Timeline en.wp is one of the only six wikis where it's not enabled for everyone yet, and judging by the pace of deployments so far this might happen within a month or so. Matma Rex talk 15:34, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I have been using the new search engine (CirrusSearch) for many, many months; the 15,999 users have joined me. It's not ready for prime time; it can't find hyphens, which is important in many cases, such as finding and fixing "he was assigned to follow-up on the discovery". I reported this problem over three months ago, and have seen no progress on it. BTW, the right way to get to the Timeline is mw:Search/Timeline, not the link you offered. (OK, now your link works – it must have been a hiccup.) I am not here to complain about any personal inability to use WP. I am pointing out that the general public is losing out because of this situation. Category:Nebula Award for Best Novel-winning works has had to be jury-rigged to provide an alternate search for the intersection of two categories after a category move that the old search engine will never figure out unless the index gets updated. The new search engine is not ready to take the place of lucene-search, whose index badly needs to be updated. Chris the speller yack 17:29, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Could you link to your report from over three months ago? Thanks! --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 09:08, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
@AKlapper (WMF): Sure. [6] and, after all the topics load, it's the bottom (oldest) topic that is not hidden ("Can't find hyphenated forms"). Chris the speller yack 16:40, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like a feature request (mw:How to report a bug) for the new search to somehow support explicitly searching for terms with such dashes. New search algorithm's tokenization ignoring the dash in "follow-up" is likely a very welcome feature to most users searching for terms, and not welcome to those few editors that want to fix such typos. --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 08:31, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Bug 70950 has been submitted. Your assumed "very welcome feature" is not a big deal; Lucene-search already covers this by finding both hyphenated and unhyphenated forms if a reader searches for the unhyphenated form. It provides some control over the results, while CirrusSearch does not. Chris the speller yack 18:55, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Some Haaretz URLs included the word hasite, e.g. and most of these articles have new style URLs — in this example To find articles for editing to update the URLs, search for hasite, which now reports 128 results. But search results are now almost six days out of date. Of the results:

However, articles edited before these are correctly not found in this search:

I have been editing these articles for over a month and they usually disappear from the search a day or two after I fix them, but now the search is six days behind.

As a separate matter, it would be nice if there were a utility for updating URLs when a website returns a URL different from the one supplied to it. —Anomalocaris (talk) 02:49, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

@Anomalocaris: completely orthogonal to the discussion about search, i want to mention that when searching for links of specific form, it's probably better to use Special:LinkSearch. peace - קיפודנחש (aka kipod) (talk) 03:24, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Problems logging in[edit]

Hope this is the right place to discuss this. I have been a very active editor on WP since 2007, and have never had problems logging in, until a couple of weeks ago. I was using Safari, and had to make a new password in order to log in every single time I arrived at Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons. This would happen many times a day. I changed to using Firefox, hoping that would solve the problem. Using Firefox I am somewhat better but I still get the problem, just not quite as often. It does not seem to be a cookie problem as my cookies on other sites are working fine. Any ideas? Many thanks, Invertzoo (talk) 20:36, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Invertzoo, are you having to change your password every time (not just type it in again)? That sounds horrible.
Let me see whose attention I can get for you. (My guess is that the answer will involve speculation about a corrupted cookie or something else that can only be solved by WP:BYPASSing your cache.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:37, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I am having to change my password every time I open a new window. Crazy, right? Invertzoo (talk) 21:53, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Invertzoo, can you clarify, are you being logged out, and you are asked to change your password when you log back in? Or are you suddenly presented with the password change page while still logged in? Also, on the password change form, is there a cancel button (we have different versions of the form for different scenarios)? CSteipp (WMF) (talk) 00:18, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

I get loggged out extremely often (more often on Safari than on Firefox) and when I try to log in, whatever my current password is, is not acceptable, so I have to hit "forgot my password", get a new temporary one via email, and then use that to be able to create a new password, which also only lasts perhaps a day at maximum despite hitting the button that says "remember me for 30 days". I don't recall seeing a "cancel" button, although there may have been one which I did not notice. I can check that the next time it happens. Invertzoo (talk) 01:55, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

The password change form has a cancel button on the Commons form I am presented with (I am sure about that) and on the WP form too (I think, but am not 100% sure). Thanks for any help you can give me. Invertzoo (talk) 13:48, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, that's totally crazy. I'm curios: What happens if you click 'Cancel'?
CSteipp (WMF), is there anything she can do to get past this? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:45, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

When I clicked "Cancel", I was back where I started, nothing helpful happens. Yesterday was a little bit better with this problem, but that was partly because I am now trying to keep just one Wikipedia and one Wikimedia Commons window open all day long, so it doesn't happen so often. However if I open another window it is again the same situation. Invertzoo (talk) 12:51, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

I should clarify that this problem happens every single time I open a new window in Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons. The default is that I am logged out, even if I am successfully logged in on another window at the same time. And every time I have to log in, I always have to create a new password as the old one is not accepted even though I created and used it successfully an hour before when opening the first window. Invertzoo (talk) 13:04, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

