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 in Phabricator (see how to report a bug). Bugs with security implications should be reported differently (see how to report security bugs).

Newcomers to the technical village pump are encouraged to read these guidelines prior to posting here. Questions about MediaWiki in general should be posted at the MediaWiki support desk.

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Orphaned non-free use files that are not orphaned[edit]

I regularly patrol Category:Orphaned non-free use Wikipedia files to see if the files are right for deletion and fix what I can to keep proper files on Wikipedia. Recently I have been noticing when an editor blanks either a section or the entire article and is quickly reverted within a minute, in the cases listed below by User:ClueBot NG, the files show that they are not being used in any article on Wikipedia. Eventually this ends up in where ever User:Stefan2 finds the list and he does his great work and tags them an being orphaned. Once I find them, I know a null edit is all it takes for me to make the article reappear in the file's usage section and then I remove the orphaned fair use template from the file.

Examples from yesterday's list that I have not done a null edit on so the blank usage sections can be seen.

  1. Adobe InDesign
    1. File:Adobe InDesign CS6.png
  2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    1. File:H2G2 first comic front cover.jpg
    2. File:Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide front.jpg
    3. File:HHGG UKLP covers.jpg
    4. File:HHGG REU cassette covers.jpg
    5. File:Hitch Hikers Theme Original Records Version.ogg
    But weirdly enough, the file in the infobox, File:H2G2 UK front cover.jpg, has the article listed in its usage section.

This seems like more extra work for both Stefan2, myself and any other editor who might be fighting vandalism or just regular editing. Is there anything that can be done in these cases or is this something we will just have to live with. Aspects (talk) 07:09, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

  • I think we'll have to wait to hear from Stefan to see which, if any, tool/script he or she uses to tag them as orphaned... If he is using a script, the script could do a check to see if the images are actually orphaned before applying the tag to save everyone effort (except the script code writer who would have to set it up XD). — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 07:39, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
@Technical 13: The problem here is that the "what links here" information isn't being updated after ClueBot's revert. How is a script supposed to check whether an image is "actually orphaned" if it can't trust "what links here"? -- John of Reading (talk) 08:40, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
  • John, it's a script, it can purge to update the tables and then check WLH. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 09:21, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
@Technical 13:A purge or null edit of the file page does not fix the problem; you have to guess which article has the image and do a null edit there. A script won't be able to guess correctly. -- John of Reading (talk) 09:55, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Since we're talking about non-free files, WP:NFCC#10c says that there must be "a separate, specific non-free use rationale for each use of the item" together with "the name of each article ... in which fair use is claimed for the item". Therefore, there should be a valid WP:FUR on the file description page naming the article where the image is intended to be used; it will probably be linked (but might not be), so follow that link, and WP:NULLEDIT the resulting article. Do this for every FUR on the file description page (there might be more than one, example), and if after processing all the FURs in this way, there are still no articles listed under "File usage", the file may be safely put up for WP:CSD#F5. If there are some left, check that each one of the linked articles has a FUR on the file page - if you find an article which uses the image but there is no FUR explicitly naming that article, the image may be removed from the article under WP:NFCC#10c; if after doing this, there are no articles listed under "File usage", F5 also applies. I don't think the task can be fully automated: many FURs are in template form, with an |Article= parameter which may be read, but a valid FUR may be constructed using no templates whatsoever. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:19, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
If MediaWiki doesn't update Special:WhatLinksHere when User:ClueBot NG edits pages, then maybe User:ClueBot NG could POST action=purge with the forcelinkupdate parameter after each edit to reduce the damage.
I could maybe write a script which searches for articles based on WP:NFCC#10c requirements and purges the articles. I'll try to see if there is something I can do here and how difficult it would be to write that script. When I tag the files, I open them in my browser and tag them using Twinkle. --Stefan2 (talk) 15:11, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree that it's a bug in MediaWiki. Has anyone filed one yet? Especially if anyone can figure out what exactly ClueBot is doing that's causing this? Anomie 12:57, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't think so. I hope it can be fixed in Mediawiki. For example, it just happened with File:Book Cover The Second Coming of Christ The Resurrection of Christ Within.jpg in Second Coming. --Stefan2 (talk) 23:23, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

A different bug in MediaWiki, also affecting orphaned non-free files: File:Dubai Club.png is correctly listed as used in the "File Usage" section at the bottom of the page, and the use also shows up properly in Special:WhatLinksHere/File:Dubai Club.png, and action=query also shows that the file is used. However, User:Diannaa has tagged the file as orphaned twice in December.

