Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 45

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So What's Up with the High Database Server Lag?[edit]


Just wondering what this is about. I see it occasionally, but today it's fairly bad. I'm having a hard time viewing my watchlist. By the time you answer this, it may be resolved, but I wanted to know what it was about. -- Veggy (talk)

Tim says it's "very odd" and is looking into it. Despite the load times for watchlists and contributions, there is no other visible impact AFAICT. --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 02:10, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
And he fixed it: db16 must have gotten overloaded and it became unable to update, Tim moved some servers and it's better. --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 02:24, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

3591 seconds! SharkD (talk) 02:26, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Interwiki sorting order[edit]

What exacly rules do you use by sorting interwiki? I suggested new sorting order for Polish Wikipedia: 1, 2, 3, but I don't know the reason of oryginal sorting order. Or mayby you would like to use new sorting order.

I asked on Help talk:Interlanguage links, but there was no answer. BartekChom (talk) 12:43, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

m:Interwiki sorting order is a bit out-of-date, but still usable. MaxSem(Han shot first!) 12:54, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Could this be used instead? BartekChom (talk) 14:35, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
If nobody protests, I'll change it. Or whera should I ask about it? BartekChom (talk) 11:32, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
If you're only conserdering changing the order for Polish Wikipedia, I'm not sure that we can make any decisions for it over here. Speaking of here, I know there are some bots that insert these codes according to our own list (see link above, in post by MaxSem), and some even re-arrange the existing entries as clean-up. I would suggest against changing it here, unless there was a project for it with a future change-over date such as October 1st, which would give time for suggestions as to what should be in the list. Maybe this is going beyond the scope of what you were asking about. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 14:02, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
I know m:Interwiki sorting order. I was even supplementing it. But it was sometimes not up to date ("Uyghurche‎ / ئۇيغۇرچە " oyghurque) and I couldn't find the rules of transliteration for non-latin scripts (the transliteration for the order that is on meta was shown on [1]),
  • "Беларуская (тарашкевіца)" belaruskajataraskevica
    я ja
    ш s
  • "Башҡорт": beshkort
    ш sh
  • "Чăвашла": cavasla
    ш s
  • "Буряад": buriad
    я ia
  • "Молдовеняскэ": moldovenaske
    я a
  • "Словѣ́ньскъ": slovenisku
    ь i
    ъ u
  • "Български": bulgarski
    ъ u
  • "Українська": ukrainska
    ь omitted
  • "Кыргызча": kirigizca
    ы i
    ч c
  • "Хальмг": halmg
    Х h
    ь omitted
so I suggested on Polish Wikipedia to actualize and use IS0 9:1995 for cyrillic and I had support. Maybym it would be also good for English Wikipedia. Unless you have good justification for the order that you use now. Then the justification could be written on Polish Wikipedia and the old order could be kept. One way or another unification is good. BartekChom (talk) 14:19, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Monobook.js addition request[edit]

Hello everyone. As you guys did such a great job last time I asked for help, I would like to request another custom link to be put in my sidebar. Namely, I would like it to go in the "interaction" section, be called "New pages" and link to [2]. If someone could make me the appropriate code to do that, that would be very much appreciated. It Is Me Here (talk) 18:24, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

This works (slightly altered from my own .js):
    addPortletLink ('p-interaction', '/w/index.php?title=Special:NewPages&limit=500&hidebots=1&hidepatrolled=1', 'New Pages','n-newpages', 'The list of recently created pages');
Algebraist 18:32, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! How can I change its position, though (namely, to go just above "Recent changes" and thus just below "Community portal"? It Is Me Here (talk) 19:32, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
This should do it:
    addPortletLink ('p-interaction', wgScript + '?title=Special:NewPages&limit=500&hidebots=1&hidepatrolled=1',
                    'New pages', 'n-newpages', 'The list of recently created pages', null, document.getElementById('n-recentchanges') );
Ilmari Karonen (talk) 20:25, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Alright, thanks very much! It Is Me Here (talk) 20:38, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
For future ref: Wikipedia:WikiProject User scripts/Requests --Splarka (rant) 07:51, 21 August 2008 (blank space in a crossword to be filled by a letter


Oh, right, thanks. I don't know my way around all of Wikipedia yet, I'm afraid, but I'll now know to use that page in future. It Is Me Here (talk) 09:34, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Palettes in non-java script edit window[edit]

Well, I assume that the changes in the Java editor are useful for many. But for non-java editors, the drop-down menu "palettes" are actually a pretty disruptive change - ALL the ones I seem to use are on the "Wiki markup" palette, so you've just added two extra mouse actions to every edit I seem to make. Unhappy with that, to be honest :-(

Couldn't one at least add a "preferences" menu selection as to what palette is selected by default for every user? Thanks. Ingolfson (talk) 07:31, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Mmmmph. Even in the palettes, the "redirect" and "category" click-and-have-them-added-into-the-article options have now apparently been removed. Now I have to painstakingly type them in by hand. What gives, why this reduction in functionality? Could they please be re-added? Ingolfson (talk) 10:34, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the re-add of 'redirect' and 'category'. Would still love to see a little bit more flexibility regarding the defaul-selected palette. Cheers Ingolfson (talk) 04:08, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Global blocking enabled[edit]

I'm pleased to announce that Tim has just enabled the Global Blocking extension on all Wikimedia projects.

The global blocking extension allows stewards to block IP addresses and ranges on all of Wikimedia's projects, a tool which has been much-needed to deal with cross-wiki vandalism and spam. Policies for use of global blocking were discussed on meta, and are presently located at <>. Global blocks are not currently applied on meta, so that they may be appealed there.

While the code has been quite thoroughly checked, any bugs should be reported at bugzilla - a 'GlobalBlocking' component exists under the 'Extensions' product.

Werdna • talk 12:53, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Signing posts[edit]

Why isn't it automated? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lumarine (talkcontribs) 03:29, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Because occasionally edits to talkpages don't need signing, and you need to sign on some non-talkpages too. But most of the time SineBot will sign it if you forget. Calvin 1998 (t-c) 03:33, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

It's as if when I send an email I have to put 4 tildas at the end otherwise the recipient can't see my e-mail address. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lumarine (talkcontribs) 03:36, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Hmm... but would you like it if the Mediawiki signed the edit it which, say, you reverted vandalism to a talkpage? There's just no way to figure out whether your edit is a message or some other edit. In any case, you can check the history to see who added a message. Calvin 1998 (t-c) 03:40, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

LiquidThreads. — Werdna • talk 04:05, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Or try the right link. :-) Graham87 12:40, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
In general it is helpful to add any missing signing on talk pages so that they can be kept in chronological order, in addition to identifying who said what. (talk) 15:28, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Colon trick and articles[edit]

I looked at Help:Colon trick, and it didn't enlighten me, so I'm asking here. The colon trick "is a method of providing a link to a category or image without adding the page to the category or displaying the image." What, if anything, does it do to use the colon trick on article wikilinks? I've see a few templates (example, {{subst:spam-warn}} that put the colon in wikilinks to the articles (example, [3]). Does this do (or undo) anything? Phlegm Rooster (talk) 08:56, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

It does nothing to articles, but it allows templates to not break if someone passes an image or category to them instead of a regular article. For example, without the colon {{spam-warn}} would work fine for articles, but would begin "A tag has been placed on Wikipedia-favicon.png, …" if someone tried to warn about Image:Wikipedia-favicon.png and would display "A tag has been placed on , …" (and add the page to the category) if someone tried to warn about a category page. Anomie 10:57, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Ah, thanks. Phlegm Rooster (talk) 11:30, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
It also allows you to transclude mainspace pages e.g. {{:Main Page}} --Random832 (contribs) 20:37, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Phantom words found on two articles[edit]

[[Category:Ambox templates using deprecated types|Main:Caffè corretto]]
[[Category:Ambox templates using deprecated types|Main:Corretto]]

The above lines are found at the very beginning of Caffè corretto and Corretto respectively. I cannot see them in the source. Where are these phantom words come from? How to fix it? --Quest for Truth (talk) 13:26, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

I think it's a problem with the {{Mergewith}} template but I don't know how to fix it. – ukexpat (talk) 13:39, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
That redirects to {{merge}}, but I think you are right- it is on every page using the template. I started a new discussion on the talk page and noticed that there is already a discussion to fix it. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 14:33, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
The reason you see that category is that we have added an error detection and reporting function to the {{ambox}} meta-template. And for instance the merge boxes use the ambox. We are detecting which templates and pages are using ambox in the wrong way and listing them in that category.
Unfortunately I screwed up my edit to ambox when I added that error detection so it got a bit too visible. (I added a line break too much.) So all my fault, sorry about that. I have fixed that now.
You who are admins will still see that hidden category at the bottom of pages that use the ambox in the wrong way. We are now (as planned) working through that category to fix all the faulty ambox usage. (About 3000 done, 58 left!)
We are planning to do similar error detection and fixing runs for the other mboxes too.
Anyone interested to help out or learn more can read more at Template talk:Tmbox#Deprecated ambox parameters.
--David Göthberg (talk) 18:58, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Correction: You who have the preference "Show hidden categories" enabled will still see the hidden category. Silly me, has nothing with admins to do, any user can enable that in their preferences.
--David Göthberg (talk) 09:38, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Temporary style borkage[edit]

CSS will be broken for a few minutes during this software upgrade. Sorry for the inconvenience. --brion (talk) 23:07, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Is this why the sidebar links are missing in diff view with the Classic skin? --Carnildo (talk) 01:18, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
IIRC the classic skin always removed the sidebar in diff view. --brion (talk) 16:43, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
I guess it's just that there's now a blank space for it to sit in, which made me think it was missing. --Carnildo (talk) 04:11, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Weird External links[edit]

Do you know why the External links section is indented in a strange way in Kind of Blue? I can't figure it out. Thanks! —Mattisse (Talk) 13:00, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

It works when I remove the {{refbegin}} from the previous section. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 13:07, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Fixed. D.M.N. (talk) 13:08, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Or you could have used {{refend}}. I'm sure that would also have worked. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 13:10, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks so much for both suggestions! I will have to pay more attention to those things. —Mattisse (Talk)

Editing insert options[edit]

The menu with the insertion options under the editing window seems to have been changed. There is a drop down menu and an extra step to find everything. It works ok at my house, but on my work computer with windows 2000 running internet explorer 6, you cant click on anything to insert it. It only shows what the first drop down menu would and it is just text. I can't get to anything else like greek letters. Can we go back to the old way or fix this one? Grk1011 (talk) 16:25, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

I wonder if there's a way for registered users to personalize it how they like, using CSS or whatever. — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 16:58, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
If it looks like this image, then you don't have JavaScript enabled. More info at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#New edit tools enabled for everyone and MediaWiki talk:Edittools. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 17:15, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
It does, thanks. I'll just do edits like that at home since I can't download or install things here. Grk1011 (talk) 17:17, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Did the old version not also use JavaScript? It seems from his questions that it used to work on the other computer. SharkD (talk) 18:12, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Now that I think of it, I'm not sure, I just know that I could always see all of the options. Either way I could copy paste them before if necessary. Grk1011 (talk) 18:16, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
They changed how they display all the special characters. Before, they were all displayed in a large table; now there is the drop-box to select what kind of characters you want to insert: Greek, Cyrillic, IPA, etc. Grk1011 could see the large table as it used to be, but the drop-box is posing problems on his Win2000/IE6 work computer. — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 18:19, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Pages showing up in CAT:CSD that shouldn't be there[edit]

Several internal pages in Wikipedia space that are maintained by a bot have just appeared in Category:Candidates for speedy deletion, even though nobody tagged them. One of them is Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Chicago articles by quality/1. I can't figure out how this page managed to get itself tagged for speedy deletion. Maybe it's transcluding some template that is missing a <noinclude>? The previous version of this page doesn't have the problem. The only 'person' who ever edits this page is User:WP 1.0 bot. EdJohnston (talk) 18:58, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

The pages transclude pages recently tagged for deletion. For instance, Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Biography articles by quality/19 transcludes Talk:Helen Keller/Comments. These will eventually clear - or you can open the page for editing, do nothing, and save to force it to clear. Gimmetrow 19:04, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Two odd(?) template behaviors[edit]

Hi! Just created a template ({{HMS2Deg}}) and noticed some strange behavior:

  1. Is "#sub" working in en:wp? It doesn't seem to be. The template page (which invokes itself for doc) just shows an echo of the expression, including the "{}"s. I've only looked on the template page after editing. (Also sub examples from mw:Extension:StringFunctions#.23sub: don't work in Special:ExpandTemplates.)
  2. After I remove the #sub (including the enclosing "{}"s etc.) and save, the template page shows the above. After doing a null edit it shows up OK.
    1. The preview on the edit page shows correctly, but
    2. A new tab opened from the "Template" tab does not.

I've reloaded and cleared cache etc. several times. I even did it just now after composing this to see if it was some kind of db lag. I'm confused. Saintrain (talk) 22:12, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

This extension has not been installed, it is not listed in Special:Version. For rounding use round.--Patrick (talk) 00:03, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I can never remember where to look. And I am trying to round, so thanks again.
Still wondering why edits don't show up. Saintrain (talk) 00:08, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Table sort icon alignment[edit]

Normally in sortable tables, the sorting icon gets treated as if it were a character. I.e., it follows the alignment formatting of the text, and breaks onto new lines as if it were text. I find this very ugly, and as a result have been experimenting with somehow giving the icon its own style rules so that it behaves more like a cell than text (like what you find in many file systems).

You can find my changes to wikibits.js here: User:SharkD/Sandbox/wikibits_2 (edit talk links history). Simply add the JS code to your "monobook.js" file and load a page with sortable tables (here is a long one).