It sounds like you may have privacy mode enabled. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:16, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
I think that "privacy mode" should only be making her login again, not requiring her to reset her password. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 04:30, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Having to reset the password very frequently is what is most time-consuming and frustrating. Using Firefox I am doing a little better than I was with Safari, but still the problem persists at an annoying level. In the last day or two I have had more luck staying logged-on to Wikipedia compared to staying logged-on to Wikimedia Commons. If I get onto Wikipedia and am careful to keep one window open all day long, I can usually get on OK without having to get a new password more than once a day. With Wikimedia Commons that is not true; if I am gone for several hours, even though I left one window open, I have to get a new password if I want to open another window. Can anyone ask about this problem anywhere else where someone might recognize what is happening? This problem is really slowing me down and holding me back from a lot of things I want to do. It's very discouraging. Invertzoo (talk) 23:52, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Invertzoo, since Chris is out for a while I've filed this as bug 71148 and asked people who'd know how to fix it to take a look. I'd take a look myself but its in code I'm not at all familiar with. I will continue bothering people who know how to fix it though. It might be useful to add yourself to the bug and add more comments there. The bug has a link to this page linked but (at least I've found that) pushing the conversation to bugzilla can speed up communication for this kind of thing. It also allows uploading screenshots and stuff which might be useful.NEverett (WMF) (talk) 22:20, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
@Invertzoo: What version of Safari and Firefox are you using? In order to fix it, we need to try to replicate the bug, and this will help. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 22:32, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

UPDATE: Let me explain one important thing I have just discovered: I almost always work on a desktop iMac (recently purchased), but just now I tried going to Wikipedia and Commons on my husband's MacBook Air. I seem to be able to do everything OK on that machine, so far at any rate, no problems with logging in or passwords right now. I will know better whether or not that is 100% true by the end of today, but it looks as if the problem is some sort of weird issue with the iMac. I am using Firefox 12.0 and Safari 7.1, thanks for asking. I guess perhaps we may have to drag the iMac down to the Apple store. Invertzoo (talk) 19:32, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Black Screen[edit]

When I click on a picture in Wikipedia, instead of an enlargement of the picture, which is what I used to get, I get a black screen. The gray at the top and bottom are still there but the whole middle of the screen is just a solid black. This happens with all pictures in Wikipedia but not in other websites. I have researched this and have not found anyone else to have had this problem. It just stated about a week ago. I am using Windows XP and Internet Explorer 8. I tried waiting but the enlargement never came. If I then click on refresh I go back to the original page. (talk) 09:22, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

See related bug reports in the bugtracker. --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 11:32, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Dear AKlapper, Thank you for replying. I went to the site you suggested and looked into several of the offerings and some were quite close to what I have experienced but the solutions were far above my understanding. Instead I have found that by right clicking on the image and clicking "Open File" I get the enlarged picture, so I'll simply go that route in the future. Thank you again. (talk) 17:44, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

The relevant bug is bugzilla:70553 and the fix will be deployed tomorrow.--Erik Moeller (WMF) (talk) 06:34, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

[How many WMFers does it take to put a welcome template on an IP's talk page? Drmies (talk) 01:26, 20 September 2014 (UTC)]

Blocked user logging in through OAuth causing an autoblock[edit]

Good morning. User:Natuur12 blocked someone on Commons as a sockpuppet; because this user uploaded something through OAuth, it caused an autoblock of Tool Labs, which shut down my and other people's bots. More information here: commons:Special:BlockList [7].

This really should not happen. How can we fix the software to ignore OAuth IPs? Magog the Ogre (t c) 11:26, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

This happened once before with Sven Manguard blocking a user on commons which auto blocked the wmflabs..advice would be to whitelist the wmflabs IPs..not sure if thats possible though...--Stemoc 12:37, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
See MediaWiki:Autoblock whitelist. If you're talking about the commons, that would be commons:MediaWiki:Autoblock whitelist. And this needs to be done by a user who can edit the interface pages on the appropriate wiki. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:15, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Not again, I thought that the IP was whitelisted so that situations like this would not occur. Thanks for unblocking Magog! Natuur12 (talk) 14:04, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
@Od Mishehu: I will get this when I get home tonight. Is it safe to whitelist the entire subdomain? Magog the Ogre (t c) 14:20, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
This is beyond the scope of what I can handle. However, it looks like it might. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 16:38, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
See my comment on bugzilla. --Steinsplitter (talk) 16:41, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Added to enwiki whitelist for now. — xaosflux Talk 23:37, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Standard search for exactly "wikipedia:" results in back-end error[edit]

If this weren't trivial and probably unimportant, I suppose it should go to bugzilla, but... If one enters into the standard search box... wikipedia: (including the colon), one gets only (in red font):

   An error has occurred while searching: The search backend returned an error:

So you wonder why I tried this. Just a silly way to try to list all such meta-pages. I'm sure there are much simpler and more sensible ways. A possibly slightly more significant issue that follows from this is that there seems to be no way to search bugzilla for exactly "wikipedia:", as the colon is ignored.Layzeeboi (talk) 00:30, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

@Layzeeboi: I'm not able to reproduce this. If I search wikipedia: (link), I get a list of results for wikipedia with no errors. Chrome on Ubuntu.—LucasThoms 02:46, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
This happens in other cases too. One that I remember is | (vertical bar). Another is "ideographic space" (space character used in languages like Japanese). (talk) 02:48, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
If the intention is to find all pages whose names begin "wikipedia:", which I interpret to mean all the pages in the Wikipedia: namespace, there's a far more efficient (and much less error-prone) method. In the sidebar, click on Special pages, and under "Lists of pages", click All pages with prefix. Leave the first box blank, and from the drop-down, select "Wikipedia", then click Go, and you get this list. --Redrose64 (talk) 07:29, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
It's likely already in Bugzilla, filed about the old search that will get replaced soon anyway. Beta features allows using the new search already. --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 08:15, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
I get exactly the same result using Iceweasel. Enabled New Search in Beta, no problem. (Other than ignoring my namespace specification.) ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:39, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Added the bug I filed on this a while ago. Protonk (talk) 13:21, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Trying to get a template to work[edit]