For some reason, the file appears to be missing from the imagelinks table. File:Doctor Who Series 7 boxset.jpg also has the same problem. I have tried purging (action=purge&forcelinkupdate=) File:Dubai Club.png, File:Doctor Who Series 7 boxset.jpg and their articles (Doctor Who (series 7) and Dubai CSC), but to no avail: they still show up as 'orphaned' in the imagelinks table. What is the problem here? Also, from where do Special:WhatLinksHere, action=query and the "File Usage" section obtain their information, if not from the imagelinks table? --Stefan2 (talk) 00:59, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Headlines in template columns[edit]

Why second level (===) headlines in template columns not working correctly? Basshuntersw (talk) 10:50, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

PrimeHunter (talk) 12:33, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

I don't have edit links in the above test. Is that what you mean by not working correctly? PrimeHunter (talk) 12:35, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
This isn't also good. English version needed in addition <br /> after headline. Polish version don't need it. Chcek also how this see on Polish version and English version. I want this same effect. Basshuntersw (talk) 15:02, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
You don't need a <br />, you can use a &#32; which is interpreted as a space by your browser, but ignored by MediaWiki - save for the fact that it "protects" the newline against whitespace stripping. See Wikipedia:Sandbox. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:30, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Okay but what is result of that different (space beetwen columns and main tamplate)? Basshuntersw (talk) 18:21, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Redrose64 refers to a feature described at Help:Template#Parameters:

"Whitespace characters (spaces, tabs, returns) are stripped from the beginnings and ends of named parameter names and values, but not from the middle: thus {{ ... | myparam = this is a test }} has the same effect as {{ ... |myparam=this is a test}}."

This means


=== Heading ===

has the same effect as

|col1==== Heading ===

Section headings only work at the start of a line but Template:Columns does not place col1 at the start of a line. Therefore the col1 parameter must have at least one non-whitespace character before a newline and === Heading === for the heading to work. &#32; is an example of non-whitespace characters for this purpose (the code produces a space but the code itself is not whitespace). I used it in [1]. The Polish version pl:Template:Kolumny does place col1 at the start of a line, so the parameter value does not need a non-whitepace character before a section heading. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:53, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

What with width beetwen columns? Now it don't have sense because distance beetwen columns is too short. Basshuntersw (talk) 05:30, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Template:Columns has documentation for width and gap parameters, and links to other English column templates. Wikipedia languages are edited independently. An English and Polish Template cannot be expected to work the same way just because they have interlanguage links or the same name. PrimeHunter (talk) 12:13, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Category:Current spaceflights[edit]

Template:Launching adds non-existing unhidden Category:Current spaceflights to the articles (such as in Angara (rocket family) currently). Should the category be created manually or something else? Brandmeistertalk 14:12, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

@Brandmeister: Non-existent (redlinked) categories are never hidden; this is because the code for making a cat hidden must be placed on the cat page itself, which therefore makes the cat page exist and no longer a redlink. As for the cat not existing at the moment, it was deleted twice: first time was after Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 March 23#Category:Current spaceflights, second time was per WP:CSD#G4. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:55, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Since that category was deleted after Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 March 23#Category:Current spaceflights, it shouldn't be recreated without wider discussion. But I note that the similar template {{Current spaceflight}} adds Category:Current events, so I've edited {{Launching}} to match it. That should fix the red link at Angara (rocket family). -- John of Reading (talk) 14:56, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Looking at recent edits to {{Launching}}, I find that John of Reading's fix mentioned above is essentially a revert of this edit of yesterday, although not described as such. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:10, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
...and I've been reverted, so the red-linked category has returned at Angara (rocket family). I'm out of here! -- John of Reading (talk) 19:51, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I reverted them, gave it a one-month semi-prot, and started this thread. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:25, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Mediawiki is apparently producing dead links[edit]

This one: Special:FeedbackDashboard/38153. This is, apparently, WP:Article Feedback Tool? I see there was consensus shut it off, but I don't see any consensus for mass deletions. How do we get these back? Oiyarbepsy (talk) 15:31, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

That special page doesn't exist, where are you seeing these being "produced" ? — xaosflux Talk 15:56, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I saw it linked on a user talk page - User talk:Greek Fellows. The context clearly indicates that this was once a valid link, but now it's dead. What links here doesn't work, and who knows how many other links like this are around. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 23:49, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Special is not a normal namespace and WhatLinksHere never works on it. It would be nice if Special:FeedbackDashboard/xxx gave a message explaining that the Feedback feature has been disabled and the old content is no longer available. Can MediaWiki:Nospecialpagetext do that? The message is apparently not called with a pagename parameter so I guess it would have to use {{PAGENAME}} or similar to test for "FeedbackDashboard", but I don't know whether magic words for pagenames work on special pages. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:10, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

TemplateData editor adds whitespace[edit]


I don't know if anyone has reported this or not but the interactive TemplateData editor seems to add additional whitespaces with every iteration of edit. For example, please the first three changes in revision 639328069. " author1", (note the leading whitespace) has become "  author1", (two leading spaces). It seems the editor populates its list by reading the contents of the JSON array "alias" and delimiting them with , ". However, upon compiling the array back, it take the delimiter to be strictly ",". So, the whitespace becomes part of the name.

Is this reported as a bug elsewhere? Or, how do I report it?