I was wondering what your opinions of these changes are. I think the aesthetic appeal is strong, but I am worried about performance. Is it too slow, or are there other performance issues that make it impractical? I would appreciate it if you would give the script a test-drive in order to provide feedback. Thanks! SharkD (talk) 21:54, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Nevermind. It only works in Firefox. If you have any other suggestions, I would be willing to hear them. Thanks. SharkD (talk) 22:18, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
I created another version, User:SharkD/Sandbox/wikibits 3 (edit talk links history), and it also doesn't work in IE. LOL! SharkD (talk) 00:51, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Does anyone know how to get this to work in IE? Thanks! SharkD (talk) 06:21, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Color Coding?[edit]

Sorry if this isn't in the right place, this is only the second time I have come to the village pump. I am curious to know if it would be possible to color code contributing anons and users so that the RC people could tell based on the color of the user's link how many warnings they have recieved in relation to being blocked. Would something like this be possible (or acceptable)? TomStar81 (Talk) 03:31, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, and no. I don't think it could be integrated into the software without integrating the warning system as well. Doing this with JavaScript would be possible, but it would have to load and search the wikitext of every user talk page when you load the page, so it wouldn't work very well. Mr.Z-man 03:48, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
There's no way for the RC system to know what has and hasn't been posted to someone's talk page; even if it could recognize standard uw- templates, there's no way it could discern a random "hey, what's up?" in comparison to a non-boilerplate "hey, knock it off" from an admin. EVula // talk // // 05:37, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Thats too bad, I think a system like that would increase efficiency here. Oh well, thanks for the answer. TomStar81 (Talk) 06:07, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
WP:HUGGLE does this. Prodego talk 06:36, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
As do some other external anti-vandalism tools (another I know of being VandalProof. If you want this for rc-patrol you might as well use huggle, which has nearly the exact feature you're talking about. Calvin 1998 (t-c) 04:03, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
If you change your goals the possibilities increase. For instance, with Toolserver database access its trivial to code up a script that could tell you how many times they were reverted (this recently used at BON#Statistics). — Dispenser 06:49, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
In Dispenser's above message, I think he meant to say WP:BON#Statistics rather than BON#Statistics. EdJohnston (talk) 13:32, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Of course, some work on automating vandalfighting within MediaWiki itself could help... — Werdna • talk 05:14, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

You're not seriously keen on the "reputation points" element are you? — CharlotteWebb 04:00, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

move page[edit]

Is it possible to move a page to rename an article (spelling error, title needed capital letters), and then once the page is successfully moved, to delete the old name/page so that on the new page, under the new title, a "redirected from ____ page" does not appear. My reason for this is that when searching in google, the old mispelled name appears, and onc you click on it, it redirects to the new page - I dont want to see the old mis-spelled name anywhere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Infocentral2000 (talkcontribs) 01:52, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

It's possible to delete the redirect, yes, but it shouldn't be done in this case since it is not harmful and could be useful. Google will update its cache soon enough. Algebraist 02:03, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
That's Google's problem, but we can't say Google is wrong as a little bit time is needed for the bot of Google to notice the change and update their database. And if we just delete the redirect, one simply get a page say that Wikipedia doesn't have the article instead of being redirected to the right page. --Quest for Truth (talk) 12:32, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Actually, the way we do redirects doesn't provide Google with the information it needs to update and remove the old title from search results. --Random832 (contribs) 20:00, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Really? I've not seen redirects in Google search results before, and I don't get any when searching for 'george bush', which is in the title of a great many redirects. Algebraist 14:00, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
I have seen redirects in Google and this search finds a lot of them. Should the software add noindex to the source of such pages? PrimeHunter (talk) 22:35, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
None of those are actually redirects as such, they're redirect targets with 'redirected from' at the top. And the original page under discussion (Noble chummar) has dropped off the google search: [4]. Algebraist 23:09, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Pie in the sky question...[edit]

Having done some work with templates, I find myself wondering whether it would be possible to create a general 'editor' preference - something that could be toggled so that cleanup templates (particularly inline cleanup templates) could be toggled on and off. this would have two advantages: first, it could default to 'off', so that general readers wouldn't be assaulted by cleanup tags that they don't understand and don't care about. second, it would allow editors to toggle between 'clean' and 'marked-up' versions of the article for easier reading and editing.

This would (obviously) require some work - there would need to be some consistent way to distinguish between cleanup and content templates, and it would need modifications to monobook.js (and maybe the monobook.css, depending on how the templates were hidden), but is the idea feasible enough to be worth putting some thought into? --Ludwigs2 00:55, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Oppose hiding tags per points at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(miscellaneous)#using_tags_on_stubs. Deamon138 (talk) 01:02, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Support - And technically this is pretty easy to achieve. All the article message boxes now use the {{ambox}} meta-template. And to turn that one off all you need is one line of CSS code: table.ambox { display: none; }
You can either manually add that code to your monobook.css, or we could make a gadget so you only have to click that gadget in your user preferences. If you only want to turn off the yellow and/or orange amboxes then we can do that too, here's the CSS code for that: table.ambox-style, table.ambox-content { display: none; }
And it seems all the inline cleanup templates now use the {{fix}} meta-template. Here's the CSS code to turn that one off: .Inline-Template { display: none; }
--David Göthberg (talk) 12:12, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Oppose hiding anything that assists our readers in knowing what to trust and what to take with a pinch of salt. Interpreting which Wikipedia pages are reliable and which are full of crap is not a particularly difficult exercise, provided you're presented with all the facts (ie warning boxes, inline fixmes, etc). I'd prefer to go the other way and enable the metadata gadget for all users by default. Happymelon 13:39, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Surely yhey should be "on" by default? That's how we turn readers into editors! Andy Mabbett | Talk to Andy Mabbett 13:40, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Happy-melon: Please don't enable the metadata gadget by default. That will cost two page loads on each visit to an article page. Even if the Wikipedia servers would be able to handle that additional load it would make page load much slower for users with slow connections and/or slow computers.
--David Göthberg (talk) 15:26, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Far be it from me to decide whether to enable it for everyone, but I'm sure it could be managed. I'm sure there is some way we could use or abuse FlaggedRevs to get the information stored in the database so we wouldn't have to scrape it off the talkpages... :D And the people with slow internet connections are likely to have JavaScript disabled anyway, which would disable this along with all the other stuff they lose. Happymelon 15:44, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

sidebar proposal[edit]

proposal here: MediaWiki_talk:Sidebar#add_to_navigation (talk) 22:27, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Edit history of two editors[edit]

Is there an easy way to do a merged or side-by-side comparison of the edit history of two accounts? Thanks, --Clubjuggle T/C 21:49, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

tools:~pietrodn/intersectContribs.php? -- John Broughton (♫♫) 23:23, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
That just gives a list of pages both have edited. Any way to get the edits and times in there? Thanks, --Clubjuggle T/C 05:23, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
If the edit histories were served in table format instead of as a list you could simply copy the tables into a spreadsheet and compare them there. This also goes for a lot of the other "Special" pages. SharkD (talk) 05:34, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
They are easily cut and pasted into a spreadsheet as is. I pasted them into notepad first to remove the ISO characters. (talk) 19:06, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
02:04, 19 August 08 SharkD          m Chronology of console role-playing games ? (?Legend: fix alignment)
02:03, 19 August 08 SharkD          Chronology of console role-playing games ? (?Legend: add platform)  
02:00, 19 August 08 John Broughton  Wikipedia:Editor's index to Wikipedia ? (?W: changing name of one entry)  
01:58, 19 August 08 John Broughton  Wikipedia:Editor's index to Wikipedia ? (?T: changing an entry - renamed page)  
01:57, 19 August 08 John Broughton  Wikipedia:Editor's index to Wikipedia ? (?S: various changes)  
01:23, 19 August 08 SharkD          Talk:Final Fantasy (video game) ? (top)  
01:07, 19 August 08 SharkD          Template:Sp-contributions-footer/doc ?  
01:03, 19 August 08 John Broughton  Wikipedia:Coaching ? (Removing link to a page that is now a redirect) (top)  
00:59, 19 August 08 SharkD          User talk:Simetrical ? (?wikibits.js)  
00:58, 19 August 08 John Broughton  User:John Broughton/Citation options ? (Adding Q)  
00:57, 19 August 08 John Broughton  N User:John Broughton/Citation options ? (Goal: document all possible options for citations, and include examples.)  
00:18, 19 August 08 John Broughton  User:John Broughton ? (?Subpages: Adding link to a new subpage)  
23:10, 18 August 08 John Broughton  Wikipedia:Sandbox ? (Test)
How did you get everything lined up properly into columns? The individual items aren't delimited by a common character, such as a comma, tab, space, etc. SharkD (talk) 21:34, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Ludicrously, impossibly slow[edit]

For over two hours I have been unable to view Wikipedia pages - they appear to start to load, then just take forever and get nowhere (and I haven't had the usual "give us your money" error message). Oddly, by clicking on links to Wikipedia pages from other sites I have been able to view some pages. It has eased up a bit just now, but did that thing of making it look like I was logged out when in fact I was logged in. I am having no problems with other webpages. DuncanHill (talk) 21:11, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

:Post below originally a new thread. Algebraist 21:24, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Apologies for making it a new thread, but I am unable actually to view or edit the bottom of this page (so am unlikely to see any replies or suggestions). The problem seems worst on pages such as this, or the ref desks, and the noticeboards, where there is a big load of instructions at the top The page appears to load slowly, but the controls down the left do not load, and the bottom of the page does not load, even when the browser load bar thingy has gone all the way to the right. Problem is the same in Safari and IE7. DuncanHill (talk) 21:21, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
This is typical of various types of network problem, and is usually ISP-specific. You can see on the request statistics that overall load has not been reduced, so it's not slow for everyone. I suggest you use #wikimedia-tech in the future if you want to discuss this kind of problem, rather than attempting to ask questions on the same glacially slow website that's causing you problems. -- Tim Starling (talk) 02:42, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

I tweaked my network settings, per the recommendations at, and performance seems to be much better. SharkD (talk) 06:12, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Installing IE7Pro (an add-on for IE7) also helped. SharkD (talk) 23:16, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

catchpa not working with settings[edit]

When I turn off visual styles for buttons, I've noticed that the catchpa does not display, nor do many pictures. Are pictures, and the catchpa actually buttons? If so, that doesn't seem like it should be. This is on WinXP IE7 (talk) 11:09, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

No, they're regular ol' images. --brion (talk) 05:37, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Syntax highlighting in edit pane[edit]

Is there any way to add syntax highlighting to the article edit pane? If not, is there a particular software you would recommend for editing articles (Notepad++ doesn't seem to support MediaWiki markup)? Thanks! SharkD (talk) 06:24, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Try WP:wikEd for the syntax highlighting (you'll need Firefox or anther Mozilla browser for it to work). mattbr 08:14, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Are there technical reasons for it not to work in all browsers? SharkD (talk) 08:24, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Nevermind, it's discussed in the page you linked to. SharkD (talk) 08:34, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Tool for category intersections[edit]

Is there a tool to list category intersections? Thanks! SharkD (talk) 08:23, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia:CatScan what you are looking for? mattbr 09:37, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. And the article already links to a (lengthy!) article in the form of a feature request on implementing such capability within the MediaWiki software. (Saves me the trouble of having to ask again. :) SharkD (talk) 10:04, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
The existing MediaWiki software (and Wikipedia's search) now allows searching on two categories (and thus finding the intersection); it's just not as good as CatScan because it doesn't search subcategories as well. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 20:52, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Could you explain how this works, exactly? A cursory look at WP:S didn't result in any answers. Clicking on the "Advanced search" button on the search page didn't result in any additional options that weren't there before. SharkD (talk) 21:25, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Category intersection#Using Wikimedia seach to find category intersections. Algebraist 21:28, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

SVG bug?[edit]

Direct link to image: 1, should look like 2, instead I get 3. Anyone else see that? Deon555 (talk) 13:03, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Works fine in IE+ASV. SharkD (talk) 13:30, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
When I add xmlns="" to the svg-tag, it shows in firefox. – Leo Laursen –   14:04, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Beat me to it, I discovered the same. Anomie 14:06, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
So what exactly is going on? Am I doing something wrong, it doesn't sound very server-side? Deon555 (talk) 14:20, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, you're doing something wrong, but it's easy to fix. According to the SVG specification, all SVG elements need to be in the SVG namespace. Adding the xmlns="" parameter to the <svg> element takes care of that by setting the default namespace to the SVG namespace. Anomie 14:33, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Monobook Sidebar Menus[edit]

Does the left border on Monobook’s sidebar menus bother anyone else? It has bothered me forever.

The line down the side of the window should be clean, but instead it has lumps caused by the border on those side items. While, I’ve fixed it in my own stylesheet – I really think this is a nice simple change that should be pushed to the global style.