Template:Wiktes I just made this template to create interwiki links to Wiktionary definitions of Spanish-language terms. It works just fine in its current form, except if the term has some styling to it. E.g.: {{wiktes|si}} links to wikt:si#Spanish and displays as "si". But if I were to try to use {{wiktes|s'''i'''}} then that would link to wikt:s'''i'''#Spanish and display as something else. Can someone please assist? —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:48, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Now you can type like this: {{wiktes|si|s'''i'''}} → si. Oh, yes, the old format also works: {{wiktes|si}} → si. --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 08:06, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It fails because you're trying to get one parameter to do two jobs - provide a link and format some text. At the core of your template is [[wikt:{{{1}}}#Spanish|{{{1}}}]] so if you feed this with s'''i''', what you end up with is [[wikt:s'''i'''#Spanish|s'''i''']] which fails for exactly the same reason that [[s'''i''']]s'''i''' fails - the triple apostrophes are being taken as a literal part of the page name. A construct like [[wikt:{{{1}}}#Spanish|{{{2}}}]] would separate link from markup, but relies on two parameters being passed, so I would extend this to [[wikt:{{{1}}}#Spanish|{{{2|{{{1}}}}}}]] at the very minimum, but less prone to error is [[wikt:{{{1}}}#Spanish|{{#if:{{{2|}}} |{{{2}}}|{{{1}}} }}]] Then you would use the template as {{wiktes|si|s'''i'''}} --Redrose64 (talk) 08:09, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
@Edgars2007: Thanks so much! @Redrose64: If you want to peek through the history of the template, you'll see how I had a lot of configurations pretty close to that but never quite. Thanks a lot! —Justin (koavf)TCM 15:05, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

A template mystery regarding geotags on Commons[edit]

Look at this file
Castelnau-Pégayrols - Église Notre-Dame -08.JPG
work through to Commons, click on see this file on Google Maps and it links immediately- but there are no Commons roundels on the map to indicate the location of other photos in this village. Same on OpenStreetMap This was taken during a Wiki loves monuments in 2012- and uses (object location) in the description . I have checked the geotag on source code and it is broadly correct- so the issue is why isn't it displaying? — Preceding unsigned comment added by ClemRutter (talkcontribs) 10:16, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Search index is not being updated (still)[edit]

My previous report on this was turned into a discussion about CirrusSearch, which is not yet ready for production. This let-them-eat-cake approach was not helpful in the 18th century, and it is not helpful in 2014. One June 3 the official response to the indexing failure was that there was no way to get it started again, yet it did get running, and it ran until September 11. Who is looking into the failure of the indexing for Lucene-search? Chris the speller yack 17:14, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

You are, apparently. Do you see anything interesting? --Nemo 11:11, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
If that edit was intended to be helpful, I don't understand what you are asking. Chris the speller yack 14:25, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Nobody is looking into the failure (that's why the ticket is marked as WONTFIX) as CirrusSearch will replace Lucene soon, and CirrusSearch is pretty ready for production. --Malyacko (talk) 19:55, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
In that case we ought to add a message to the search results page indicating that it's essentially meaningless, and provide a link to Google or Bing instead. Pburka (talk) 16:28, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Browser loops on "Connecting to"[edit]

About two weeks ago I noticed that my browser (Iceweasel) occasionally going into a loop of "Connecting to" At first I thought it was perhaps a mouse or keyboard problem, or maybe (but how?) a browser problem. But there seem to be Wikipedia/Wikimedia specific aspects.

The problem occurs when I go to any section heading, or to non-section anchors. The browser gets there, but then instead settling in a "Done" state it starts looping through the transferring/connecting states, with an occasional "Stopped". "Recent pages" shows multiple hits to the section, even though I have clicked on it just once. Back arrowing returns to the top of the page and a "Done" state. Manually entering the url for a section leads to the same problem. Going to internal anchors (not section headers) has the same problem. URLs containing a "#" seems to be a common element.

This occurs across all name spaces, though it doesn't happen on my own Talk page. The same problem happens on Commons, and, but not on Any thoughts? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:47, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Hi, what browser and operating system do you use? Legoktm (talk) 01:03, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
@Legoktm: I guess you didn't see it, do I'll point out that J. Johnson's browser is evidently Iceweasel (says near the beginning), which I have not heard of. Dustin (talk) 01:18, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Oops, missed that. So OS is debian then. Legoktm (talk) 01:36, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Iceweasel (3.0.6) being Debian's variant of Firefox. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:46, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Change to redirect page interface?[edit]

I have never posted here (or in any other Wikipedia forum) before, so please forgive me if this is out of place. (If it is out of place, could you please point me in the proper direction?) I noticed that the interface of redirect pages (the pages themselves, not their automatic redirect functionality) seemed to change today (yesterday now, I guess), during the day, while I was using the site. I'm hoping someone can confirm this and tell me I'm not crazy.

This applies to every redirect page I have seen since early/mid-afternoon my time (Pacific Daylight Time) on Thursday, Sept. 18, but I'm going to use United States of America (which redirects to United States) as an example.

On the redirect page at "", the title of the redirect page itself ("United States of America") is in the upper-left corner, and the title of the target page ("United States") is directly below it, to the right of the arrow. The title of the target page is linked, and until today, the link always used the standard form "". The link now seems to use the form "".

After noticing this on one page, I began specifically paying attention to it, and every redirect page I have come across since that time seems to be using the latter form. To see if it made any difference, I experimented using three different computers, running three different versions of Windows and using three different browsers, and I checked each configuration while logged in and while logged out. None of that made any difference.