Best regards,
Codename Lisa (talk) 16:37, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

phab: is the new Bugzilla. --Redrose64 (talk) 16:40, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Ouch! It is painful to even go there.
It requires a login with an LDAP account. (I only know one LDAP: Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.) I don't have that anyway.
Best regards,
Codename Lisa (talk) 17:55, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
There is a Phab task to improve the login. For the moment, you can ignore the LDAP boxes, and simply click the Wikimedia Flower button named "Login or register". Oauth will ask to run in your behalf, and will login with your Single Unified Login account. Phab dashboard will display your view of the WMF development tasks, with a link for you to report the TemplateData editor issue, and a help link. An email address is no longer required, as previous Bugzilla information has been migrated to Phab. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 18:49, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
It's now phab: T85330. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:57, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Yellow message boxes gone[edit]

I'm not sure what the technically correct name for these things is, but I will try to describe them: they are the yellow text boxes that used to appear when you hovered your mouse over certain icons, such as the padlock in the corner of protected pages and topicons. But now they haven't been appearing, at least for me. Does anyone know why this is? Everymorning talk 16:48, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

They're sometimes called tooltips, and are very much browser-dependent. They show for me in Firefox 34.0.5 - have you changed browser recently? --Redrose64 (talk) 17:52, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Oh, okay. I changed to Chrome a few months ago, so that probably explains it. Everymorning talk 18:05, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Red, "yellow" suggests to me that Everymorning may actually be talking about WP:NAVPOP. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 18:08, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not talking about that, Technical. The popups I'm talking about are those that say, for example, "This article is semi-protected indefinitely" when you hover your mouse over the padlock or "This is a featured article" when you hover it over a gold star. NAVPOP only applies to wikilinks AFAICT. Everymorning talk 18:30, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Everymorning, the icons and padlocks are wikilinks actually, and NAVPOP does work on them. If it turns out that Red's original assessment was correct, turning on navpops might be useful to you if those are something you desire. :) — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 18:57, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
I've tried it in Chrome version 39.0.2171.95 m, and I get tooltips when hovering over a FA icon ("This is a featured article. Click here for more information." from the alt= attribute of the <img /> element) and a prot padlock ("This article is semi-protected until April 22, 2015, due to editing disputes" from the title= attribute of the <a>...</a> element). Maybe it's the operating system: I use Windows XP. They are not navpops: I turned those off because they conflict with too much. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:01, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
according to [2], this is an elusive, transient, hard-to-reproduce bug in chrome. it may or may not be related to the theme used. even if you use the default theme, it is likely that installing another theme will make the problem go away, at least for a while. i see more and more chrome-specific bugs recently. maybe it's time to return to FF as my main browser... peace - קיפודנחש (aka kipod) (talk) 19:17, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Bot added {{Reflist-talk}} to talk page discussions.[edit]

I often notice people adding <ref></ref> type citations on talk pages and they do not know to add {{Reflist-talk}} to the discussion. It is not a problem if the discussion is at the bottom of the page as the citations automatically show up there on talk pages. However when the discussion moves up the page and later when archived the citation is separated from the discussion. Can we set up the bots to automatically add {{Reflist-talk}} to discussions that need them? Richard-of-Earth (talk) 22:59, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Or better yet: how about disabling that "feature"? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:40, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
bug 68324 (Cite: Add namespace detection for automatically generated reference list); see Help:AGRL for all bugs. --  Gadget850 talk 23:58, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Ooops - need help[edit]

I created an article in my Sandbox - North_American_Piedmontese_cattle - and when I finished editing, I clicked on "move" to get it in the main space. I got the following message: [3], but it doesn't actually redirect to Gabor B. Racz, which was the very first article I created in my Sandbox, and moved to the main space with help from another editor. It appears the Piedmontese article is a redirect from my Sandbox because under the title it states: "A start-class article from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from User:Atsme/sandbox)". I would very much appreciate some assistance, and maybe a little guidance so this doesn't happen again. Thanks in advance.... AtsmeConsult 00:12, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Looks like the earliest revisions need a history split - I'll do that now. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 01:52, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
@Atsme: I've moved the revisions that weren't a part of North American Piedmontese cattle back to User:Atsme/sandbox - take a look at the page history of both of them. To make sure that this doesn't happen in the future, you have two options: 1) create your article drafts in a new page, for example User:Atsme/North American Piedmontese cattle, or 2) move User:Atsme/sandbox to a different title, for example User:Atsme/old sandbox history, and then create your draft in User:Atsme/sandbox. As for changing the redirect from North American Piedmontese cattle to Gabor B. Racz, all you would have needed to do was change the code at the top of your sandbox from #REDIRECT [[North American Piedmontese cattle]] to #REDIRECT [[Gabor B. Racz]]. But for now, it doesn't redirect anywhere, as it's a blank page. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 02:09, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Mr. Stradivarius thank you, thank you. For future reference, I copied your post to a sticky note on my laptop. AtsmeConsult 02:51, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Math parsing problem[edit]

So at this revision, what do you see? Do you see big red text stating a parsing error for the equations, or do you see the equations displaying correctly? I have a discussion going on at User talk:Greek Fellows#Math formatting, where apparently I see an error but the other editor does not. I'm using Safari 6.1.6 on Mac 10.7. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 05:11, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Two red "Failed to parse" messages on Windows 7 - Firefox 34.0.5 and IE 11, when logged in and logged out. GoingBatty (talk) 06:23, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
It does work with MathJax enabled, but gives parsing errors in TeX (PNG) mode. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 09:12, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
Is this is just my mistakes during the typesetting, or some more serious problem going on on Wikipedia? --Worst regards, Greek Fellows". Visit ma talk page and ma contributions. 10:20, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't know enough about TeX to answer that, but I do know TeX only supports a subset of LaTeX, and you have to ensure to only use markup that is supported in both TeX and MathJax. Aside from that, I think in this particular instance that regular text will suffice. If you must make it appear as a formula, use {{math}} instead. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 10:09, 25 December 2014 (UTC)