All it takes is this:

div.portlet .pBody {
    border-left: none;

Thoughts? — Mobius (talk) 06:46, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't see any "bumps" - is this a browser-specific issue? – ukexpat (talk) 13:11, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
I tried this (monobook/FF 3.0) and didn't notice any change. –xeno (talk) 13:27, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
What browser do you use? I don't see any "bumps" either... EVula // talk // // 13:52, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Nor do I, but adding that code to the global sheet will fix a problem for some people so, if it doesn't affect anyone else, I propose we add it...... Dendodge .. TalkContribs 17:44, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
How do you get the idea that "it doesn't affect anyone else"? It would remove the left border from the portlet bodies at the left, giving them borders on only three sides. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 14:14, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
I should have posted a picture in the first place: [5]. This is from Firefox on the Mac, where it’s particularly noticible. Do you notice that the effective border along the left is thicker nearby the portlet boxes? Granted, as a graphic designer I’m more sensitive to this than *most* people, and even then it’s a minor annoyance—just sayin’.
Mobius (talk) 07:14, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I hadn't noticed this before... Thanks to Mobius, I shall be forced to endure it for who knows how long. Well, now we know who'll get the first taste of my new sword's sharpness. :-)
Simetrical, isn't the entire page bordered only on three sides? And, unless I am mistaken, the Wikimedia–MediaWiki footer only has two lines. Now that I think of it, a very long word or code-box can cause us to see the lack of a border on the right, but I have yet to see any empty space on the far left of the page. Unless other browsers display such space, there is no problem I can think of. Waltham, The Duke of 19:23, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
The content area has no right border, and the footer has no left or right border. However, the portlets on the left side (navigation, search, etc.) have all four borders, and the left border is clearly visible on Firefox 3 on Ubuntu (Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/2008072820 Firefox/3.0.1). While I doubt I would notice if it were missing, and don't particularly care if it's removed, it's not true that this wouldn't affect other users. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 15:28, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
I see your point; I actually meant what EVula says much clearer below: make the boxes so that they stick to the left in the same way the content area sticks to the right. (Or at least is supposed to; right now, in edit mode, I see both the upper and lower line—of the content area and the footer—stop one pixel short of the right edge of the screen; my other tabs display the lines properly.) Waltham, The Duke of 21:02, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Ah, okay, now that I know what you're talking about, I see what you're saying (Safari 3 on a Mac). I'm a graphic designer too, but it doesn't bother me; the optimal solution would be to kill the left border and move the boxes left one pixel (or, alternatively, leave the border and give it enough left padding to match the space between the boxes and the main site). EVula // talk // // 19:35, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
As far as I remember, some year ago the sidebar menu boxes didn't have left side borders. I remember when I was new to Wikipedia that I was slightly disturbed that they had no left side border. It made it unclear to me if I was seeing the whole page or not. See, I use Firefox on Windows and it has no border itself to the left when the Firefox window is maximized.
But as I usually do when testing designs: I made a screen dump and edited it to see how it looks without the left side borders. Now that I am an experienced Wikipedia user and know there is nothing more to the left of the page it works both with and without those borders. But I think keeping the borders is more friendly to new users.
And sure, it would be nice with some space to the left of those boxes. But horizontal screen area is precious, especially for users like me who view Wikipedia in lower screen resolutions. So I think they should stick to the left side.
So I think it is best we leave it as it is now.
But hey, that the page content area has no right border has always disturbed me. So today I added this code to my personal monobook.css:
/* Setting a border to the right of the page content area. */
#content {
    border-right: 1px #aaa solid;
I think I like it. But I won't be sure until I have used it for some days.
--David Göthberg (talk) 11:40, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't think I'll even try it; due to very long links and code boxes, it is often the case that the right border is not the right edge; I can scroll sideways. On the other hand, the left hand border is immoveable. I don't know if a pixel's space would be too valuable to spend, or even an improvement if spent, but it might be interesting to try. That said, I don't really care about what happens either way; I've realised that the border sticking to the side is not very obvious when I maximise my window. It's just that I always have my history tab open, and its grey border "merges" with that of the boxes.
(Actually, it's not very obvious anyway; I'm speaking in relative terms here.) Waltham, The Duke of 13:16, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Clock gadget eats CPU[edit]

Hi! Just turned off my clock gadget and CPU usage went from 10-12% to 0%. FF3.0.1 on WinXP. I can use all the cycles I can get! Saintrain (talk) 19:12, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

To those that don't know the clock gadget: It can be turned on at: "My preferences - Gadgets - User interface gadgets - [ ] A clock in the personal toolbar that shows the current time in UTC and also provides a link to purge the current page"
Saintrain: Yes, the clock gadget uses way too much CPU. I tried it some time ago and when I had several Wikipedia tabs open my computer became too slow to use. (Yes, I have a very old computer, and no I won't buy a new one just to run the clock gadget.)
Back then I asked the creator of the clock gadget if I could change the code in the gadget so it only shows whole minutes and only updates once per minute instead of once per second. (Who needs more precision than 1 minute to check what UTC time it is?) That would make the clock gadget use 60 times less CPU. But he refused to let me do that change.
So I had to resort to copy its code to my own monobook.js. While I was at it I made it so it only updates once every second minute to save even more CPU, since that is good enough for me. And then I improved it so it shows two clocks: One showing current UTC time, and one static that shows the time the page was loaded. Feel free to copy the code from my monobook.js page to your own monobook.js. (Note: There are several code snippets on my monobook.js page, be sure to copy the right part.)
I hope more users realise that ticking the UTC clock every second is silly, especially since it means that many users can not use the UTC clock gadget. So, what do the rest of you think?
  • Should we update the clock gadget to only use whole minutes (and tick once per minute)?
  • Should we add the second static clock that shows the time the page was loaded? (And if we do then I suggest we make both the clocks have normal text size like I did so it doesn't take up too much space.)
--David Göthberg (talk) 07:02, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Heh, I use it myself, but I've never noticed a thing—of course, I'm running custom-compiled Firefox on a Pentium D, so that's not too surprising. Is this a noticeable issue for many people using the gadget? If it is, I'd say changing it to once-per-minute would be sensible, since gadgets should be aimed towards the general user (and you can always use a customized .js instead). --Slowking Man (talk) 12:44, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Fine, but the old version with 1 second precision should also be retained as an alternative in the "Gadgets" section. I have just tested this on my computer and it eats away only about 5% of CPU power, definitely not noticeable, and I can't say I have the best computer available. Admiral Norton (talk) 13:10, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Admiral Norton: Why do you need 1 second precision on the UTC clock? It's mostly used to compare times with the watchlist, peoples signatures and similar, and those only show time in minutes anyway.
5% of the CPU? How many tabs did you open? You know, some of us edit Wikipedia with 10-15 tabs open at a time. (When I program templates I need to have a lot of reference pages open.) And some browsers have a slower javascript engine than others.
--David Göthberg (talk) 13:37, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
I have 4 tabs open (not counting Meta wikipedia, which also uses the clock). As for the 1 second precision, I just like having something not stationary in the browser. Too bad the Windows clock doesn't have that precision. Admiral Norton (talk) 13:49, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
I just wrote an optimized version of the clock script at User:Ilmari Karonen/liveclock.js. It defaults to showing hours and minutes only, but it can be made to show seconds by adding a line to your monobook.js. Even with seconds enabled, I'm hoping it might be a bit less resource-intensive than the original. I can't test this myself very well, though, since my CPU usage meter hardly moves even when I make it update 200 times a second. I'm hoping someone else (like David) could test it and see how it compares. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 16:54, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Support, I don't need precision to the second. SharkD (talk) 22:21, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Of course, the fundamental problem with the live clock and tabbed browsing is that the script keeps running even when the tab it's in is invisible. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any easy way for the script to detect that it's running in an inactive tab and stop itself; the closest thing I'm aware of are the window focus/blur events, but they don't quite mean the same thing. (And even then, there doesn't seem to be any way for the script to tell at startup whether the window already has focus or not.) —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 17:00, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
This would also make a useful change. However, the script would also need to keep track of local time, which I don't think it currently does, instead of simply incrementing some amount at every interval. SharkD (talk) 05:36, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it does keep track of time (in JavaScript, "new Date ()" creates a Date object representing the current time), so that part is already covered. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 22:32, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
A third alternative which I would also support is to not use any JavaScript at all and only display the time when the page was loaded (e.g., a static display). SharkD (talk) 04:53, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
That would actually make sense - once someone sees it once they have a sense of what the hour is in UTC, and they can check their own clock after that. --Random832 (contribs) 18:37, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Ilmari Karonen: Sorry for not responding earlier. I will test how much your code loads my computer (when I get the time, probably today or tomorrow) and report back here. It seems to be neat and efficient code. But I think that all that rounding in your code is a bit excessive, especially for your seconds function. And even for minutes I don't see much of a need for it. To get precision you could make it tick exactly at the beginning of each minute, although having all the windows tick at the same moment probably is a bad idea for slow computers.
As I described above, personally I display two clocks: One in bold text that ticks each minute and one static with normal text that shows when the page was loaded. But SharkD and Random832 has a point, some perhaps only want a static clock. Ilmari: Could you perhaps add those options too? (I think I can do that myself but I am not really a javascript programmer.)
--David Göthberg (talk) 11:46, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Has this discussion continued elsewhere? I would really like the static clock. SharkD (talk) 21:29, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
SharkD: No, we are just busy elsewhere. I have put it on my to-do list to make a UTC clock with all the options we have discussed here. I have some neat ideas how to do that. But I already have the clock I personally need, so it is low priority for me.
I am thinking of making it default tick once per minute, and show two clocks (one static that shows page load time and one that ticks). And it will understand a variable where you set seconds between ticks. If you set say 10 seconds it will show seconds and tick once every 10 seconds. If you set 120 seconds it will show only minutes and tick once every 2 minutes. And if you set 0 then it will only show the static clock. (I think the static clock should always only show minutes.) If people really dislike seeing both clocks then I can make it so that if the parameter is negative then it only shows the ticking clock, like -1 means tick every second and not show the static clock.
It might sound a bit tricky to have only one parameter like that, but I think it will be more user friendly than using several parameters to set the different options.
--David Göthberg (talk) 10:47, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

New edit tools enabled for everyone[edit]

After several months of preparation and testing, as of this writing the new, all-JavaScript implementation of edit tools — the links below the edit box that, in browsers with JavaScript enabled, let you insert all kinds of funny characters and wikimarkup into the edit box — is now turned on for everyone. This has the following advantages:

  • Edit pages now load slightly faster, since the JavaScript is cached and doesn't have to be reloaded with every page.
  • Users with JavaScript turned off no longer see a bunch of links that do nothing for them.

The new implementation also differs from the old in that the edit tools are grouped into alternative "palettes" that may be selected using a drop-down menu. This may feel unfamiliar and inconvenient to some people used to the old arrangement, but I've been using the new implementation myself for months now, and I find it quite convenient once one gets used to it. The major advantages of the drop-down menu system are that:

  • The new system takes up a lot less space, allowing easier access to the other useful things below the edit box (such as the lists of transcluded templates and hidden categories).
  • While the selection of palettes currently only contains the same set of tools as in the old system, a lot more character sets for various languages and for other specialized purposes can be easily added.

Also, as a cherry on top, the new edit tools work also work for the edit summary field. Ever wanted to use an em dash in your edit summary? Just put your cursor into the edit summary box where you want the dash and click the "—" button! Easy!

Ilmari Karonen (talk) 18:45, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Huge thanks to everyone that wrestled this into shape. So much cleaner and less overwhelming. Good stuff! -- Quiddity 19:29, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Awesome. Edit form loads much faster now. I would like to personally recommend the desysopping of anyone who reverts this. — CharlotteWebb 20:20, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Although I liked the accessibility of the former design, the improvement in loading speed more than makes up for it (especially since I only rarely used the special symbols). "Show preview" for this page takes less than a second! :DBlack Falcon (Talk) 20:26, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Sure, why not. In fact, I just added it. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 20:31, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Previous comment is in response to a request to add "~~~~" into the default palette, which Black Falcon removed just when I'd done it. Now how's that for an edit conflict? :-) The change can always be reverted if we don't want it there after all.) —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 20:35, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Excellent, thank you. (It takes less than two seconds to load the edit window for the whole of WP:AN/I, currently 308 KB long!) Many thanks to everyone who worked on this. –Black Falcon (Talk) 21:01, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Woo! Going through the page source for an edit page now no longer requires scrolling past a jillion lines of edittools. Mr.Z-man 21:47, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
  • It doesn't work with WikEd enabled. Every time I want to add a symbol or wiki markup I have to temporarily turn off WikEd. What a pain. Matthewedwards (talk contribs  email) 21:49, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Not sure if my problem is related to the above. I am also a WikEd user. None of the buttons on my regular (not the Wiked) toolbar work, and have not worked since this change. - ukexpat (talk) 21:52, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Mine too. And it isn't WikEd that's the problem. That was working fine this morning before the changes were made. Matthewedwards (talk contribs  email) 22:54, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Where has the Redirect option gone in Wiki markup? If the devs insist on making these changes, can they at least keep all the options we had before? Matthewedwards (talk contribs  email) 22:54, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Redirect is still in the toolbar above the edit box, where it was before — at least it is for me. —KCinDC (talk) 23:13, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
It used to be part of the Wiki Markup in the edit tools, but yes, I see it now. Still -- it doesn't work if you're using WikEd. Matthewedwards (talk contribs  email) 23:24, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
The wikEd issue should now be fixed. Both wikEd and the new edittools were trying to redefine the insertTags() function; I simply changed the code to let wikEd win. The down side is that wikEd users won't get to enjoy inserting markup directly into the edit summary field — this could of course be fixed by adding an equivalent feature to wikEd. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 08:37, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Since I use a very old and slow computer I welcome anything that makes the pages load faster. And loading the edit page used to be slow for me. So I like this new addition. (Funny thing is that just a day ago I had added some "display: none;" CSS to my personal monobook.css to turn off the rendering of most of those insertable symbols, which saved a lot of page rendering time.)
However, I think a basic set of symbols should be shown even for users that have javascript disabled. Since even if the symbols are not clickable they can be copied and pasted. I suggest showing the first three sets in that case: "Insert", "Wiki markup" and "Symbols".
And since this has come up, here is the code I use to make my page rendering of all pages much faster:
/* Turn off several things for faster page rendering. */
body {   /* Turn off the large page background image. */
    background: #f9f9f9;
#p-logo,    /* Turn off the Wikipedia logo. */
#footer {   /* Turn off the page footer. */
    display: none;
#column-one {   /* Move the left menus up since no Wikipedia logo now. */
    padding-top: 21px;
li#pt-userpage {   /* Turn off the small user image at top of page. */
    background: none;
If you want to use it then copy it to your personal monobook.css.
--David Göthberg (talk) 05:22, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
I'd suggest adding these to further minimize/simplify your experience. Also, you can use {background:none} instead of {display:none} for li#pt-userpage, if you want to lose the icon but keep the userpage link.
/* Hide stuff */
#minoredit_helplink {display:none}
#wpSummaryLabel {display:none}
#editpage-copywarn {display:none}
#editpage-copywarn2 {display:none}
#editpage-copywarn3 {display:none}
#siteSub {display:none !important} /* Hide sitewide subtitle (From Wikipedia, the...) */
li#pt-userpage {background:none}
Hope that helps. -- Quiddity 06:53, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I assume that this is useful for many, especially the changes that I (who don't use Java) don't see. But the "palettes" are actually a pretty disruptive change - ALL the one's I seem to use are on the "Wiki markup" palette, so you've just added two extra mouse actions to every edit I seem to make. Unhappy with that, to be honest :-(
Couldn't one at least add a "preferences" menu selection as to what palette is selected by default for every user? Thanks. Ingolfson (talk) 07:29, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Quiddity: Gah, it's that kind of day! I have been inserting bugs everywhere today. I damaged my CSS code when I "cleaned it up" before pasting it to the code example above. Thanks for catching that one. I have now edited my example above to the correct "li#pt-userpage" code so others don't copy and paste the faulty code. And yeah, there are many more things one can turn off, but turning off the background image, the logo and the footer is what pays of the most. (That "li#pt-userpage" probably doesn't make any noticeable difference.)
--David Göthberg (talk) 15:29, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Is this what I'm supposed to be seeing? No buttons, no links... nothing. SharkD (talk) 21:55, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