In searching for an explanation, I discovered (assuming I'm interpreting the information on these pages correctly) that a new version/build of the MediaWiki software was deployed on Thursday, Sept. 18, between 18:00 & 20:00 UTC, or between 11:00 & 13:00 PDT. That meshes perfectly with when I first noticed the change (around that time or shortly thereafter).

I do realize that it's the exact same page either way, but why the change? Was this an intentional change? (In searching for an explanation, I never found anything mentioning it at all, and I assume that all intentional changes must be documented somewhere.) It seems to me that there would be very little use (or no use at all) for this on Wikipedia, since "&redirect=no" is only needed for redirect pages, and as long as bots are catching all double redirects, then the target page will NEVER itself be a redirect page (thus there would never be a need for this change). Anyway, does anyone else see this, or am I crazy? If I'm not crazy, does anyone have any thoughts about this? (If you've read this far, you probably know much more about this stuff than I do.) Jdaloner (talk) 11:44, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

I'd guess that while the addition of the "redirect=no" argument has little effect here, it would be very helpful on wikis that have a value of $wgMaxRedirects that's greater than 1. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 15:17, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I realize it may have more effect on other wikis, and that would provide a possible reason for deciding to make this change. But I'd really like to find/get a definitive answer as to whether this change was an unintended consequence of some other change that was implemented (i.e., whether this is a bug) or whether this change was intentional. Don't all intentional changes get documented somewhere? (If so, does anyone know where?) If this sort of information is not posted anywhere, is there a method/venue for reaching the people who actually work on the software and would know [whether this was intentional or not] for sure? Jdaloner (talk) 00:11, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
I can personally guarantee that that feature is much older than a day. Redirect links without the "&redirect=no" part will automatically go to the target, while those with that part allow you to view the actual redirect itself plus any redirect tags. Dustin (talk) 00:35, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
@Dustin V. S.: The &redirect=no feature has been available for years, yes; the point is that it wasn't part of the outward link on a redirect page until very recently. Consider a redirect to today's Featured Article - GNoSR. Until recently this displayed as
Redirect arrow without text.svg Great North of Scotland Railway
but it presently displays as
Redirect arrow without text.svg Great North of Scotland Railway
The redirect=no parameter has been added to this link in the last few days, it wasn't there before. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:17, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
It appears to be a side effect of gerrit:158627: the old code had to handle the last link in the chain specially, while the new code lists them out semantically. MatmaRex may be able to give more insight. IMO the addition of redirect=no to the final page in the redirect chain is neutral if not good, since it doesn't hurt most cases and improves things if you come across a double redirect. Anomie 11:21, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
I think this feature is nice, especially when its a redirect which redirect to itself - it can be really confusing when comparing titles which has lot of áé etc. But if you type in the adress it change it to which is new too. Christian75 (talk) 14:50, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
That's been happening for a few weeks, see Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 130#URL changes when I am on a redirect and threads linked from that. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:45, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I've noticed this too. Every redirect I create has the redirect=no parameter. Is there a way to stop this from happening? Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 12:28, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
One thing which is good is that now Page views will include redirects too. --Fauzan✆ talk✉ mail 18:57, 20 September 2014 (UTC)


Hi, from today I am getting this error continuously at Wikipedia at every article and page. I have to refresh a page many times for it to load properly. Can anyone help me with this. The error is listed below.

Sorry! This site is experiencing technical difficulties.

Try waiting a few minutes and reloading.

(Cannot contact the database server: Too many connections (

You can try searching via Google in the meantime. Note that their indexes of our content may be out of date.

If anyone can help me in this matter, I will be really grateful. Thanks in advance--Jockzain (talk) 14:01, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Can't help you, but can confirm that I get it as well, and also quite often. Fram (talk) 14:06, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
For about two hours from 12:50 (UTC), I was only able to make two edits due to being served the above error on several page loads. It seems that the job queue became overloaded with edits to high-use templates. It's been behaving for me since about 14:50 (UTC), and should be OK now for all users. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:06, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for replying, I thought it was happening only with me. It is working fine now.--Jockzain (talk) 20:52, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by article count[edit]

Is there a super geek among you hallowed nerds who can "fix" Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by article count? And by "fix" I mean "update"--hasn't been done since June, it seems. I need to see if I can catch a glimpse of this Dr. Blofeld character with my super-strong binoculars, and I want to know if this scary Wizardman is breathing down my neck. Thanks in advance. Drmies (talk) 16:55, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

@Drmies: This is one of many reports that had been built by BernsteinBot (talk · contribs) from Toolserver data. There is already a thread about it at User talk:MZMcBride#Bot update wikipedians by articles. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:11, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I know--there's more than one. I'm forumshopping in hopes of someone lightening the load of poor old MCMcBride. Drmies (talk) 19:14, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
@Hedonil: how hard it would be to make such page at XTools? Something similar to adminstats? I suppose there are not quite big difference between these two (from the technical point). Ok, if the full table would be way too big, then maybe for top X users. And what about Wikipedians by edit count (at least for my Wikipedia, where we have voting for the best Wikipedian of the year, with this tool we would know who we need to include :) ). --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 19:26, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
@Drmies: If you want to compare yourself against specific individuals, the last time that I did a count for Blowers, it stood at 95,563. About 100 times as many as you. Current counts are in the little table (row "Article", column "Pages") to the left of the red pie chart in these links: Drmies; Dr. Blofeld; Wizardman. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:03, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
@Drmies: - I haven't written anything in quite a few months (been working on expanding one-sentence junk instead), so I'm sure you've gotten pretty far ahead of me by now. Wizardman 21:25, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Redrose, I 'preciate it, but I want a full list--I'm taking all of them on. If I had no hope of catching the evil doctor I'd simply block his ass. (That's right Ernst: I'm talking to you.) Wizardman, you took the bait--it was I who wrote those stubs and flavored your drinking water with the desire to expand rather than create, so bwuhahaha. Anyway, thanks. I'll wait for gods to come by and miraculously fix this. Or learn Latvian. Drmies (talk) 22:57, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
There must be a way of updating this list, the similar list for edit count and the very important project at WP:LIVINGDEAD since the demise of Toolserver. Eggheads - great cracking! Chuckle. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 12:30, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Interesting, Lugnuts. The first (random) one on that list turned out to be dead on en-wiki already. Thanks. Yes, eggheads. I mean, Writ Keeper and his ilk. Drmies (talk) 02:14, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Speaking of interesting, I've spotted that the list by edits is being updated daily! Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 09:48, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Reloading redirects[edit]