This file appears to be broken. The file usage section reports that File:Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (logo).png is a duplicate of the file. The upload time and summary and the name of the uploader are the same, so the file seems to have been duplicated somehow. It seems that User:DragonflySixtyseven tried moving the file, but since something broken remains under the old file name, the redirect isn't working properly. Any idea what is going on here? --Stefan2 (talk) 23:05, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

I purged File:Mso.png before when it didn't redirect as it should. That seems to have solved the problem. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:45, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
The redirect now behaves correctly and the file shows up in the article, but the file is still listed as a duplicate for some reason. --Stefan2 (talk) 20:29, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
I purged File:Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (logo).png and it went away. — This, that and the other (talk) 10:00, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
The old file page was never properly deleted. Possibly an old file move bug? I deleted the page and restored the redirect. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 09:54, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Need quick help with nested templates[edit]


Something got broken in {{automatic taxobox}} [4]. I have to run, and before doing that I've "fixed" the problem by changing to the regular taxobox here [5]. Materialscientist (talk) 08:07, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

I have no idea how the auto templates work, but I reverted some test edits by two new users at {{Taxonomy/Dendroaspis polylepis}}, and then I reverted your quick fix, and I think Black mamba is ok. Johnuniq (talk) 09:45, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Materialscientist (talk) 09:49, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Not sure how to report this ...[edit]

I just experienced a WP server error and the error message mentions reporting it to the admins but I am not sure how to do that so I will post it here. It went away but posting this as an FYI. Beyond giving whoever-needs-to-know an FYI, I would suggest that the error page include some clue on how to report this. Details follow:

Request: POST, from via cp1055 cp1055 ([]:3128), Varnish XID 3035011983
Forwarded for:,
Error: 503, Service Unavailable at Thu, 25 Dec 2014 16:14:09 GMT (talk) 16:31, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

To report bugs in the software, please read WP:BUGS. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 18:29, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
This is a good idea. We should really let the users getting the error know how to report them. The current error page is not clear enough. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 06:44, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
@עוד מישהו & @Zhaofeng Li: Is this error actually considered a "bug" by WP technical staff? It seems to me that a server error is an "active problem" not a "bug", one that could be caused by hardware failures or excessive page demands for example. (talk) 18:16, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Infobox disease[edit]

"Width" parameter in {{Infobox disease}} doesn't work properly: Cephalhematoma. -- (talk) 17:19, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Fixed. In the template's source code the "Width" parameter was written with a capital W which prevented the |width= in the article to be implemented. On another note, next time please use the talk page of the template to discuss any malfunctions of the template because this noticeboard is for technical issues of Wikipedia in general. De728631 (talk) 17:37, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Alterations for mobile[edit]

Obviously, this has its dangerous side, but is there any way to modify content of a page for viewing on mobile sites? I'd like to give a smaller selection of images in WP:Signpost articles while on the mobile site, particularly in galleries.

Does such functionality exist? Adam Cuerden (talk) 12:06, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Everything wrapped in the class "nomobile" should make stuff disappear on the mobile website. But in general, such constructs should be avoided, because they might be confusing for readers and a tablet is also a mobile device... —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:58, 26 December 2014 (UTC)


I noticed bookmarklet, that counts words in page. Was wondering, can there be made bookmarklet, that could count words in a selected text? I think, it would be useful for various cases in Wikipedia. --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 13:45, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Mass move template[edit]


Is there a pinpoint page where I can ask for a mass-move of templates? (like WP:CFDS for categories). -DePiep (talk) 18:21, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Er, WP:RM perhaps? --Redrose64 (talk) 21:47, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like a lot of make-work, unless you have a very good reason, as readers never see template titles. Just like we don't encourage renaming files without good reasons to. Wbm1058 (talk) 22:53, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
re Rr64: of course (+headslap over here). re Wbm1058: of course. -DePiep (talk) 19:56, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Viewing deleted talk page posts[edit]

Hi! I have one question. Many users, especially those problematic, remove (delete) warnings from their user talk page. Those are, of course, visible in the page history. But, it is hard to track all the warnings in the long page history. Is there some tool that can be installed which, when activated, shows all the posts from the talk page at once, even those that were removed? This would be very useful tool. When making disruptive edits, user has to be warned, but it is sometimes hard to check if the user was warned, if he routinely removes warnings from his talk page. In that case, I have to check every revision of the talk page. Vanjagenije (talk) 21:42, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

  • If Phab:T20670 get's completed, this kind of thing will be exceptionally simple as tools used to tag things for deletion will be able to tag the edit that makes the post to the user talk page as "Tag:CSD notification" or "Tag:deletion notification". Otherwise the best you can do is list 5000 entries for the page history and look for the notifications manually using your browser's search feature, if it has one. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 22:07, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
    • Actually, in the page hostory, it's simple to seee where content was removed - just look at the last version before each, and you can usually find out what you want to know. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 19:09, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
      • Yes Od Mishehu, I know. But, if the content was removed numerous times, then there are many versions to be checked. I was wondering if there is a way to see all the versions at once, at the same time. Vanjagenije (talk) 23:54, 27 December 2014 (UTC)[edit]