No, it should look something like this: Image:Wikipedia-edittoolsscreenshot.png. You are getting the inert version for non-js users (I don't know why). -- Quiddity 00:16, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
It seems to be working OK, now. However, in the interim all of Wikipedia looked like this. Weird. SharkD (talk) 00:26, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
I had that for a while too. Is it the #Temporary style borkage we were promised? Algebraist 00:45, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Minor performance quip[edit]

Note that the script will perform better if all for statements that take the following form:

for (var i=0; i<pp.length; i++)

are changed so that they take this form:

for (var i=0, n = pp.length; i<n; i++)

This goes for all JavaScript, not just this script. The reasoning is that the object pp.length gets evaluated each time the loop is traversed, when in reality there's no need to evaluate it more than once. SharkD (talk) 00:41, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

While we're at it, i++ introduces a temporary containing the old value, just in case we wanted to assign it to another variable e.g. a = i++; (which increments i, then assigns to a the old value of i). Since nothing like that is being done here it would be slightly more efficient to change it to ++i. — CharlotteWebb 02:28, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Such claims are worth little without a concrete benchmark, so I did some testing. I ran the following two scripts (on Firefox 3.0.1) a few times and compared the output:
var a = []; for (var i = 0; i < 1000000; i++) a[i] = i;  // set up array
var t0 = new Date ();
for (var j = 0; j < a.length; j++) ;  // loop over array and time it
var t1 = new Date ();
alert(t1.getTime() - t0.getTime());
var a = []; for (var i = 0; i < 1000000; i++) a[i] = i;  // set up array
var t0 = new Date ();
for (var j = 0, l = a.length; j < l; ++j) ;  // loop over array (optimized) and time it
var t1 = new Date ();
alert(t1.getTime() - t0.getTime());
I did indeed observe a roughly 15% speedup (115 ms versus 133 ms) with the optimized version; however, it's worth noting that I had to loop over a million-element array to get either loop to take more than a few milliseconds. Also worth noting is that neither of the loops did anything — in practice, the time taken to execute the loop body, however trivial, would most likely dominate. The speedup I observed appears to have been entirely due to the caching of the array length: changing between j++ and ++j had no measurable effect on the execution time by itself. On the whole, I'd conclude that the difference in execution time, though indeed measurable for sufficiently long loops, isn't really worth worrying about in most cases. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 03:19, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
I thought that the performance increase might be more substantial if the array were retrieved from a DOM object (such as document.getElementsByTagName('div').length), but even in this case I can't get the execution time to go above 0ms for ~10000 objects/iterations. SharkD (talk) 06:17, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
I've gotten in the habit of using for(var i=a.length-1; i>=0; i--) when the order of processing doesn't matter or when I can easily enough construct the array "backwards", after I once significantly sped up a slow script with that trick. As for preincrement versus postincrement, perhaps the javascript engine is noticing it's being done in a void context and not generate the temporary. Anomie 03:46, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, this is good too. I keep forgetting about it. SharkD (talk) 06:20, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

It occurred to me that a guideline on JavaScript optimization could be made. This could include both performance and file size optimizations. However, I thought that it also might be made into an article (or integrated into an existing article, such as JavaScript or Optimization (computer science)). What are your thoughts on this? SharkD (talk) 11:22, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

This change makes the code uglier and almost certainly gives a trivial performance difference. Accessing the length of an array in JavaScript is (presumably) a constant-time operation, you're just hitting a member variable. Member variable access may be marginally slower than local variable access, but the difference is trivial here. Code readability is more important.

We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil. ―Donald Knuth

Simetrical (talk • contribs) 15:34, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Uglier? They're virtually identical! SharkD (talk) 23:31, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Removing the "palettes"[edit]

How do people that want all the "palettes" back to being being viewable all at once accomplish this? I find it annoying having to switch bcak and forth.--Rockfang (talk) 10:34, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Might anyone know?--Rockfang (talk) 08:16, 25 August 2008 (UTC)


Since we are in the subject of the character insertion... I've always wondered why one cannot select, say, a space and substitute it with a character (say, a dash) when clicking on the appropriate button. Right now, all it does is insert the character before the selected text, which I have to delete manually. I find the substitution function very useful and it is normally available in all text processors and Internet browsers (or at least the ones I use). Is its unavailability here a technical issue or a conscious choice? Waltham, The Duke of 20:37, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

It's technical in the sense that the insertTags() function, as provided by MediaWiki, does not support replacing selected text: it can insert text around the selection (as happens when you click one of the links or buttons for inserting paired tags) and even provide default text to put in between if nothing has been selected, but it has no parameter for replacing the selection. Of course, the new edittools code provides its own reimplementation of insertTags(), so that feature could be added. It would have to be done with some care in order not to break wikEd (which also has its own custom insertTags() implementation) again, though. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 02:06, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
I had forgotten about tags like <ref>, <sup>, <code>, <!-- -->, and <blockquote>. These are most useful in their current state. However, I still believe that most other characters should substitute. So, if there is the ability to apply this feature selectively, and without breaking wikEd, I think it might be a good idea. If it's too much trouble, then forget about it; the improvement I consider is not exactly crucial. Waltham, The Duke of 21:25, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Pallette of language characters gone[edit]

Suddenly the pallette of language characters has disappeared for me, it looks like coinciding with the introduction of this drop-down menu which is announced. The pallette just isn't there where it used to be and there is no drop down menu replacing it where I am informed it should be, below the "Save page" button, . So if it doesnt come back I will have to learn a new way of inserting French/Swedish/German accents and Polish barred l's / tailed a's for example, and Cyrillic letters, since I am fairly multilingual. Below the "Save page" button I have: (1) "Do not copy text from other websites ..." (2) a box which contains "Copy and paste: ..." (3) a box which contains useful things starting with "{{}} {{{}}} | [[]]" (4) "Once you click the Save button..." I have JavaScript enabled. Both my computers (Windows XP) are like this. Is there anything I should check? There must be others with the same problem. I thought being grumpy is only for characters in the "Thomas the Tank Engine" books, but I would like some way of doing what I used to be able to do easily. Please help. P0mbal (talk) 23:16, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

What you describe seeing (the box with "Copy and paste:") is exactly what I see when I disable javascript. When I enable javascript and reload the page then I get a drop-down list where I can choose among other things "Cyrillic". So I suggest you check again, it seems you have javascript disabled. Note that "java" and "javascript" are two different things and can be separately enabled/disabled in most web browsers.
--David Göthberg (talk) 01:29, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
For "security" reasons javascript has also been disabled at my computer. Since there seems to be a substantial population without javascript, can you possibly make it so that the "old" palette appears if javascript is NOT enabled? Because sometimes I do actually need accented/Greek/other bizarre and sometimes unidentifiable characters. ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 16:59, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Orngjce223. The discussions here and at many sections below show that there are many users without javascript. Thus I too think that the full old palette should be shown when javascript is disabled.
Ilmary: Is there a way to make the full palette only render when there is no javascript, or must it first render and then be removed by the javascript? That is, can we prevent the palette from "flashing" for us that use javascript? (It would look better and save a lot of rendering time for us that have slow computers.)
--David Göthberg (talk) 10:26, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Looks like the problem I have in the very next comment. Timothy Perper (talk) 14:51, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Insert box doesn't work for me[edit]

What's with the "insert box"? That's the box under the window where we type in changes and so on (where I'm typing this right now) and immediately under the bold face Do not copy text... warning.

It used to have a long list of symbols, including letters with macrons (which I use frequently since I contribute to several articles about Japanese culture), but not any more. Now it has a pull down menu and a list of a few symbols plus a lot of empty square boxes that don't give anything when you select them. Most of the pull-down menu items are just as bad, except for "Wiki markup," which has a list of Wiki markup symbols.

Timothy Perper (talk) 14:15, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

There should be a drop down menu which gives more options. Is that what you're referring to? Zain Ebrahim (talk) 14:21, 25 August 2008 (UTC) Scratch that. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 14:23, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
There is discussion about the changes at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#New edit tools enabled for everyone and elsewhere on that page. Do you have JavaScript? PrimeHunter (talk) 14:26, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I have Java Script and it's enabled right now -- and box is no good. When I disable Java Script, it's still no good. I'm sorry to say that the material at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#New edit tools enabled for everyone didn't help at all. I'm not sure I follow much of it anyway. I think I'll copy this discussion over to that page. But that won't solve the problem. Timothy Perper (talk) 14:38, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
OK, I just switched from my Safari browser to Firefox. Firefox shows the expected symbols, but Safari does not. No, the answer is NOT that obviously I should use Firefox -- for various reasons, I don't like Firefox and my Safari browser has all my bookmarks. I'm not going to switch merely because Wikipedia can't get some technical glitch fixed. Timothy Perper (talk) 14:48, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Talk page text[edit]

By default, when editing a talk page, the message MediaWiki:Talkpagetext is displayed at the top. Is there a way to override this on a particular page? Thank you, MSGJ 19:18, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Is there a particular talk page where you think the message is inappropriate? -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:49, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, if you use the editintro parameter, you can write your own instructions for the page. Therefore it would be nice to be able to override the default. In this example, which we are considering to use in the AFC process, it is not appropriate. (Using talk space is a workaround to allow unregistered users to create a page.) MSGJ 08:15, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it would make sense to be able to selectively suppress this message with some sort of magic word or similar. I doubt that this currently exists; you might try posting at MediaWiki talk:Talkpagetext, both to ask if something exists, and to see how other feel about creating such an option. (I notice that page has an April 2008 discussion talking about the decision to expand the message to all namespaces.) Another alternative is to post a request at bugzilla. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 17:15, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

The strikethrough button[edit]

I noticed that some formatting buttons are left out when editing some pages. I believe the strikethrough button should appear on all pages whose title begin with "Wikipedia:Articles for deletion". The strikethrough button allows people to change their comments in a discussion and clearly mark that they just changed their mind. Right now, the only way to do that is by manually adding the <s>...</s> code, something a beginner should not be expected to guess. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 20:35, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

You mean the edit toolbar above the edit window? I don't believe any of the buttons are page-specific, except when editing a personal JS/CSS page where the he toolbar isn't displayed. Mr.Z-man 20:47, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
I noticed that the whole toolbar appears on some pages and not others. Until bugs like this can be worked out, I will only support a wholesale reversion of this change. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 21:46, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Where, specifically, are you not seeing the whole thing? Algebraist 21:51, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
... either the reversion has been done since my last intervention, or there was a bug with the Wikipedia server which is now resolved. One of the pages where the absence of the entire toolbar led to a problem was Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Groovies, and I see that it is now resolved. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 22:04, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
I also noticed this problem one time, but not again since. SharkD (talk) 06:26, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Sometimes it just takes a while to load, as it seems to load after everything else. — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 06:31, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
It was probably your browser being twitchy, as nothing has changed for those buttons for a while. But anyway, as this is a technical forum, and not a policy forum, and because the strikethrough button is a non-core custom button, what you describe is easy with a change to MediaWiki:Common.js/edit.js. The second custom edit button definition there could simply be put into an if() check, like if(wgPageName.indexOf('Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion') != -1). Such suggestions should go to MediaWiki talk:Common.js or WP:VPP. --Splarka (rant) 07:39, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
No, it is a technical issue, as one might conclude from the discussion here. The problem seems to occur randomly. As a matter of fact, it is occurring as I am writing this. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 18:33, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Blanchardb: As you can see most of us see all the edit buttons almost all the time. But there are some situations when you don't get to see all the edit buttons:
1: If the Wikipedia servers are too busy they seem to stop delivering images and only deliver page text. (Which I find is a good priority order.) This doesn't happen often. Note that the speed of Wikipedia is different depending on where in the world you are, since we get connected to different server clusters. For instance sometimes I can not edit Wikipedia since I am a European and get connected to the Amsterdam cluster, while the Americans and Asians still can edit Wikipedia fine. (Not saying that the Amsterdam cluster goes down more than the others, and it has a high uptime and usually is fixed fast, so our server admins do a great job.)
2: If you are using a wireless Internet connection you get more damaged IP packets and that is especially noticeable with images, that is you loose some image every now and then. Both 3G and WLAN / Wi-Fi has this problem. Apparently they use sucky error correction protocols. Then you should seriously consider to upgrade to use an Ethernet cable between your computer and your DSL or cable modem. Not all wireless users notice this as much since some simply doesn't have as much disturbances where they live. And some only have much disturbances during some part of the day.
3: And as Splarka noted: Your browser might be twitchy, sorry. Have you tried with another browser? I think most Wikipedia editors prefer Firefox.
--David Göthberg (talk) 10:07, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
4: Editing some types of user pages also has them disabled, such as your monobook.js. --Splarka (rant) 11:56, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Good to know. Thanks. -- Blanchardb -MeMyEarsMyMouth- timed 20:40, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Section edit problem[edit]


I was trying to add an image to Highland Railway - Jones locomotives at the top of the article and used the "section edit" link to edit section 0 (which I believe is enabled by Javascript in each user's preferences).