If you use a redirect, and then you click a TOC link, the page now does a second reload. This is relatively new behavior. For example, I ust got here via WP:VPT and every time i click on a TOC it has to reload the page to the un-redirected page before jumping to the TOC link. This is somewhat annoying and I wonder if it's intentional, and if so, why? It can't be good for the server or the user to reload the page a second time for no real reason. hbdragon88 (talk) 01:49, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm not getting this, but perhaps #Change to redirect page interface? is related. Is there a "redirect=no" in the URL? --NE2 03:03, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
No, it's just the standard redirect, something like Grand theft auto 5 for instance. Go there, click on any TOC link, it'll reload and "correct" itself to Grand Theft Auto V and then it'll jump to the section. I guess I should say that I'm using Opera 12 on a Win7 machine with SSL enabled, but I've had SSL enabled for a long time and it doesn't do that for just jumping between headers on the same page. hbdragon88 (talk) 03:13, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
@NE2: More likely Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 129#Redirects to sections. Anomie 11:30, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Can't reproduce on Firefox 32 or Chromium 35. I don't have Opera handy to test. Anomie 11:30, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
When I typed in the search bar "WP:VPT", Opera 12.16 "converted" it automatically to Wikipedia:Village pump in the URL (without any other my actions). I'm using Win8. --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 06:30, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
What you've described in Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 129#Redirects to sections. The question here is what happens if you click on one of the TOC links after doing that: did it jump to the section (expected behavior) or did it (re-)load the redirect target page and then go to the section (what hbdragon88 described)? Anomie 10:57, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Ok, it seems I have misunderstood hbdragon88's problem :) No, it didn't reload, it gone to right section. If it matters, I have no problems with it also in WinXP. Tested for both Monobook and Vector. Maybe Win7 problem? :) --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 14:37, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Network issue[edit]

There's a network issue affecting Wikimedia's San Francisco data center, which serves several pacific rim countries. Users in geographical regions served by this data center may see intermittent connectivity issues. Wikimedia's technical operations team is analyzing the issue. --Ori.livneh (talk) 07:26, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Why does starting a line with a space resulted in preformatted text?[edit]

So when I start a line with a space...

The result is this preformatted text, which worst of all, doesn't word wrap, and then puts a horizontal scroll bar on the entire page because of a single confused new user

What a new editor would expect is...

This line of text, which is indented. However, this line actually starts with a colon.

Why do we do this? What good does it do to confuse the hell out of new editors? Oiyarbepsy (talk) 00:09, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Just because....? By design it was meant as an EASY way to display preformed text. I think it has outlived its usefulness as the use cases for adding preformated text by people who dont' really mean it and know about the <pre> tags is very small. Almost everytime I see it, it is an error. As far as converting wiki-markup to html goes, I disagree that leading spaces should be automatically converted to non-breaking spaces. — xaosflux Talk 00:47, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not necessarily saying what type of space or tab it should be, I'm saying a leading space should appear as a space. An ordinary space is probably best, but a colon is the closest thing to that that I know how to do. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 01:56, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
In HTML, multiple whitespaces characters in a row are effectively reduced to a single space. Even linebreaks are usually not preserved. Normal wikitext preserves this, with the slight difference that (in most contexts) a double linebreak is transformed into a paragraph break.
Since wikitext is in origin basically plain text with ad-hoc markup along the lines of that used in plain-text email and other media, indenting a line with spaces was taken as an indication that the writer intended the line to display with spacing and newlines intact and with a monospaced font, exactly the default formatting for a <pre>. This seems to be relatively common in other tools that take plain text as input and output it wrapped nicely in HTML, although whether wikitext is due to that or vice versa I don't know. Anomie 11:06, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
That's a good technical explanation. The problem is that I've never seen an instance of a single space being used with that purpose in mind, but I've seen an awful lot of instances of it happening when it wasn't wanted. HiLo48 (talk) 11:28, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
I suspect this is one of those things where it may be too late to fix it. Adam Cuerden (talk) 11:37, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Part of the technical problem when inventing a markup language whose output is primarily intended to be displayed by a web browser is that HTML doesn't actually have a semantic way to specify indented or column-aligned (non-tabular) text. (The "colon" MediaWiki markup is mapped to HTML's "description definition" element, which is supposed to follow a "description term" element (which in MediaWiki markup is represented by an initial semi-colon). <dd> elements are typically indented when rendered, which is why initial colons are used to produce indent levels, even though semantically it's incorrect.) So mapping initial spaces to a pre-formatted block rendered using a fixed-width font provides a way to quickly include text that is manually column-aligned. This is useful for including coding examples, for instance, but less useful for a general purpose encyclopedia. isaacl (talk) 00:24, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Proposal: A wikitext line beginning with spaces should be formatted as a printed line beginning with a space[edit]