Having recurring page load hangs, all waiting for responses from; what are we loading from there? — xaosflux Talk 01:15, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Everything. Other than the page content itself (duh), non-gadgetized on-wiki scripts and styles, and uploaded files. Matma Rex talk 01:22, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Lol, I guess what I meant was what are we loading from there that is going so slow, or is there just a general capacity issue going on? — xaosflux Talk 01:29, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Xaosflux, I've noticed this is happening quite often as well, and I've noticed that it is usually an issue with scripts that are using deprecated code or at very least code that is in the process of being deprecated. Hopefully I can start fixing these scripts in a few more weeks if I can get global interface editor on Meta for this project. I asked a week and a half ago, but met some objection because I hadn't requested the template editor bit back on this wiki yet after having it removed, for what was suppose to be a very short period (like 24 hours) according to the discussion on AN(I?), in July. Anyways, I got the bit back and withdrew my request for a period of one month. I'll be back there in the middle of January to request it again. At that point, I can start sandboxing and verifying that patches for these scripts work and applying them. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 01:45, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
this seems highly improbable, bordering on impossible. i cannot think of any mechanism that will create any correlation between use of deprecated methods in JS code, and failure to load this code from bits. the problem is much more likely related to transient problems/issues with wikimedia servers that serve those pages than it it to their content. User:Technical 13: could you please explain why do you think this has anything to do with use of deprecated code?
irrespective of this, it *will* be good to comb the various JS pages in mediawiki space, sanitize the code and replace deprecated calls with their modern counterparts. IMO, it would be nice to do also this for all the userspace JS that's linked from WP:JS: when someone offers their self-developed scripts to public consumption, i think it's fair to see this as an implicit license to the site maintainers to fix problems in those scripts. peace - קיפודנחש (aka kipod) (talk) 19:26, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Syntax highlighter[edit]

Dear editors: I have been using the Syntax Highlighter gadget happily for some time, but lately it will not disengage when I am editing a really long page, and I have to turn it off manually. I am using Firefox, which is apparently its preferred platform. Does anyone know what could be causing this? —Anne Delong (talk) 05:11, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

@Anne Delong: could you please clarify what do you mean by "disengage"? i am not familiar with this term relating to syntax highlighter. peace - קיפודנחש (aka kipod) (talk) 17:49, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
קיפודנחש (aka kipod), the syntax highlighter gadget normally turns itself off if it detects that it is causing the text to take too long to refresh during editing. This is great, because then I can use it on shorter pages, such as articles, which have complicated formatting, but not on long pages such as lists like this one which don't need it anyway and where it would just slow things down. Lately, though, it has not turned itself off, so every time I edit a large file I have to think ahead and uncheck it in my preferences. If I forget, Firefox displays its "not responding" message for as much as 60 seconds each time I cut and paste one line of text. —Anne Delong (talk) 23:27, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Today the syntax highlighter appears to be working normally again. I don't know if it was a bug, or if it was a browser issue, but in any case, the problem is gone. Thanks anyway. —Anne Delong (talk) 21:01, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Enable visual editor for talk pages[edit]

First of all, no offense to anyone who actually likes the current editor and opposes visual edit.

But anyway, my proposal is to enable visual editor for article talk pages and other discussion related pages. I think this will help give speedy responses to a talk page comment. Also, only allowing visual edit in articles means that anyone who refuses to learn wikicode cannot effectively comment on talk pages.This may be subject to opinions, but the current editor is essentially a group of images in a toolbar with inked javascript commands, something that was essentially used in 2005. We are stepping into 2015 and this just looks disgraceful and it makes it look like the seventh largest website in the world has no technological awareness whatsoever. I still don't understand why this doesn't come by default and why people actually have to opt-in, but I am sure that has been discussed before. So, I think for now, Visual Editor should be activated for talkpages and namespace articles.NetworkOP (talk) 18:15, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Why not just wait for WP:FLOW? — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 18:20, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't think it's necessary to have two different UIs for talk pages and normal articles. Visual Editor is good enough, for now.NetworkOP (talk) 18:24, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
By the way, has there already been a discussion about whether or not to default visual editor?NetworkOP (talk) 18:27, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
as far as i understand, "Flow" is coming to discussion spaces pretty soon, so i do not think it makes a lot of sense to enable VE in discussion space right now, seeing that it will be short term anyway. also, discussion pages use many features of wikitext that do not appear (or at least, seldom appear) in articles, and are not supported or poorly supported by VE, such as indentation, signatures, liberal use of "pre", "source" and "nowiki" tags (probably a few others also), and more. it's not impossible to teach VE all those tricks, but i do not think this will be good use of resources. peace - קיפודנחש (aka kipod) (talk) 19:15, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
So why not make visual editor opt-out rather than opt in for new users? I personally did not know about visual edit until someone told me about it at the "tea house"NetworkOP (talk) 19:44, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
@NetworkOP: They did make VE opt-out for a few months during 2013; it caused a lot of trouble at the time - some people were doing nothing except clearing up the mess. The bad feeling that it created persists to this day such that any new innovation is viewed with doubt and mistrust. See the archives of this page for examples. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:26, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, if you release untested software that's what happens.NetworkOP (talk) 21:20, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
no no no no the issue with VE is that it often messes up formatting of the existing page. Personally, I like VE, however there is far too much of a chance of collateral damage when using on talk pages, especially as it is designed for use in article space. As flow is being developed for talk pages, I'd rather that was promoted as opposed to VE. --Mdann52talk to me! 20:10, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Access rights failure[edit]