In this case the link points to Highland Railway - everything after this part of the name is ignored. I ended up adding the image to both articles because it fits with both subjects. I'm sure I've seen this before where certain characters in the title cause it to be cut off. -=# Amos E Wolfe talk #=- 16:57, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

It works fine for me (FF 3.0.1 WinXP SP3, edittop gadget enabled in preferences). What's your browser? Algebraist 17:00, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Also fine here in IE 7.0.5730.13, Opera 9.51, and Safari 3.1.2. Algebraist 17:10, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Fixed I'm using Firefox in WinXP. It appears I had an outdated script in my monobook.js - removing it and enabling the edittop gadget fixed the problem. -=# Amos E Wolfe talk #=- 17:38, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, your previous script used a very dodgy way of finding out the page title: it just took the HTML title of the page (in this case 'Highland Railway - Jones locomotives - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia') and cut it before the first ' - '. The gadget is rather cleverer. Algebraist 17:47, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
An article title like this should use an en dash – like this – instead of a hyphen; without the hyphen, this entire problem would have probably been avoided (although it's obviously better that the culprit has been exposed). Waltham, The Duke of 13:40, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
While we're on the subject, the hyphen in ' - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia' should really be a dash, though it doesn't matter much for the moment since most browsers seem to render en-dashes in the title as hyphens. Algebraist 13:47, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. After the initial shock, I have managed to compromise with this stylistic abnormality. My psychologist is significantly wealthier as a result, I assure you. Waltham, The Duke of 20:07, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Linking other language wikipedia articles[edit]

I am working through Category:Motorcycle manufacturers of the United Kingdom correcting errors and adding infoboxes etc. I noticed that the nl wikipedia has a number of stubs (often containing errors) that may have been translated from the original articles - but I'm not sure how best to link to the correct version - if at all. Any suggestions? Tony (talk) 17:08, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Interwiki. --NE2 20:31, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Images aren't showing up[edit]


I'm looking through image description pages here on Wikipedia, but I cannot actually see the image or picture. When I click on the link at the bottom of the image, it shows up with a 404 ERROR message. Every time I've looked at an image, I could see it in plain sight on the computer, but for me, somehow doesn't seem to be working. SchfiftyThree 21:43, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I can only see the thumbs on the pages. --Enric Naval (talk) 21:57, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I third this. L337*P4wn 21:58, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

(This is a reply for TenPoundHammer) -- Yeah, I was viewing the Todd Field page, an article I created. There was an image of him in the actor infobox, but I did not see the image. And, the images are working in my userspace. SchfiftyThree 21:59, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

File uploading isn't working either. Error message "The upload directory (public) is missing and could not be created by the webserver" is showing. Gr1st (talk) 22:01, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Scratch that - everything seems to be back in order now. Gr1st (talk) 22:04, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Bad update to the configuration system. It's been reverted. --brion (talk)

Are we sure that's the whole thing? I'm still getting this on Margaret Downey. JoshuaZ (talk) 23:14, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Fine here. Have you cleared your cache? Algebraist 23:15, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
That worked. Disregard me. I'm stupid. JoshuaZ (talk) 23:28, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Popups no longer showing histories[edit]

The popups tool is not longer displaying histories of articles or contribution histories of editors when I hover over the appropriate links. These features have worked for me for well over a year but this breakage appears to be persistent for me across multiple browsers. I've looked in the usual places for help or updates that might explain this and done the usual things (cleared cache, restarted, cleared monobook, etc.). Any ideas on what may have changed and, more importantly, how to fix it? --ElKevbo (talk) 00:32, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Popups uses the obsolete query.php interface to get data. That interface was turned off today, since it is unmaintained. Someone will have to change popups to use the newer api.php interface. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:39, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
So functionality used by one of the tools all users can opt to turn (in fact, the very top tool in the entire list of "Misc" tools) on has been disabled? WTF? --ElKevbo (talk) 00:41, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes. The developers figured it's better to remove something entirely than to let it mess up scripts, and I'm inclined to agree. It should be a menial task to incorporate the API into popups, but it is doable. —Animum (talk) 00:54, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
(e/c)User:TheDJ/apipopups.js is an API-based version, not sure how extensively tested it is. Any objection to replacing User:Lupin/popups.js and MediaWiki:Gadget-popups.js with it? Mr.Z-man 00:46, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
(ec)Previous discussions here and here. No-one's reported any problems. Algebraist 00:52, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
If the tool is unmaintained and no one but me has noticed that parts of it are now broken, how wise is it to have the tool available for use by all editors? It's still listed, at least for me, at the very top of the list of "Gadgets" in my preferences. --ElKevbo (talk) 00:55, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
And the alternative script above does appear to have fixed the problems. Thanks Mr.Z-man! --ElKevbo (talk) 00:56, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Is there a way to set preferences for gadgets? I had used


in my monobook.js. --NE2 01:00, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

The Gadget and the version in Lupin's userspace have both been updated. Mr.Z-man 01:03, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
OK, thanks. --NE2 01:15, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Did some one damage my account?[edit]

"Sorry! We could not process your edit due to a loss of session data. Please try again. If it still does not work, try logging out and logging back in." that is the messege i get whenever i try to contribute. Ironically, i get the same messege when i tried to edit, while i was logged out! (One last pharaoh (talk) 20:16, 17 August 2008 (UTC))

You might be better off asking this at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical), where techinical issues of Wikipedia are discussed. Hopefully those there can give you a better answer about it. -- Natalya 21:07, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanx, Nataly. One last pharaoh (talk) 14:03, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
That happens when your browser is unable to process session cookies or you are using a bad proxy. What browser/proxy are you using? - Icewedge (talk) 21:40, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, i donot know about that stuff :D incase it would be helpful, i was using windows XP and i had the same problem, now i am using windows vista and i still have it. i even got a new hard disk, and tripled the RAMs so the computer is in like-new condition. One last pharaoh (talk) 14:03, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
That happens to me, if I edit, go away from the pc, come back later and save. Perhaps copy and paste your changes in a refreshed version? weburiedoursecretsinthegarden 14:10, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
As a last hope, i write what i want in an MC word file, or write it here then copy-past it there so that i have the contribution saved on my hard disk and i can try again if it did not work the first time. the kicker here is that i would not work the second time or the third time or whatsoever so i just gave up. i even thought to be just a reader and stop editing, but some times u cannot help editing wikipedia :) One last pharaoh (talk) 14:18, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

I, One_last_pharaoh have copied that from wikipedia help desk taking Natalya's advice. hope to get helped soon. Thanx in advance. One last pharaoh (talk) 17:54, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

The cookie might have gotten damaged somehow (maybe in transit). Try deleting your browser's cookies and then logging in again. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 18:54, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Note: I have re-done the copy paste from the help desk section, when you so such content moves please do them by copying the source not the output. - Icewedge (talk) 20:12, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I experience this any time I hit "edit" and don't submit the changes until hours later. My way of combating it is to copy the entire contents of the edit window to the clipboard (or to a text file, if I'm paranoid about it being lost), hit the back button until I'm back to viewing the page (not editing it), hit "edit" again to start a new session, copy in my changes, and save it.--Father Goose (talk) 21:21, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Same here. I haven't received this error any time else. SharkD (talk) 22:08, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
First i want to thank every one who tried to help. I do not know why, but now i do not have the problem, or at least that's what i think. i have just made a revert, and it worked normally !
I do not understand what happened, but happy that it did happen any way :D One last pharaoh (talk) 22:12, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand what all this fuss is about. I also see the message when there's a great delay between clicking on "edit" and on "save", but I simply hit "save" again and my changes are saved properly (that is, unless there is an edit conflict). Why go back and refresh?
PS: I'm clearly not referring to One last pharaoh's plight of seeing the message constantly, though I still don't know if "trying again" (as the message itself recommends) ends up losing the changes in this case. Or, at least, used to. Waltham, The Duke of 11:24, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Different browsers behave differently. I seem to remember a recent discussion about IE6 and IE7 being unable to restore an edit via the "back" button, while FireFox works as expected (the back button brings one back to the edit box with the edit in it). -- John Broughton (♫♫) 13:56, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
I am preparing a potent curse for all those Microsoft executives who use Wikipedia and yet leave Internet Explorer in this mess. I shall cast it on 1 September; expect some serious vomiting in Redmond. (sinister grin) Waltham, The Duke of 21:17, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
But you shouldn't even have to hit "back" at all - your submitted text appears again in the new edit box in the page with the error message; just like hitting preview. I don't see how that could possibly fail to work in IE. --Random832 (contribs) 14:47, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

"go" button in watchlist[edit]

Am I imagining it, or has the "go" button in the watchlist page been moved? It used to be next to the namespace box, now it is under that box. Garion96 (talk) 21:02, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Er, now that you mention it, I think you're right. Dunno what would have changed; I just checked my watchlists on Meta, Commons, Wikisource, Wiktionary, Wikinews, and Wikispecies, and they all have the Go button on a separate line as well... EVula // talk // // 18:41, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
I viewed the rendered XHTML code. The MediaWiki software now inserts a <br /> tag between the "[ ] Invert selection" text and the [Go] button. Since that line is so short I too would like the [Go] button to be back on the same line as the "Namespace: [all] [ ] Invert selection" part. And it would make it clearer what the button is for.
I think someone who has a bugzilla account should file a report on this.
--David Göthberg (talk) 10:26, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
I've tweaked this in r39836, but I'm still not really satisfied with how it looks. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 15:29, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
I am glad I did not imagine it. Thanks for the fix~. When will that go live? Since it is indeed a waste of vertical space. Garion96 (talk) 19:37, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Software changes go live every few days. See meta:Software update process. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 02:16, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Would be nice if this <br> was removed from RecentChanges as well. —AlexSm 04:11, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) The relevant bug is 15172. --MZMcBride (talk) 04:25, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Ah, thank you. Now, if we could also get rid of the new fieldset (rev:39839?), that is, a box with a blue border and huge 1em margins which take a lot of space... —AlexSm 04:48, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
You could add
#mw-watchlist-options{ display:none }
to your monobook.css , which would remove the box. Calvin 1998 (t-c) 05:03, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, of course I want to remove the container only, not the content. If the filedset stays in MediaWiki like this, personally I'll have to use something like the code below which makes the options part a lot more compact.
fieldset#mw-watchlist-options {border:none; margin:0; padding:0}
fieldset#mw-watchlist-options legend {display:none}
AlexSm 05:32, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree, the new blue box surrounding the "Watchlist options" takes up way too much space. Either its margins and padding should be decreased, or it should be removed altogether. (Of course keeping its content, the actual "Watchlist options".)
--David Göthberg (talk) 16:01, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Bounty offered for code enhancement involving linker.php[edit]

I've offered US$100 for an enhancement involving linker.php; see . If I don't hear from anyone in a few days, I'll probably make a different offer; you can also make your own offer. Nathan Larson (talk) 02:49, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

How do you expect this to work for external sites that aren't MediaWiki-based? Does it have to work for all external sites? How is it supposed to tell whether the page exists or not in general? What about for old versions of MediaWiki (that don't support the API, say)? Do you just want the feature to be written, or does it also have to be suitable for enabling on some particular wiki, like Wikipedia? —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 15:43, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Is applying it to only wikimedia-internal links sufficient? I've often wanted that feature. --Random832 (contribs) 20:35, 22 August 2008 (UTC)No, it looks like this is something different. He wants to check it against a list of pages that exist on the other wiki, so no API required. --Random832 (contribs) 20:42, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
I didn't spot the link to the lengthy description. After following various links to Bugzilla and so on, I infer it's meant for Wikipedia mirrors and similar. It looks to be a pretty complicated feature, anyway. Accessibility also sucks, if color is the only thing being used. A lot of people can't reliably tell apart so many different colors (but few people have much trouble with red vs. blue). —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 02:22, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
There are many ways the difference could be rendered, besides just a color distinction. Some people might opt for a different font, or something of that nature. Yes, this would be only for MediaWiki wikis. It would not really be intended for Wikipedia mirrors as much as Wikipedia complements. E.g., meta could use such software to detect whether a page exists on Wikipedia, and vice versa. I do anticipate that it may be a pain trying to get this to work. It's probably going to take a bot and perhaps some use of the API to make this useful. Nathan Larson (talk) 15:56, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Preference setting for the recently-overhauled character-selection area below editing box[edit]

Hi. Is there a preference I can set somewhere to specify which set of characters appear by default in the new dropdown-menu-driven character-selection area just below the editing box? I took a look at Special:Preferences but didn't spot anything.

If there isn't any preference setting, any chance one might be implemented sooner rather than later? Sardanaphalus (talk) 04:12, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

I also would love to see a default setting implemented; I only use it for the characters menus to insert macrons, so now it's an extra pain every time I want to do that.-- 06:21, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
The en.wikt version uses a cookie to remember your selection; whoever is doing this here might copy that? wikt:Mediawiki:monobook.js Robert Ullmann (talk) 17:31, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Sorry: wikt:Mediawiki:Monobook.js (WM s/w doesn't do the case hunt in Mediawiki space) Robert Ullmann (talk) 10:00, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. Should be working now. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 10:45, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Specifically, when you open an edit page, the drop down menu should now load with whatever palette you picked last time already selected. At least it does for me — it it doesn't work for you, please let me know (and tell me what browser you use). (It uses cookies, so things can get a bit confusing if you have multiple edit pages open in different tabs or windows at the same time. Basically, every time you load a new edit page (or click preview or diff) the menu will default to whatever value you last changed it to in any window or tab.) —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 14:53, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Thanks. If I still find myself reselecting character sets, I'll post a message. (I almost exclusively use Firefox v2.0.0.16, probably about to upgrade to v3.x.) Sardanaphalus (talk) 04:24, 27 August 2008 (UTC)


I've seen many variations of <br>, <br />, <br \>, <\br>. Which is preferred? -- SGBailey (talk) 07:47, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