The proposal to change the software formatting is pretty straightforward. The formatting would explicitly show only a single space, and not multiple, regardless of how many spaces are typed by the user. Please comment whether you approve. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 19:18, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose the proposal as formulated as there has been no consideration of what will break as a consequence. And as Adam Cuerden said, this may be one of those things that it is too late to fix. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:44, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not clear what you mean by "a single space": from your previous example, I think you mean a single indent level? To be honest, if we were going to change this behaviour to something else, I'm not sure this is the formatting I'd choose. For better or worse, though, the effort to transition existing text to use a new mechanism and educate editors on the change would probably not produce enough benefit to make it worthwhile. isaacl (talk) 22:50, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Is anybody actually using this as a feature? I think everytime I've ever seen this, it's been an error by a new editor. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 23:42, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Of course, for example in many articles about computer science and algorithms, like Dijkstra's algorithm. Also, as a general rule, whenever there is a certain behavior of wikitext, whether intended or not, whether well-defined or not, somebody, somewhere, is using it as a feature, and will come shout at you if you change it. Matma Rex talk 00:15, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
I often use it to display code like in #Below editing window. Sieve of Eratosthenes#Example shows use in an article. It's part of the MediaWiki software used by thousands of wikis. Some of them probably use it much more than us. It would cause confusion if a new MediaWiki version changed it, or introduced an option where wikis could choose another interpretation of leading spaces. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:16, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Not sure if you've noticed, but the current behaviour already causes confusion. Hence this proposal. HiLo48 (talk) 08:39, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── To make this happen:

  1. File a feature request
  2. Identify and update all current intentional uses to <pre>
  3. Wait until a developer implements this

 Gadget850 talk 00:28, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

It's extremely unlikely that MediaWiki would be changed for this usage, but anyone wanting that would also need to consider that <pre> disables wikitext markup like using apostrophes for bold or braces for templates or making links clickable. Starting a line with a space is different and someone will be using that fact somewhere. Johnuniq (talk) 02:14, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose It's an established and documented feature of the MediaWiki markup that has been there almost from the start (the earliest reference to this feature that I can find is in the release notes for MediaWiki 1.3.4 (28 September 2004) which includes a bugfix "Strip leading blank from output in preformated text."). Remember that MediaWiki is used on many projects and websites, not just Wikipedia; it is far, far too late to change this behaviour now. Eleven years ago (MediaWiki 1.1 arrived in December 2003), maybe; but not now. --Redrose64 (talk) 08:22, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
    Documented? LOL. It's our novice users who get stung by this behaviour. Tell me the chances they will see this alleged documentation before getting totally confused. HiLo48 (talk) 08:39, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
    Help:Wiki markup#Retaining newlines and spaces "The MediaWiki software suppresses single newlines and converts lines starting with a space to preformatted text in a dashed box." --Redrose64 (talk) 09:15, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
    Quoting the documentation here is not a sensible response to my concerns. HiLo48 (talk) 11:36, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
    When I started editing Wikipedia, the page that was then called Wikipedia:How to edit a page included this section. It's not there any more: along with some other sections, it was moved on 4 December 2009 to a new page, Help:Wiki markup, where it remains, see Help:Wiki markup#Limiting formatting / escaping wiki markup. That table has been amended since then, primarily to exchange the two columns and insert a row; but the bottom row, about leading spaces, has substantially the same meaning as it did back in May 2009. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:06, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
    I for one, when I began editing at the beginning of this year, knew of this from the start, because I read the Help pages. BethNaught (talk) 16:10, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Support It's the obvious expected behaviour. Those saying it's too late too fix it remind me of the farming spokesman here in Australia who once declared "This rain is nice, but it's too late to break the drought." Just fix it. HiLo48 (talk) 08:35, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose: This will break stuff. I know people do actually use it because I sometimes use it to format my talk page. I don't want to have to go fix up my archives, thank you. Other users have identified mainspace uses as well. This is too late to fix, unless you like breaking stuff for the sake of it. BethNaught (talk) 09:05, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
That's a rude comment. I want it fixed, not because I "like breaking stuff for the sake of it", but so we can retain new editors, those who get put off Wikipedia forever by the completely confusing, non-intuitive behaviour of our user interface. Nobody is asking for this just for the sake of it. They are asking for it because they care. HiLo48 (talk) 11:36, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I realise you had a reason and shouldn't have ignored that. I am curious to know however how this will be changed without causing damage. In my opinion, we should retain this behaviour as a useful if idiosyncratic MediaWiki feature and expedite the improvement and return of VisualEditor, which will have a much greater positive effect on newcomer retention than changing one small part of a markup language. BethNaught (talk) 12:05, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose If this is to be changed, leading spaces should just be stripped. In practice bad copy paste often introduces these, the <pre> behavior makes them pretty obvious to see right now, but converting them to &nbsp; is not desirable either. — xaosflux Talk 11:52, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
    Just saw your note above, the conversion to a non-breaking space would be needed over a normal space, as a leading normal space would get removed as part of the generic html cleanup. — xaosflux Talk 12:06, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Latex font[edit]

What font is the math markup using? SpinningSpark 01:48, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Mathjax is not rendering in the STIX fonts (tried in Windows 7 and XP, logged in and logged out, in a variety of browsers). It was the standard Latex I was mostly interested in. SpinningSpark 08:13, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps the question I should be asking is what is the fallback webfont? SpinningSpark 13:01, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Chrome (on os x) using MAthjax reports the fonts as STIX. Checking on the png fallback font. Protonk (talk) 20:10, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
@Spinningspark: Looks like (from the Math extension) the big one is Latin Modern. HTH. Protonk (talk) 20:28, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, SpinningSpark 22:45, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Tool idea[edit]