See this edit. It was made by a logged-out user. That shouldn't have happened, because editing subpages of Template:Editnotices is restricted to those with the template-editor and accountcreator rights. How was it possible? --Redrose64 (talk) 19:27, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

That does seem to be a flaw in security. One guess is that the token was grabbed while logged in and then used while logged out, the system may be failing to check that the user is the same on the token was issued to. If that is the case then session stealing may be possible via a MITM attack. However it happened it should be looked into. Chillum 19:31, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Anyone know how this protection is actually implemented? I know it reads in WP:TPE that "The template editor user right allows trusted coders to edit templates and modules that have been protected with the "protected template" protection level (usually due to a high transclusion rate). It also allows those editors to edit edit notices, all of which are permanently uneditable without template editor, account creator, or administrator rights." but unless this is implemented in the core MediaWiki functionality, or an extension, there's no evidence I can see that unprotected templates - such as the edit notices - are actually protected. Mind you, I've still got a post Christmas hangover. QuiteUnusual (talk) 19:40, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
It is implemented via the Mediawiki:Titleblacklist, specifically:
  # Editnotice pseudospace
  Template:Editnotices\/.* <noedit|errmsg=titleblacklist-custom-editnotice>
If I attempt to edit Template:Editnotices/Page/European Union, I get a red warning box that thinks it is protected. Dragons flight (talk) 19:48, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
I was able to make a change. I'm just a regular user. --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 20:11, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Ummm I can edit it [6] but now cant revert as the "You do not have permission to edit this page, for the following reason:" box appears ....So could someone please revert me - Sorry! –Davey2010 Merry Xmas / Happy New Year 20:17, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Done. I also logged out and got my wife to log in (normal user). She can't edit it. So it's not that everyone can edit it and the protection isn't working at all. Black Kite (talk) 20:22, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Now everything is ok - I can't edit it anymore. --Edgars2007 (talk/contribs) 20:27, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

It appears this bug has some nuance to it. Were those able to edit it using IPv6 and those not able using IPv4 per chance? Chillum 20:24, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

I did wonder that. Unlikely though, if Edgars2007 could edit it, but now can't. Black Kite (talk) 20:32, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
I was unable to replicate this while logged out. I even tried to copy the entire source of the page from a logged in as ACC & TE account (this one) to the logged out in IE one and although I could make it so I could type in the box and click save, it still got caught up in the back end. I'm guessing it is a caching issue and has nothing to do directly with tokens or the specific users. I'm wondering what things are similar between the two accounts and the default logged out. Should dig into what gadgets and preferences the two logged in users have disabled that were default as those can probably be excluded. Also, curious if there is a common userAgent string string involved. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 21:56, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
It shouldn't even let you alter the contents of the edit box, and no "Save page" button should be offered. The experience for a logged-out user attempting to edit an editnotice should be almost exactly the same as if they were on a template-prot page and clicked the "View source" tab: the only differences are that on an editnotice page, the "Edit" tab isn't modified to read "View source", and the notice above the edit window is different - crucially, it says "This editnotice can only be created or edited by administrators, account creators, and template editors" instead of "This page is currently protected so that only template editors and administrators can edit it". In both cases, the edit box is unalterable, and there are no tools or other buttons. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:49, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
  • It doesn't, on it's own. You missed the part where I said that I altered my local rendition of the code to see if it was an interface issue and it still caught it in the backend. ;) — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 23:01, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Likely this has nothing to do with it, but I will mention it just in case: I have several time been in the middle of an edit when the I was automatically logged out because my 30 days were up. I activated the edit window while logged in, but by the time I decided to save I was logged out. Is it possible that this situation is treated differently from one in which a person manually logs out? —Anne Delong (talk) 23:44, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
My first thought was the same as Anne's, although after reading everything, I also agree that it's less likely.
On a related point, whoever made it possible for me to get logged out mid-edit, and did not also make that result in large, annoying banners that said "You've been logged out again, so don't save!!!" with an automatic trip back to the login page, deserves to have a Long Discussion with the OTRS team about how much unnecessary work that choice makes for them.
(I don't know if it's possible, but I have wondered whether the usual ...w/index.php?title=Fee&action=submit could be changed to something like ...w/index.php?title=Fee&action=submit&status=logged-in, so that if I started editing while logged in, the URL would report the status when I try to save, and if I'm no longer logged in, then it would complain and give me the opportunity to log back in. (There would be no corresponding &status=logged-out, because if I started editing while logged out, and then logged in (in a separate window), then there's no harm done.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:22, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
I've opened phabricator:T85428 about this. Jackmcbarn (talk) 01:22, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Download pdf still broken, round two[edit]

The problems with the "Download pdf" link are still a problem. The tables and infoboxes are still not appearing. (Apparently not any navboxes, either.) I tried this on two different featured articles, and as anyone can see if you do a "download as pdf", critical information is omitted. On Appaloosa, the breed infobox and a critical illustrated chart of coat color patterns is omitted, and on California Chrome the pdf version omits the infobox and a chart of all his racing statistics (material that is really not easy to render in a simple bulleted list.) An earlier post here explained that "MediaWiki recently switched from using the legacy PediaPress PDF renderer to using OfflineContentGenerator." However, they basically said they were hoping to find some volunteers to fix the problem. It still isn't fixed. I'd say that if WMF broke it, they should fix it and not wait for volunteers to do it, but maybe someone here happens to be good at this sort of thing? I took a look at the same articles in WikiWand, and WikiWand renders it all beautifully. If a non-WMF project can deliver wikipedia content, so should WMF. Montanabw(talk) 22:12, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Bug at phab:T32706. --  Gadget850 talk 14:58, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Twinkle Bug[edit]