<\br> does nothing. I wasn't aware that <br \> worked, and I have never seen it used before this, so I assume people avoid that one. I prefer <br />, but I'm not sure it matters too much which you use. — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 08:13, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, <br> is the correct "HTML wikimarkup". But MediaWiki was updated to also understand <br /> some year ago so that it would be easier to cut and paste text from other free sources without having to modify each br tag in those texts.
Remember that wikimarkup should be as easy as possible so that normal people (non-webmasters) can edit Wikipedia. Wikipedia then parses and converts the wikimarkup to whatever is the current standard for web page rendering. And today (2008) that happens to be XHTML 1.0 Transitional.
And note that the very similar <br \>, <br\>, </br>, </ br>, <\br> and <\ br> all are faulty variants. And the variant <br/> is a not recommended variant of the <br /> tag, according to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), since it breaks older web browsers.
So I suggest we stick to the simple wikimarkup <br> tag and not change all our 14 million pages every time the web standards change.
By the way, the "HTML tidy" function in MediaWiki's page rendering does fix some of the other faulty ways to write the br tag when it renders a page, that's why you get away with some variants like <br \>.
--David Göthberg (talk) 09:06, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually <br almost anything here but unpaired quotes and greater than sign> works fine (note the space after "br"), since most browsers just ignore any invalid stuff in tags. Some older browsers see <br/> (without space) as the non-existing tag "br/". Using just <br> is correct HTML, but incorrect XHMTL, since the tag is never closed. and consequently the page is malformed. Concluding: the safest choice is: <br />, being ok in HTML in old and new browsers and in XHTML. −Woodstone (talk) 10:14, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Technically, <br />some random text up to the next / character in HTML is equivalent to <br>&gt;some random text up to the next </br> character due to the "Null End Tags" feature of SGML (upon which HTML was based), although no major browser supports this. So nothing is truly safe. Anomie 11:10, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
The statement above looks a bit garbled to me. Can you recheck? Perhaps not completely safe, but officially recommended. Quote from the W3C XHMTL Compatibility Guide (see under empty elements): "Include a space before the trailing / and > of empty elements, e.g. <br />". −Woodstone (talk) 11:22, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
See SGML#Syntax. The W3C Compatibility Guide recommends that because, as noted, no major browser actually supports SGML NET, and the W3C HTML Working Group Charter specifically states they won't consider SGML features not in actual use. I also would not really worry about SGML NET affecting HTML except when being pedantic ;) Anomie 12:31, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
You guys have misunderstood it. Wikipedia doesn't use HTML or XHTML. Wikipedia uses wikimarkup. And wikimarkup was designed to be as simple as possible to use for non-geeks.
Are you aware of that the official W3C recommendation for bold text is <span style="font-weight: bold;">Bold</span>? I hope you don't seriously mean we should go by their recommendations and stop using the wikimarkup '''Bold''', right?
I think we should stick with our old simpler "HTML wikimarkup" <br> tag. Remember, this is the "encyclopedia that anyone can edit".
And don't worry, Wikipedia parses and converts the wikimarkup to whatever is the current standard for web page rendering. Wikipedia source pages are not the same thing as rendered web pages.
--David Göthberg (talk) 12:00, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Anomie 12:31, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Meh. <br> to me screams "close me close me" to me, so I always use <br /> (and let's not even talk about </br>. As far as I'm concerned any angle brackets on a page should look like valid XHTML, even if the underlying engine processes them as wikimarkup. It's confusing to have to keep two different variants of angle-bracket markup in my head. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:34, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia outputs pages as XHTML - if you use your browser's "View source" facility, the first line is a DTD (Document Type Definition) that specifies XHTML. As input Wikipedia accepts both wikimarkup and also XHTML tags that are allowed in the BODY section of an XHTML document. Wikimarkup is generally easier for all editors to use, even "geeks". But there's no wikimarkup for some XHTML+CSS combinations, or it's so hard to find that "geeks" find it easier to use XHTML+CSS.
<br/> and <br /> are the correct forms of the BR tag in XHTML. <br /> (with space before /) is recommended as some older browsers can't process <br/>. However AFAIK the main older browser of which this was said is Netscape 4, which now has effectively zero market share - in fact all versions of Netscape are now officially unsupported.
The template {{clear}} forces the next item to start after the end of all floating items, e.g. images or infoboxes and text that runs alongside them.
Occasionally editors need the ability to force a line-break without the full effects of {{clear}}. In these situations <br /> is useful and real "geeks" can also use the "clear" option of the BR tag - but had better know what they're doing. -- Philcha (talk) 12:38, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
David, you're a bit off about the bold/span tag comment from; the optimal method for bolding content is to use <strong>text</strong> when actual emphasis is required; using bold CSS is just for when it's a cosmetic bolding that is needed. EVula // talk // // 13:26, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

The wiki source code A<br>B is automatically converted to A<br />B during the rendering process. The trailing / is important only so that the generated HTML can be validated as meeting certain W3C standards. Either the slashed or non-slashed form can be used in wiki text, as they produce the same result. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:50, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps routinely converting other formats to <br /> is a job for SmackBot (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) to do, as and when it edits those pages? Andy Mabbett | Talk to Andy Mabbett 15:58, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
There's no reason to standardize the formats in wiki text. The mediawiki system ensures that the output is correctly formatted XHTML regardless of how it is typed as wiki code. — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:06, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
No need for a bot. I change it when I see it, but that's because I'm obsessive like that... EVula // talk // // 18:04, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
We don't need a bot to convert things to <br /> as long as they still work. I personally use <br />, but <br> is fine. -- Imperator3733 (talk) 20:23, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
I rather think AWB general fixes does fix this up. But not worth a special run since nothing is broken. Rich Farmbrough, 20:58 25 August 2008 (GMT).
  • David Göthberg has kindly explained to me the distinction between <br /> and <br/> before, but, for the record here, I'll just add that I find the technically-correct <br /> a pain to use, thanks to that space between the "r" and the backslash that so helpfully linewraps. I guess I've got used to seeing a backslash there, however -- probably thanks to other HTML tags -- so I continue to use <br/>, old browsers notwithstanding. Sardanaphalus (talk) 21:07, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
    • I use <br/> too, and I don't worry about the old browsers. I don't think there are many browsers left that don't understand <br/>, and in any case MediaWiki reformats it to <br /> on the way out anyway. Like Chris pointed out, the main reason to put the / in there is to keep the tag from screaming "Close me! Close me!" to editors. It also helps sets a good example for web developers. —Remember the dot (talk) 05:37, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Quotes around single-word values[edit]

  • I have always used <br> both here at Wikipedia and in my basic web pages. In my web page editing I use WYSIWYG tools most of the time anyway, so I hate complicated coding rules in general. In furtherance of "why the hell do we need to make things more complicated than necessary" I would like to know if the quotes are necessary for table wikicode such as border="1" and colspan="2". Why bother with the quotes if the MediaWiki software makes everything OK anyway? I understand the need for the quotes when there are 2-word values, etc., but habit does not seem to be a good reason to use quotes around single-word values. We want to make wikicoding easier not harder, so more people get involved. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:56, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
The quotes are only necessary for attribute values which contain whitespace. you can even use bgcolor=white or whatever without the quotes. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 22:07, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Cap'n. By the way, who wore that hat originally on your user page? You set me straight awhile back on not making {{skiptotoctalk}} unnecessarily complicated through unnecessary substitution. Slackers Unite! --Timeshifter (talk) 00:20, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Whether or not they're necessary, I've got used to seeing the quote/speechmarks and nowadays find values without them can seem to merge into the code around them, i.e. I find, for example, things like
|align="right"| Blah blah blah
easier to work with when scrolling around code than
|align=right|Blah blah blah
(Meanwhile, something like
|style="padding:1.0em 2.0em; background:something; font-size:90%;"| Blah blah blah
is easier for me than
|style="parameter: 1.0em 2.0em; parameter2: something; font-size: 90%"| Blah blah blah
as each "parameter:value" in the former forms a "visual unit" (a gestalt?). I include the semicolon after each -- even just before the closing quote/speechmarks -- as part of these "units". Also, [fade out]) Sardanaphalus (talk) 23:18, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Global contribs[edit]

Hi guys. Could you possibly explain how in my contributions page when I click "Global contribs" from the following menu at the bottom of the page:

Subpages · Edit and action count · Interiot · Edit summary usage · Images uploaded · SUL accounts · Global contribs

A full list appears from the various projects I've been contributing to. How does the system know, for example, that I contribute to the Greek Wikipedia since my username is not the same as in the english Wikipedia? Also in the French Wikipedia I use the same username as here, but it could easily have been someone else using the same username. How do all these global projects know that the user is connected to all these other projects for certain? Thanks. Dr.K. (talk) 17:01, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

BTW I have not set up a global account yet. Dr.K. (talk) 17:02, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Are you sure that your contributions under another account name are being picked up? The tool just does a very fast scan of the contribution list for "Tasoskessaris" on every wikimedia project, and adds the numbers together, AFAIK. Happymelon 17:08, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
(ec) That tool just lists all contribs from accounts called 'Tasoskessaris'. The Greek edits are from the Greek user Tasoskessaris. Algebraist 17:11, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Happy-melon. Yes. Amazingly here is part of the output for the Greek Wikipedia: (My user name is not the same there, but I do use the "Dr.K." nickname). Dr.K. (talk) 17:13, 25 August 2008 (UTC) (talk | Block log | Logs | User contributions | Replag: 5 sec | 16 User contributions )

  • 2006-12-12T13:20:40 ( hist ) ( diff ) Κόρκυρα (602 Bytes) (added cat)
  • 2006-07-18T12:48:00 ( hist ) ( diff ) m Κόρκυρα (583 Bytes) (bold name)
I know what happened. User:FocalPoint who is an admin at Greek Wikipedia imported my contribs from here and some articles. This account "Tasoskessaris" is simply a mirror of my english wikipedia account, not the account I use in the Greek Wikipedia. Thanks anyway. Take care. Dr.K. (talk) 17:18, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
I've had that happen before as well; I can't remember what project (and what language) at this point, but in looking at my contribs, I saw edits that were dated several months before I'd registered my account. Very, very strange. EVula // talk // // 18:10, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
It's wierd though, the imported edits don't seem to integrate completely with the database: the editcounter in my preferences at clearly says I have six edits there, but look at mw:Special:Contributions/Happy-melon. Come to think of it, that's probably a bug... Happymelon 19:52, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
I guess it's a new system, things like that are to be expected. Thanks again. Dr.K. (talk) 20:00, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Edits that are imported, where the username doesn't correspond to any existing user, are given rev_user=0, same as anonymous revisions. This is, of course, severely broken. With SUL, what it should do is create the local account if it doesn't exist already, then use the local user ID for rev_user. (And preferably refuse to import if one account is unified but the local account isn't part of the unified one.) —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 13:43, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like it needs a bug... bug 15310 :D Happymelon 14:07, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
But the account did exist on the wiki before the import was done - I asked on-wiki for an admin to do the import! Admittedly the timestamps of some of the imported edits were before the account was created, but surely that shouldn't matter? Happymelon 14:12, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Four simple steps to create a map that shows places with pictures missing[edit]

Hi, I'm Peter Brodersen and I'm mostly active at the Danish Wikipedia with technical implementations. I would like to tell about an implementation that could easily be ported to other countries' wikis.

The Result[edit]

Let's jump to the conclusion: I have utilized data from wikipedia by combining categories of "Missing pictures" and "Geotagged article" to create a list and create a Google Maps Mashup: (data from Danish wiki only)

All the markers on the map represent an article where we are missing a good photo.

This could make it easy to get help from people travelling around in Denmark (on their way to job, walking in the woods, geocaching hunting and so on) to see where photos are missing in their area. If people are in the area of missing photos after all they might just be persuaded to take some photos.

Our problem: Missing photos[edit]

The Danish Wikipedia is about to reach 100.000 articles. However a lot of places (airports, universities, parks, shopping malls, train stations and so on) does still not have a photo of the subject. We have tried to raise some awareness of this but it is pretty hard just to ask people to go out and take pictures of random stuff.

People might be helpful or wanting to participate but it is easier to tell volunteers to perform specific tasks instead of more generally ask them just to "participate".

Since GPS is pretty widespread and there are also a bunch of friendly geocachers as an "untapped resource" we would like to create a resource to make people aware of our needs.

Step 1: Marking articles[edit]

We have to start somewhere. At first we would just add articles of different locations and buildings to a category, e.g. "Picture Needed". This was a labour-intensive task. It would also be pretty random which articles we added to this category. And it would require a bit of maintenance to remember to remove this category when pictures are added.

[[Category:Picture Needed]]

For good measure we could want to add __HIDDENCAT__ to our category as not to pollute the articles with these "flags"

Step 2: Making Templates Work for Us[edit]

We use infobox templates a lot as it is the case here on the English wiki. There are templates for cinemas, airports, rivers, lakes and so on. Most of these templates has a field for adding a picture.

As a rule there is no reason not to have a picture of a given location. Therefore I have updated these location specific templates to add the current page in the category equivalent to "Picture Needed" if no picture is present.

This is pretty easy. Let's say a template take {{{picture}}} as an argument. We would then add the following condition:

<includeonly>{{ #if: {{{picture|}}} | | [[Category:Picture Needed]]}}</includeonly>

The idea is basically to quickly put a lot of existing articles into this category where it tend to make sense and furthermore have a system that maintains itself. Whenever a new article is using this template the it would be added to the category (without any extra work from the author).

In our implementations I have used subcategories such as [[Category:Picture of church needed]]. This category would again belong to [[Category:Picture Needed]]. But this isn't that important.

Step 3: Cross reference with coordinates[edit]


All Danish articles with geocoding information added in a template resembling {{Coord}}. This template adds the article to a hidden category; "Geocoded Article".

We can then use existing tools to get the intersection between lists of articles in "Picture Needed" and articles in "Geocoded Article". If the last category is not available we could create the list based on which pages transcludes the {{Coord}} template or a similar template.

I'm currently using AutoWikiBrowser to manually create the intersection list but I'm pretty sure this intersection could be created with automated tools - perhaps the API?. The goal is to have this step automated as well.

Step 4: Creating a mashup[edit]

With the intersection list from Step 3 we can create a map with these articles marked. In my case I have used the Google Maps API myself but I suppose it would be fairly easy to create a KML output with the title and the coordinates of the articles.

Some of our users have requested the list of articles and coordinates as POIs in different GPS device friendly formats. This would be our next task. Simply put, we would like people to recieve data the way they like. We can't expect people to spend time getting familiar with Wikipedia and search functions. But if we just put up GPS files the GPS using community the task is pretty clear: We need pictures of these places. Please take one if you happen to pass any of them.


We now have a process where templates are used for more than just uniform look and content. We also have a system where data added from people in one end of the process (e.g. authors writing a new article) is helping other people in the other end.