Hi. I'd like to (and I'm almost in the process on) write a tool which would show latest category members -- with subcats, recursively -- for new page patrol purposes. It would be a web app where you type a wiki name and category name and get a list of category members sorted by time. Later on I'd have to implement pages (if there's too many) or limit the time frame. Is this worth doing given that categories would move to Wikidata soon? If so, how soon? Thoughts? (P.S. Please distribute to sister projects village pumps). Gryllida (talk) 07:31, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

There is something similar. Ok, it is for latest changes, but you can hide something, that really is not a new page (like "Hide minor edits"). --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 08:21, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
This is different, I'm referring to new page patrol specifically (and it would also have to go through categories recursively). Gryllida (talk) 01:02, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Categories moving to Wikidata? When and where was this announced? --Redrose64 (talk) 11:04, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
I was told that Wikidata would complement it, not replace it, at the Commons village pump. Dunno details - if you find it please share. Just a thought I heard somewhere in the past and it'd impact plans of work on the tool I'm talking about. Gryllida (talk) 01:02, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

How to style infoboxes in LESS which replaced CSS as of 1.22?[edit]

How to style infoboxes in 1.23 using LESS instead of CSS? Prior to 1.22, CSS styling was straightforward, you'd just add it to main.css or common.css. Tried converting LESS to CSS using online converters but they get stuck trying to resolve external links found in LESS. (talk) 14:08, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

LESS didn't replace CSS. Jackmcbarn (talk) 03:33, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Why does it appear that some special pages only work in mobile view?[edit]

For example, Special:History (which I expected could be used in a way like "Special:History/Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)" to link to the page's history) says "This page is not available on desktop. Please click the mobile view link at the bottom of the page." I most certainly am not going to use mobile view on my desktop computer! Dustin (talk) 14:49, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

On my desktop, if I click the Mobile link, it says: "No such page". Is it Bugzilla time? Robert McClenon (talk) 15:10, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, the page existed at some point; just stick "Special:Histo" into the search bar (without pressing search or the enter key), and "Special:History" will come up, proving that there is something there. Dustin (talk) 15:14, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
bugzilla:64939 is already open. — xaosflux Talk 15:15, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Below editing window[edit]

Below editing window there should be a space between "Editing help" and "(opens in new window)". --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 20:39, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

I see the text without a space in the html source but the whole text is hidden for me on the rendered page, apparently due to MediaWiki talk:Edithelppage#Vanished? [8] [9]. I see the problem with the missing space on the rendered page when I preview Special:MyPage/common.css with this:
.editButtons .editHelp, .editButtons .mw-editButtons-pipe-separator {display: inline;}
The space is also missing when I test commons:Special:MyPage/common.css, but it's present at mw:Special:MyPage/common.css and testwiki:Special:MyPage/common.css. The two latter have the latest 1.24wmf22 as mentioned below in #Tech News: 2014-39, so maybe all wikis will soon get the space automatically for those who see the text. PrimeHunter (talk) 10:37, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

"View and edit watchlist" error[edit]

Since today (perhaps earlier, not a feature I use often), if I click "View and edit watchlist", I get the following error:

Invalid value was provided for loading flow content.

Return to Main Page. [0698e7ae] 2014-09-21 21:36:58: Fatal exception of type Flow\Exception\InvalidInputException

Anybody any idea what this means? I use the latest version of Firefox and Windows 7. Thanks. --Randykitty (talk) 21:40, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

I've opened bugzilla:71109 about this. Jackmcbarn (talk) 03:41, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! I'm kind of baffled that this seems to be Flow related, because the only Flow-related page that I have on my watchlist is WP:FLOW and not any page that actually uses Flow... --Randykitty (talk) 11:57, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
@Randykitty: This sounds like another variant of the problems at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 130#dead-end message. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:58, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation things shifted in infobox[edit]

Can someone explain why in {{Infobox aluminium}} the pronunciation row looks shifted vertically, while neighbour magnesium has nothing of this? (does it have to do with the sound link?). -DePiep (talk) 23:23, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

At first glance, it looks like the icon may be the cause. --  Gadget850 talk 19:00, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeah. And maybe it is not an issue at all. Consider closed. -DePiep (talk) 21:26, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Tech News: 2014-39[edit]

09:05, 22 September 2014 (UTC)


Colons are used to indent comments on Talk pages (one for one indent, two for two indents, etc), but it can somethimes be quite difficult to distinguish how many there are in a row (unless large font size is used). I am sure this is why indents are often so erratic, which can sometimes make following the sequence of comments on a page quite difficult, especially if users start using bullet points as well. Could the software perhaps be altered using a clearer key combination such as the + plus sign, to enable users to see clearly the number of indents they make before adding their comments? --P123ct1 (talk) 10:35, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

":::::" and "+++++" are equally easy to count for me in the edit box (but not on the rendered page). Does your browser not display the edit box with a monospace font? What is the browser and have you changed its monospace setting from the default (Courier New in my Firefox)? If there are many colons and I don't bother counting then I sometimes use copy-paste to get the same number. There are millions of pages in MediaWiki wikis already using colon so plus would have to be an alternative and not a replacement, but I don't support the confusion of having two notations. PrimeHunter (talk) 10:52, 22 September 2014 (UTC
I have changed the edit area font style in "Preferences" to monospaced font and it works fine now, I can see the number of colons perfectly. Don't know why I didn't think of experimenting there before. Brain not working today. --P123ct1 (talk) 21:21, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Don't count them—copy them and add another. Using Firefox, you can click at the beginning of the line, press Ctrl+Shift+Right then Ctrl+Shift+Left then Ctrl+C to copy the leading colons. Johnuniq (talk) 23:05, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Help with userscript[edit]