There appears to be a complicated problem with Twinkle in notifying the creator of an article that it has been tagged for speedy deletion or nominated for deletion at AFD. A page that is a biography of a living person was created in user space for a non-existent user, as User:Hari Singh Nalwa (Scientist), which was just incorrect. I moved the page to draft space as Draft:Hari Singh Nalwa (Scientist). The author then moved/promoted the article into article space as Hari Singh Nalwa (Scientist). (By the way, the disambiguator is necessary, because Hari Singh Nalwa was a general with an existing article.) Another editor then tagged the article for speedy deletion. However, rather than notifying the originator of the tagging, Twinkle put the tag on User talk: Hari Singh Nalwa (Scientist). Another editor then removed the speedy tag. I then nominated the article for deletion via deletion discussion. Twinkle again put the tag on User talk: Hari Singh Nalwa (Scientist). I have copied the notice to the originator's talk page. I realize that this is a problem that is unlikely to occur under normal conditions (because creating a BLP as a user page is a strange error), but can someone look into it? It does appear to be reproducible, because the same article has been nominated twice via two processes. Robert McClenon (talk) 22:19, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

The page history [7] shows the page was created by User:Hari Singh Nalwa (Scientist) so I don't see a problem. Special:Contributions/Hari_Singh_Nalwa_(Scientist) also shows the page creation. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:28, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
You are correct. That user account made one edit in 2011, to create a user page that reads like a BLP that reads like a resume. After some editing, I moved it to draft space, and it was then moved to article space. So notifying the recent editor who moved it to article space was a courtesy rather than a requirement. Robert McClenon (talk) 22:38, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Difference between title of special page and tab title in Maltese.[edit]

Hi. I am using the Maltese language interface and, quite accidentally, have come across a little irregularity - all I simply want to do is find out where it is likely to have originated and whether there is any way to fix it. Please review this link which is my contributions, using Maltese as the interface language. You will note the page title is "Kontributi tal-utent", but if you look at the tab title, it reads "Kontribuzzjonijiet tal-utent". Both mean the same thing, "User contributions", but I am trying to figure out why they are different and whether they should be. I am running Firefox 31.0 with no addons. Do you have any thoughts on this one? Thanks :) CharlieTheCabbie|paġna utenti|diskussjoni 00:25, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

The words are taken from MediaWiki:Contributions/mt and MediaWiki:Contributions-title/mt. None of them have been customized at the English Wikipedia so the MediaWiki defaults are used. I don't know Maltese but somebody probably either made them independently or thought they were each better in their own context. Some other languages also have differences, for example Swedish and Dutch, although the only difference there is whether to include the local word for user. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:13, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Template editors and coding skills[edit]

Where can I go to begin learning the coding skills to become a template editor? What credentials and/or demonstrated skill set are required to obtain template editor privileges? Thanks for your help -- Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 02:29, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Start here Wikipedia:Template editor; MOST templates are not protected and can be edited. Just like any other wiki page, you can copy template code to your own sandbox and experiment as well. The actual user permission is only required for templates that are used on massive numbers (e.g. over 10,000 pages) of pages; getting the permission is mostly by demonstrating that you know what you are doing and won't break things. Wikipedia talk:Template editor is a good place to ask for a mentor if you want. — xaosflux Talk 02:42, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Thanks for your response -- I may want to see if more than one experienced template editor wants to take me on as an informal mentor. My interest in template editing involves specific templates that have hundreds of transclusions to several that have 10,000+ transclusions. As a seasoned WP editor (5+ years and 70,000 edits), it's probably past time that I start learning the more technical details of template editing. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 14:59, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
@Dirtlawyer1: Your tenure is more then sufficient to show that you are here for the good of the project ("trustworthy") - comments below are related to the technical skills to demonstrate your template ability. After meeting the guidelines, request access at WP:PERM. — xaosflux Talk 18:29, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Dirtlawyer1, I'd be more than happy to help you develop some template-foo if you are interested. I started putting together a basic tutorial on learning how to write templates, but lost interest and it's just kind of sitting in my user space. Having someone to teach might make development of that program easier because I'll be able to see how others learn and be able to pick out which parts of coding should go next in a better manner. You know where my talk page is if you are interested. ;) — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 02:59, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
  • @Technical 13: Thanks for your offer -- I've already started reviewing the contents of your draft tutorial lessons, and I will follow up on your talk page. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 14:59, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
@Dirtlawyer1: There is no particular technical skill set needed for the template editor right. All that is required, per the granting guidelines, is that you have "a need for the right, as well as a familiarity with the care and responsibility required when dealing with high-risk template modification". In other words, whatever pages you need the template editor right to edit, you're not going to mess up the code or do things against consensus. In most cases this means that you need to know fairly advanced template code, but if all you need to edit are protected stub templates and edit notices then you could just as well get the right without understanding how any of our more complex templates work. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 08:09, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
@Mr. Stradivarius: Thanks for your explanation of the TE user right. After 5+ years as a Wikipedia content editor, I think it's time for me to begin absorbing some of the more complex template editing skills. What I have observed is that template editors are rarely substantive content editors in my areas of interest, and when they edit the templates in those areas they are doing so as technicians and not as regular users of those same templates. Frankly, I think we need more template editors who have a content editor's (and template user's) perspective. So, I am willing to begin the learning process. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 14:59, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
@Dirtlawyer1: Fair enough. The best way to learn template editing, in my opinion, is by doing it. So you should start with a template that you want to alter, or an idea of a new template that you would like to create. Then you can start experimenting on it on the template's /sandbox subpage, or just on the template page itself if it's a new template. For guidance on what to do, Help:Template is a good starting place, and if you get stuck, just ping me or the other editors here who have offered their help. Also, it would be a good idea to read WP:TESTCASES (freshly rewritten by yours truly) - many existing templates have test cases, and they can make the process of testing new code much simpler. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 18:13, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Dirtlawyer1, I want to put in a plug for writing WP:TemplateData for templates that editors use (mostly with VisualEditor). Some are quite easy, but others are complex and require a full understanding of how the template works to get it all correct. The GUI tool is pretty good now, but the lists of which templates are commonly used is seriously out of date. Adding TemplateData would be useful to editors here as well as at other Wikipedias (which often copy TemplateData from en.wp), and working on that project would be a useful way to learn about the breadth and scope of our templates. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:28, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Template Prev/doc and Template:Origlink/doc are missing[edit]