There is no extra work for people who already use these templates. Their effort is not being complicated at all by this system. It's baiscally just a way of utilizing any bit existing information.

The goal is to have an automated process that is based on the existing flow and usage of templates and therefore requires no maintenance.

I hope this idea of utilizing existing features and content is interesting for other countries as well.

- Penguin (talk) 01:58, 26 August 2008 (UTC)


I basically have a script to do this half written already (was a script for something else). I have a list of all transclusions of Template:Coord and Template:Coor URL, along with a script and regexes to get the latitude from articles, getting the longitude too would be easy. I could also get a list of transclusions of Template:Reqphoto and friends. I have a copy of the last completed enwiki database dump. Making a KML file should be easy enough. Mr.Z-man 02:53, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Hey look, Category:Articles needing images! — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 10:11, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
We also have Wikipedia:Requested pictures. But that doesn't address the issue of an automated approach that (at the end) results in a map that photographers can use to see what subjects in their vicinity need a picture. In short, the above sounds like a great idea. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 12:40, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Broken image (copied from help desk)[edit]

Yes check.svg Resolved.

Help! I'm a new user, and am having trouble with an image I uploaded.

(sorry for the URL - I don't know how to do Wikilinks yet)

Why doesn't this image appear on the page? If I make a gif, it shows up. Otherwise, the JPG doesn't seem to work. I've uploaded other JPGs -- most, but not all -- are just fine

Any suggestions welcome!

Pames (talk) 13:52, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Image:1917 - New Rockland Trust Bank Bldg 288 Union St.jpg is displaying fine for me in the gallery in Rockland Trust Company. Have you tried clearing your cache? Algebraist 13:54, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
It's not working for me after clearing my browser cache and purging the server cache. When I click on the raw image link here I get a message about errors in the image. – ukexpat (talk) 16:01, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
This seems to be browser-dependent: it's fine in Firefox and Opera, broken in IE, and appears in black and white for some reason in Safari (all on WinXP). Should probably take this to the village pump, or somewhere where they know about jpgs. Algebraist 17:02, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Weeeeeell, I use Firefox and it's still broken... – ukexpat (talk) 19:27, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
So much for that theory, then (unless you don't use 3.0.1). Algebraist 22:46, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
There was a broken configuration setting on the last software update, should be fixed now. Mr.Z-man 22:54, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Still broken for me on IE and Safari. Bypassing cache doesn't fix it. Algebraist 00:23, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
And still broken for me in Firefox – ukexpat (talk) 02:40, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok, time to take this to WP:VPT. Algebraist 02:42, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

<--- Outdent: any news on this one, it's still broken for me in Firefox – ukexpat (talk) 14:30, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Have you tried downloading and updating to Firefox 3? I'm using Firefox 3 and it works fine for me. —Remember the dot (talk) 16:06, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I fixed it. Hehe, this was an easy one. I downloaded the image file and opened it in my really old image editor who isn't as forgiving as the more modern ones. And as I expected my image editor said: "Unsupported Start of File marker". That means the file was damaged or doesn't follow standards. So I opened it in one of my more forgiving image editors and resaved it. (I saved it at fairly good jpg quality so it looks almost exactly like before.) I uploaded the new non-broken version. Now it renders fine in all my browsers.
--David Göthberg (talk) 16:24, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I just noticed there were one more "damaged" image in that article. I downloaded, fixed and re-uploaded that one too. And I took a closer look at the "image information" of the old images in my image editors: Apparently the old versions use "Progressive CMYK" colours, which is not supported by most browsers nor by MediaWiki's image rescaling function. The new versions I uploaded use the standard RGB colours.
--David Göthberg (talk) 16:41, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Well done that man - Face-smile.svg Thank you! – ukexpat (talk) 16:49, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you!! I don't know where the weird settings came from, but now I know where to look to fix them if they appear again! Pames (talk) 01:24, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I have delayed installing Firefox 3 because initially it did not support my favourite add-ons (usually I am the first to upgrade, being an upgrade junkie). Perhaps I need to take another look at it. – ukexpat (talk) 16:49, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it is a good thing if we as Wikipedia editors use older more buggy web browsers, since then we immediately notice when things break in the older browsers. Thankfully Wikipedia has many editors so if one editor doesn't notice a problem some other do.
--David Göthberg (talk) 17:55, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Constant freezing when accessing wikipedia using Windows 2000 IE 6[edit]

Question moved from WP:RD/C -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 02:54, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

We constantly encounter issues with page freezing when accessing Wikipedia (English) using Windows 2000 workstations and IE6. Please let me know if this has been escalated before? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:18, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

WAIT. I have the same problem with IE6. --mboverload@ 02:42, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I have no trouble using the combination of Windows 2000 and either Firefox or Opera, so I suggest changing browser. -- Hoary (talk) 09:30, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Bogus site?[edit]

Note: Do *not* click on any link below before reading the entire posting. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 12:45, 26 August 2008 (UTC) is a link given on page for HOCR where I get a certification warning. A site offering this hocr gives a file called 31.exe which identifies as malware —Preceding unsigned comment added by Roscolbar (talkcontribs) 09:24, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

No article titled HOCR has existed since early July. I guess you mean HOCR (software). This links to which looks normal and doesn't attempt to feed me any .exe file. The article hasn't been edited since July so I don't know why you mention , an address the article doesn't link to. -- Hoary (talk) 10:46, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Table style issue[edit]

I managed to get the changes to sortable tables described here to functionally work. However, I am now encountering style issues. These are described here. I was hoping someone might take a look. SharkD (talk) 17:31, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Merge contributions?[edit]

Is there any way I could have account contributions from one account merged into a different account? D.M.N. (talk) 19:08, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

No, this isn't possible with the present software. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:19, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Multiple Categories Search[edit]

It would be great to search for articles in multiple categories. There is actually a MediaWiki extension that does this: It would be great if that could be implemented.

--helohe (talk) 20:51, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

There is also Wikipedia:CatScan. — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 21:36, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

What would also be awesome is to be able to pipe the results of such a search into a list or table so that no manual labor would be involved in maintaining/updating such lists. SharkD (talk) 22:06, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Question: are there external sites that track intersections of categories on Wikipedia for particular topics and then serve them to visitors? SharkD (talk) 22:11, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Auto redirect to mobile version of site for mobile devices[edit]

This is a two part proposal:

  1. WP should redirect to if it detects a mobile browser. Currently this doesn't happen and trying to find the mobile url is frustrating and difficult.
  2. An iPhone optimized stylesheet should be created. The potential for this is huge. It can even be read only. I am aware third party mirrors exist, however these are unreliable, and it would make sense for WP to serve the content themselves, given their mission of empowering people with information everywhere - this includes people who don't browse WP from a computer.

Suicup (talk) 06:33, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm a bit leery of a general redirect for a couple of reasons:
  • First it's just hard to do. :) The HawHaw code in our current mobile gateway jumps through lots of hoops checking User-Agent, Accept strings, etc to try to guess what kind of mobile markup the client might want; it used to present a "simulated" view to unrecognized devices which would end up totally breaking them. Our general architecture is very heavy on sending most requests to a common HTTP cache, which would be much more difficult to handle with a mobile vs non-mobile check as well.
  • Secondly, forcing people to the "mobile" site can be "user-hostile". I usually use the mobile gateway on my iPhone because it loads faster and is more convenient for most lookups -- but it simply isn't as capable, and I sometimes need to be able to get at the main site. I'd much prefer we make the mobile-friendly site easier to find, but still keep it distinct and keep the regular site accessible.
As for friendlier stylesheets, this is a bit in progress. As of a few weeks ago, we now have a cleaner style for devices that recognize the "handheld" CSS media type. (This mostly means those that *don't* accept "screen" styles.) You can switch this in for a single page manually by putting ?handheld=yes on the URL. In theory we can switch that mode in for iPhones/iPod Touches as well, but... then it's stuck in and you can't turn it off. It's cleaner than no style, but it's still pretty awkward for searching and editing and such, so I'd prefer not to do that yet. (It also doesn't help much with bandwidth issues.) --brion (talk) 17:45, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
As to your first point, I am out of my depth here so I'll take your word for it :)
As for the second point, I don't see how it can be hostile, many of the better 'mobile' website versions (eg Facebook, The Age [an Australian newspaper]) have a fairly obvious link back to the 'normal' stylesheet and vice versa. Why couldn't Wikipedia do the same?
Finally, the mobile version is inferior to the main version on quite a few levels, however for obvious reasons the main version is not suited to a small screen. Why can't similar functionality be implemented on a mobile/iphone stylesheet (eg editing, the whole article on one page, pictures etc) just changing the design rather than the content/functionality? I suppose what i'm trying to say, is why can't Wikipedia's mobile attitude be more like Facebook's!? :) My apologies if this is already happening, however if it is, it should be publicized more! Cheers Suicup (talk) 10:21, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Just an addendum, i tried out your ?handheld=yes tip and it is MUCH better than the existing stylesheet on an iphone! Just a suggestion, i think rather than having 'jump to navigation/search' you could have a modified bar across the top giving the most common options, and then the rest down the bottom. Rather than having everything down there. Cheers Suicup (talk) 10:33, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I have a good suggestion: Could you try
  • 1. It supports all language of
  • 2. It supports WML browser and HTML browser automaticly.
  • 3. Its framework is beautiful, speicailly in iPhone.
  • 4. Its index is powerfully.

Brion, could you use HayGo tech for WP mobile instead of HawHaw? --Wiki 2008 beijing (talk) 18:27, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

I most definately oppose the redirect at least until the mobile site has editing capibilities (I'm using my phone right now). It would be even better if there was a more mobile friendly version of monobook (and perhaps even a function to autodetect and switch to the skin) as I currently have to manually switch to the nostalgia skin as monobook appears horribly. —Atyndall [citation needed] 12:04, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Override NOEDITSECTION ?[edit]

Is there any way that I can customize my monobook to always override "NOEDITSECTION" ? –xeno (talk) 16:00, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

The only way I can think of is to write a JS script that checks for the existence of the edit-section link and puts a link there if it doesn't exist. The MediaWiki seems to remove the link altogether from the rendered page-source, so you can't override using CSS. Calvin 1998 (t-c) 18:30, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
D'oh. Thanks anyways =) –xeno (talk) 10:54, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

This cannot be reliably done with javascript because it is impossible to determine (from the HTML) whether the page directly contains the ==sections== you wish to edit or whether they are part of a transcluded sub-page. For example the last "[edit]" link on yesterday's AFD list points to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Sam Sullivan, not to section 108 of the log page (which doesn't exist).

Also if a page does contain some sections of its own, any transcluded sections would throw off the count for these and make some "[edit]" links point to the wrong section.

[nevermind] — CharlotteWebb 17:16, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Hi Charlotte - thanks a bunch , but that doesn't seem to work for me. Does it have a dependency or something? I threw it in my monobook , cleared my cache, and added a NOEDITSECTION to a page of mine but I don't see any section edit links? –xeno (talk) 01:08, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I'll figure out tomorrow what I did wrong, if I feel up to it, and if it's actually worth doing. I mean even if it was well-written and well-tested it would still only work half the time. — CharlotteWebb 02:25, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm mostly using it for articles that don't have any strange transclusion, so the way you describe it, it would be perfect. But if you don't have time I understand. Thanks! –xeno (talk) 15:16, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Getting a lot of http 503 "service temporarily unavailable" errors[edit]


The wikified content of the message:

Service Temporarily Unavailable

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.

Does anyone know why this is happening? (note, I used <big> '''...'''</big> in place of <h1> or = ... =)--Thinboy00 @760, i.e. 17:14, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Strangely enough I just got the same error for some reason. ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 20:26, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
There was a problem in particualr with the interface yesterday caused by a misconfiguration on newly reinstalled servers. Should be all resolved by now. --brion (talk) 21:10, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Problem of "editing own talk page while being blocked"[edit]

When a user is blocked, he/she/it can still edit his/her/its own talk page right? But if the person insults another user, or threatens another user, on the own talk page, is there any way to prevent the person to edit the own talk page? Now I'm suggesting to enable the editing talk page while being blocked function in the Malay Wikipedia, but an admin brought up this problem of enabling the function. Can anyone please help? Thanks a lot! --אדמוןד ואודס自分の投稿記録 17:24, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Standard procedure is to protect the talk page if necessary. This will prevent them from editing it (unless the blocked user is an admin). — CharlotteWebb 17:49, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. But if the user is an admin, he/she/it have to unblock him/her/itself - this is an abuse of power. --אדמוןד ואודס自分の投稿記録 17:52, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Here at least, a blocked admin unblocking themselves or performing any admin actions will send people screaming for a steward. I think the admins-can-unblock-themselves feature is protection against someone compromising an admin account and running a script to quickly block every other admin on-wiki, which would (if blocked admins couldn't use unblock) make them pretty hard to dislodge. In the 'post cold war' era with stewards, throttles, and various other anti-end-of-the-world checks and balances, it's not such a problem, but the effect lingers. On a blocked admin knows that if they touch Special:BlockIP it'll be the last unblock they ever make, so it's not a problem. If a blocked admin is abusing their talkpage, then again that's probably a situation when their ability to handle the admin tools has to be questioned. I don't know if you have an Arbitration Committee on, but here that's where I'd bump that problem. Happymelon 18:06, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
It also allows sysops to unblock themselves if they were blocked by accident, say due to a typo or test. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:49, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually, if $wgBlockAllowsUTEdit = true; a blocked admin can edit their own talk page, even if it is protected. Blocked admin can also change the protection settings of their own talk page and even delete/undelete it (but they can't move their talk page to another title or take any action on any other page). Arguably a bug. — CharlotteWebb 18:08, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Delete log in watchlist[edit]

Hi! I created Bev Oke as a redirect but it got deleted before I could save the target article. (Fast work!) (It was later undeleted by the deleter.)