Hi, can someone take a look at this edit? It seems to have broken PleaseStand's userinfo.js script, but I can't figure out why. Thanks in advance! --Waldir talk 13:38, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

At a glance, groupPages(s) should be groupPages[s], as it is an array, rather than a function. --Splarka (rant) 07:31, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Hi Splarka :) yes, indeed you're right, I missed that one. However, Ruslik0 did that tweak but then reverted his edits; I initially thought he had experimented but it still didn't work, and I didn't want to rush to comment here before he did with his findings, but now I'm thinking he might have indeed fixed it / showed me how to fix it, but reverted the edits as he didn't want to perform that change himself? I'll give it a try with the array notation and report back. --Waldir talk 10:22, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
As I suspected, that fix wasn't enough to make it work (I assume Ruslik0 just didn't want to bother with exhaustive testing to properly fix the script, with is understandable). I did some more testing on a clone of that script, and finally found the culprit: groupPages had to be initialized as an object. Now it works — thanks both for taking a look :) --Waldir talk 11:13, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Template error[edit]

I noticed that Template:uw-test1 is failing to substitute user names:

Information icon Hello, I'm Tryptofish. An edit that you recently made seemed to be a test and has been removed. If you want more practice editing, please use the sandbox. If you think I made a mistake, or if you have any questions, you can leave me a message on my talk page. Thanks!

It would be helpful if someone who understands how to fix it could fix it, and check if other uw templates have the same problem. Thanks! --Tryptofish (talk) 17:20, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

It works fine. The problem is your edit [23] didn't add subst: as required in the documentation at Template:Uw-test1. subst: is how you request substitution. A bot has since fixed your error so the above post now looks correct. If you are using some tool to add the template and the tool doesn't subst it then say which tool. PrimeHunter (talk) 17:51, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Woops! I can't believe I made that mistake! I do these templates all the time, and I guess I just had a mental lapse. Sorry to bother you, and thank you very much for the answer. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:39, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

References showing on discussion pages[edit]

Hi, has there been a change recently that is causing reference lists to appear at the bottom of discussion pages? I don't recall seeing this before. (See Talk:Downton_Abbey for an example.) This behaviour is usually unwanted, I would suggest. Is there any way to turn it off? (talk) 00:41, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

What would you like to happen instead? If you don't want reference lists on talk pages, then don't use ref tags on talk pages. Jackmcbarn (talk) 00:47, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
The tags are normally only there by accident because people copy pieces of the article. If you want a reference list to appear then you can add the appropriate directive, just as happens in articles ("reflist" or whatever it is). I have never seen that done on a discussion page because normally no one ever wants it, at least not at the very end of the page after some unrelated thread. The point is that now the references seem to be appearing automatically, without any directive, and with seemingly no way to suppress them. They sit there, relating to dead threads, confusing the end of the discussion page. (talk) 00:58, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
I fixed it so the references appear with the correct section by adding {{reflist-talk}} to the appropriate section. GB fan 01:05, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
See Automatically generated reference lists. --  Gadget850 talk 01:15, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the link; that explains all! (talk) 02:13, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh, and I forgot to say, thanks also GB fan for fixing it on that page. (talk) 02:56, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Search error[edit]

Not sure whether this is related to the bugs filed above...

At the search page (, when I search for reference or references I get "An error has occurred while searching: The search backend returned an error:".

Actually, this is a reasonable thing to want to do, because I wanted to search the Help pages for that topic. (talk) 02:36, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

The problem does not happen with the new search that you can switch on under "Beta Features" in your preferences. The new search (Cirrus) will soon replace the current search (Lucene). --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 09:19, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

"Sorry, the servers are overloaded at the moment."[edit]

Anyone know why I'm getting a "Sorry, the servers are overloaded at the moment." moment on today's AFD log? Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 16:15, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Is that the standard "too many people are trying to view this page" MediaWiki message (which is common to see at AfD) or an HTTP 503 error? I got one of the latter today. BethNaught (talk) 16:26, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
The former. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 16:31, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
At the moment there are ONE HUNDRED SIXTY SEVEN AfDs on today's log. That's the biggest number I can remember. There's been some discussion about whether we need to make technical and/or procedural changes in light of the increasing load at AfD. See e.g. Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion#Daily AfD pages are getting too long. In the meantime I assume that the increased frequency of overloaded server messages is partly a result. --Arxiloxos (talk) 17:02, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Page View Statistics problem?[edit]


When I click on "Page View Statistics" (under Page Information/External Tools) for any article, I get the response, "internal server error." Any ideas? Thanks, -Classicfilms (talk) 16:56, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

I also get it currently. It's an external tool made and run by a volunteer editor who can be contacted at User talk:Henrik. The tool is often down or missing recent days. The Wikimedia Foundation runs another tool on Labs at but it's also down currently (probably for unrelated reasons). PrimeHunter (talk) 18:42, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks PrimeHunter. I left a note on User talk:Henrik's page. I didn't know about the tool run by the Wikimedia Foundation, so thanks for the heads up. I will check it out as well once it is fixed. Regards, -Classicfilms (talk) 19:20, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Query archiving[edit]


A quick question; is it O.K. to use query archiving {{Query web archive}} over |archiveurl=? Or its became dead practice? See, I first met query archiving on Tokyo ESP article, and decided to do the same to Chili Davis and 3 other articles. If its preferred either way, then I will continue to use query, if not, I will revert my changes.--Mishae (talk) 17:16, 23 September 2014 (UTC)