Template:Prev/doc and Template:Origlink/doc are missing. Consequently, a user visiting Template:Prev or Template:Origlink is given no instructions on how the template works.

Also, Template:Cross-wiki diff, Template:Cross-wiki free diff, Template:Cross-wiki language diff, Template:Cross-wiki language free diff, Template:Diff, Template:Diff3, Template:Diff4, Template:Free diff, Template:Undo, Template:Cross-wiki language oldid, Template:Cross-wiki oldid, display a spurious wikilinked "[1]" at the top; Template:Diffnum displays a spurious wikilinked "edit {{{1}}}" at the top.

Also, Template:Free diff says "{{{4}}} (the third parameter)"; I assume this is an error, because I assume {{{4}}} refers to the fourth parameter. — Anomalocaris (talk) 06:38, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

I just wrote Template:Prev/doc. I'll have a go at the other one in a second. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 07:48, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I nominated Template:Origlink for deletion, as it didn't have any transclusions at all. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 07:52, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Also, I've removed "the third parameter" from Template:Free diff/doc, as I agree that it was confusing. The "spurious" output at the top of the template pages is actually the default output of the templates, which we usually leave there as an example, unless it does something undesirable like output a tracking category or display an error message. By the way, a lot of these templates should probably be merged into Template:Diff - it's confusing having so many similar-but-different templates that only have a few transclusions. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 08:01, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
User:Mr. Stradivarius: Thank you for your quick and comprehensive response to a multiple request. I guess it was obvious that the user is supposed to mouse over the "spurious wikilinked '[1]'" to see what the templates output, and I may have figured this out in the past but forgot. Most of these templates define the triple-bracketed parameter number on first use, e.g. "{{{4}}} (the fourth parameter)" and I would have changed "{{{4}}} (the third parameter)" to that, but lacked the confidence. — Anomalocaris (talk) 09:14, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
@Anomalocaris: In future, you can create such missing documentation pages, and place {{Bad documentation}} on them. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:10, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

MediaWiki:Edittools issues[edit]

I've recently noticed that the MediaWiki:Edittools interface that's used during page edits is no longer available to me. This is how it should look at the bottom of the edit window but this is what it looks like when I try to edit something, note the lack of symbol/markup addition buttons. I thought it might have something to do with JavaScript, but I have the most recent version installed, the same situation occurs if I try to edit in a different browser (I use Firefox normally, Chrome to test this situation), and if I log out the buttons appear again so I think it's something related to my preferences or my .js page. Any ideas? Thanks in advance. —Mr. Matté (Talk/Contrib) 21:04, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

You have some CSS in your common.js that is not supposed to be there and is likely blocking all JavaScript. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 22:09, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
That was the issue; all is well in the world! (well not really) Much thanks. —Mr. Matté (Talk/Contrib) 23:14, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
It feels like this problem has come up a lot recently, and I'm starting to wonder if it's common. Is there any way to make a list of .js files containing CSS? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:31, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Two capital letters[edit]

Several hours ago, I discovered the WIlliam P. Ginther article and moved it to William P. Ginther, correcting the wrongly capitalised "I" in his first name. Is there a database report, or some other type of function, that would produce a list of all mainspace pages (minus redirects) with titles consisting of two capital letters followed immediately by lowercase letters? Some such pages would be appropriate, e.g. PEnnsylvania 6-5000, but probably most of them would be errors. Nyttend (talk) 00:13, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

@Nyttend: I just ran one. See its results at User:Jackmcbarn/Possibly miscapitalized article titles. Jackmcbarn (talk) 01:11, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. I've moved the list to my sandbox and have begun chipping away at entries, moving pages when appropriate. If you have time to check them, it would be helpful, since there are still something like 3200 entries to check. Nyttend (talk) 02:02, 29 December 2014 (UTC)