  1. I couldn't recreate the page myself. Is that normal/expected behavior?
  2. Instead of the article showing up on my watchlist, only it's "delete log" did! Purged etc. When I removed Bev Oke from my watchlist the delete log disappeared. Thought that was interesting. Saintrain (talk) 00:48, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Delete log is part of your watchlist, but only for those articles. Remove the article from your watchlist, and the delete log for that article disappears too. You cannot see a deleted article, so the delete log is just a way that you can see your watched article was deleted. ~ JohnnyMrNinja 07:31, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
But the article had been undeleted when the delete log showed in the watchlist and the log showed both the delete and the restore!? Saintrain (talk) 16:44, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

You should have been able to recreate the redirect; I don't know why you couldn't. --NE2 07:45, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean by "I couldn't recreate the page". Only administrators can recreate deleted pages with the old page history and content. You should have been able to create a new page in the same place and manually add the same content again. PrimeHunter (talk) 15:39, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
When I clicked the "create" tab it just came back with the same "This page has been deleted. Are you sure ...?" page. Several times. Seems reasonable the the original creator couldn't re-create (for sad but obvious reasons). Thanks Saintrain (talk) 16:44, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
That was a bug, and one I've not seen before. Algebraist 18:56, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Changing redirect to stand alone article[edit]


I formatted my first article Greubel Forsey on my user page underthedial and then 'moved' it to Greubel Forsey.

Now I cannot do anything on my user page, without it affecting the article. How can I separate the article from my user page?

IanS (talk) 07:54, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

When you click on a link to your user page you go to the new article but there's a note at the top saying Redirected from Your user page. Click on your userpage there and then you go to the redirected page. Then click "edit this page" and remove the redirect. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 08:51, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Perfect! Thank you very much. IanS (talk) 10:30, 27 August 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Underthedial (talkcontribs) 10:29, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Your talk page is still a redirect. You should move the welcome note over to your talk page from the article's talk page. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 10:35, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Done by Woody. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 13:51, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Preference Nostalica does not execute Geo coordinates in articles - bug?[edit]

Active and correct Template:Coord/link etc. are not being displayed for users who set their skin to "Nostalgia", see Wat Kham Chanot for example.

Being logged out or skin set to "Classic", the link is visible though. What's wrong? --Scriberius (talk) 08:31, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

MediaWiki:Nostalgia.css only does two things, and that's one of them. Algebraist 08:35, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Creating a new page that starts with a lowercase letter?[edit]

How would I start a new article whose first letter is lowercase (as is the case with the iTunes article, for instance)? I'm just asking in case I ever need to do so (say for when I find a product spelt in a similar way to "iTunes" that I think deserves an article on Wikipedia). It Is Me Here (talk) 13:44, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

All titles are automatically first-letter uppercased. While this can be configured otherwise (see the MediaWiki manual), it would break all existing lower-case links (like [[test]] which currently links to [[Test]]), so it's not a good idea to change it. I'm doing some work to make this a per-namespace setting (see bug 13750). Hope this clears things up. ^demon[omg plz] 14:25, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid I'm still confused - how was the article iTunes created and stopped from being called "ITunes"? It Is Me Here (talk) 15:17, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
The article was created at ITunes, then the {{lowercase}} template was added at the top of the article to give the appearance that the article title is not capitalised. You can find more details at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (technical restrictions)#Lower case first letter. Warofdreams talk 15:20, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
{{lowercase}} I believe. 5:15 15:21, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Damn beat me too it. 5:15 15:23, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Nice tip. I'll have to remember it. SharkD (talk) 17:42, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Works on user and user talk pages too. – ukexpat (talk) 19:46, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Ooh, I see - thanks, guys! It Is Me Here (talk) 20:35, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

section edit bug?[edit]


Open this page, press Save page button directly without any changes, then you will find something horrible...It will blank the page, that's all. So just comment it, don't test it. --PhiLiP (talk) 18:44, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

UKexpat seems to have done so. To avoid everyone reading this thread breaking the page: it blanks the rest of the page, leaving only that section. Algebraist 18:53, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Another example. Algebraist 18:55, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Oh crap, sorry about that. – ukexpat (talk) 19:43, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
bugzilla:15340.-PhiLiP (talk) 19:56, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Fixed. --brion (talk) 21:16, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

collapsing boxes[edit]

Please see a section on the Obama article's talk page. I have recently cleaned out my cookies and cache, and they still don't collapse on the Obama page, but they do on my Sandbox's talk page. I use IE7. I asked another editor to view the Obama talk page, and it didn't collapse for him either. He uses Firefox. I asked a 3rd person. The Obama page collapsed for him. He uses IceWeasel (a spinoff of Firefox). All of the above would make me think it isn't a cache problem. As both users had never viewed the page before. It probably isn't a browser brand problem because they don't collapse on 2 different brands. I would like some suggestions on what the cause of the problem might be. I have discussed this situation in the irc help room, the main en room, my talk page, and as linked above, a section on the Obama article's talk page.

They collapse for me using Firefox 3.0.1 — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 22:31, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
The issue with the sections not collapsing was probably due to an error in {{WikiProject Politics}} that caused a broken link to appear on pages which have a /Comments subpage, which makes IE7's jscript crash if certain gadgets are enabled; this same issue came up recently at Template talk:WikiProjectBannerShell#Broken?. I've made the correction to {{WikiProject Politics}}, let me know if it didn't work. Anomie 23:30, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
It works great now. Thanks for the fix. You officially rule. ;) At least I know I wasn't losing my mind. :) Rockfang (talk) 23:51, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Concerning Special:Lonelypages and automated orphan tagging[edit]

We have a great opportunity to improve automated orphan tagging. Addbot and SoxBot patrol Special:Lonelypages and UnCatBot patrols Special:Uncategorizedpages. AFAIK, that's it. There have been attempts to expand the scope of orphan-tagging bots but this has been rejected.

The problem is, Lonelypages only goes to 1000 articles, and includes disambig pages, which of course should be orphaned. As a result, the list is lucky to reach "C". If we lifted the 1000 article restriction, Addshore could run Addbot to automatically tag all of the pages caught by Lonelypages, not just the first 1000. (SoxBot is currently having server problems.) This would eliminate a lot of manual tagging.

This is an open bug (1000 item limit bug), but it hasn't been worked on for some time, there seems to be resistance to upping the limit for performance reasons, and the developers seem unaware of the orphan-tagging opportunity.

So, the reason for my post: how can I get this back on the table? Shunpiker has written code to address performance problems with Lonelypages, but hasn't been able to get anyone to consider his work for implementation. (Our discussion is here.) Could someone let me know how to get this issue the proper attention? --JaGatalk 00:28, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I actually could make a database query for it, but it'd be expensive, so maybe a one time run to generate a list would be what should be done. X! who used to be Soxred93 02:15, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Moving an image to the Commons[edit]

I want to get Image:AHPDevice.jpg into the Commons, where it will be available for an article in the Arabic Wikipedia. How can this be done? Lou Sander (talk) 01:44, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

this isn't really a Pump question - I'll leave a note on your talk page about how to move it.  :-) --Ludwigs2 02:14, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Unexplained lack of Google search pickup of Wikipedia page[edit]

Resolved: page appears now on Google. — CharlotteWebb 15:06, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Back Alley John page and lack of Google search pickup

I created a page for the late Canadian blues artist Back Alley John. This was developed over a period of days in the last week or so. Initially, when I did a Google search to see how the page came up, Google picked up earlier versions of the page--in other words, the Google search would reference text that was no longer current in the initial listing, but when one clicked on the Google hit, the current Wikipedia version would come up. Now the page doesn't seem to get picked up at all on a Google search. For example, when I search "Back Alley John" combined with "Wikipedia", the Google result is a Wikipedia categorization page, relating to year of death. Have I done something wrong in the setup, such that Google is not picking it up? Raising this in the event that more than one Wikipedia page might be affected by something that is beyond me.

If someone has a moment to address this, that would be very much appreciated.

Dreadarthur (talk) 18:46, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I've never been one to know or care how Google calculates page-rank but part of the problem could be that no articles link to this one. — CharlotteWebb 19:00, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Google only displays at most 2 hits on the same domain, unless you do a domain-specific search. But "Back Alley John" currently only finds 5 other pages, several of which link to Back Alley John. I don't know why Back Alley John is missing but maybe it's temporary. I don't know how Google operates or whether these are real possibilities but maybe they couldn't connect for some reason last time their bot tried, or maybe there is not yet full coordination between their servers and you hit another server earlier. PrimeHunter (talk) 16:16, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I've added the orphan tag to it to encourage linking to it. Deamon138 (talk) 16:51, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I just added links to a few of the relevant list articles and to Sue Foley - sufficient to permit removal of the orphan tag? – ukexpat (talk) 18:53, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Looking at the criteria of an orphan, I don't think it is one anymore. So I've removed it. Thanks for adding the links. Deamon138 (talk) 20:58, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
The article now appears (for me) as the third result of a google search for "Back Alley John" and first for a site-specific search of wikipedia. Maybe I was right? — CharlotteWebb 15:06, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Ignore feature[edit]

Feasible? I'm no developer, but I envision this working something like oversight, only the potential invisibility of the removed edits would depend upon whom you had on your ignore list. I expect you to get on this right away.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 04:25, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

IANAD, but I don't think that's possible. This isn't a message board where each person's message is separate from everyone else's. I don't think that there's a way for the software to keep track of who added what in a "User:Foo adds text that's later edited by User:Bar. Who wrote that text?" sort of way. Furthermore, you may need to see some text an ignored user writes in the future. How else would you counter their argument in a deletion debate or some other discussion? This wouldn't be implemented even if it were possible. WODUP 04:52, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Two points: 1) How does oversight work? Doesn't it remove the offending edit both from the page history and from the page itself? If they can separate those types of edits, can't they apply the same technology to the edits of "ignored" users? 2) One would never put an editor on one's ignore list if he/she were interested in having a back-and-forth/civilized debate with that editor. You would only want to ignore someone you feel is not worth acknowledging or responding to.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 04:58, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Oversight doesn't seek out text added by a certain edit and remove it from all later revisions. If oversight-worthy text was added to a page 35 edits ago and not removed until just now, all 35 of those edits would have to be oversighted in order to remove the text from the page history and deleted page history. WODUP 05:03, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
That blows.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 05:05, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
It's a consequence of storing the entire page text instead of just added / removed text for each edit. So every time you make a comment like "That blows." and include nothing more, the entire text of this page is stored. --MZMcBride (talk) 06:14, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Actually if you are wanting an easy way to "ignore" certain users on your watchlist/recentchanges etc. it might be a helpful feature, especially on smaller projects where edit flooding by one user is actually noticeable. — CharlotteWebb 14:42, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

placement of templates within pages[edit]


I'm trying to organize a few templates on my user page and they seem to have a mind of their own about where they want to appear. A few examples: {{cent}}, {{Signpost-subscription}}, {{User Alternate Acct Name}}, etc... Each of the templates appear at different left-right orientations, and different vertical spacing. I've tried searching and have not found documentation for how to control the placement of the templates. Is there a page that explains this? Any tips would be most welcome. Thanks. --Jack-A-Roe (talk) 06:55, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I've left a message on your discussion page. - X201 (talk) 10:08, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the help, much appreciated! --Jack-A-Roe (talk) 16:48, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

linking to PDF files[edit]

A user User talk:Ggd101 asked a question at the help desk. He has uploaded a pdf file Image:Geeta 28-1-.08.pdf and has asked how to add it to a page. The problem I'm having i I can't even seem to download it to my browser. Is this a known problem with PDFs? RJFJR (talk) 15:58, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

There is a long standing issue with connections dropping when people try to download large PDFs from Wikimedia sites to certain browsers, particularly IE. Firefox usually works. I don't know why this is. Dragons flight (talk) 16:02, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
PDF uploads should be deprecated, generally speaking. If the content of the PDF is "free" it should be copied to wikisource (as a proper wiki-page), and I don't see how a compelling "fair use" rationale could be asserted for un-free PDFs. — CharlotteWebb 17:07, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
(e/c) I am confused. What does the user want to use the PDF for? As a reference within an article or to place it directly in an article like an image file? Either way, I don't think it works to upload it as a PDF file. To place it as an image within an article The image will, I think, have to be extracted, saved in a graphic file format supported by Wikipedia and then re-uploaded. Apologies if I have misunderstood your question. – ukexpat (talk) 17:09, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
It's a copyvio - a fairly obvious scan of a photocopy from a textbook. MER-C 04:40, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Preview categories[edit]

Is it technically possible to show categories in the Preview Pane? It seems half my edits are correcting my own errors in category names because they can't be previewed.--Appraiser (talk) 13:35, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree. This can be annoying. However, making the category visible may cause the edit page to appear in the category as a side effect. SharkD (talk) 14:06, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean. When you are previewing a "whole page edit", or a "section edit" of a section which contains categories (usually the last section e.g. "==External links==") the categories will appear in the preview, in the same place they appear in the saved page (e.g. at the very bottom in monobook skin). "Hidden" categories are visible at the bottom of the edit screen regardless of whether they are in the section you are editing, and regardless of whether you have chosen the "[x] Show hidden categories" option in Special:Preferences. — CharlotteWebb 14:29, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
It is useful to be able to see them to check for accidentally-induced redlinks by virute of mispeelings and the like. As I say below, I'm certain the list at the bottom of the screen uysed to show this, as I recall using it for this very purpose (I think!). Splash - tk 14:31, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
That used to be right at the very bottom of the whole screen (and not merely at the bottom of the preview), along with a list of templates. I'm 99.3% certain of this, but it certainly does not appear at present. It appears however, that a hidden category does get shown right at the bottom of the screen. I think this may be a bug, as I'm sure it's a changed behaviour. Splash - tk 14:31, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
...certainly does not appear at present ← Still not sure what you mean [6]? — CharlotteWebb 15:41, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what or why or when, but the people reporting this were not imagining it. I experienced the same thing over the past few days, although it seems to have gone back to the previous behavior of displaying the categories. Although I thought it a little odd, I was busy with other things and didn't feel inclined to report it. olderwiser 17:26, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I didn't notice the problem, but I'm not doubting that it existed; in any case, categories seem to be showing again (at the very bottom of the screen) when doing a preview. Those who think this is a problem are welcome to comment at Bugzilla #2679, Show category links above the edit box. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 20:34, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Wow! Last time I checked categories didn't appear in preview pages. It's been a while since I've edited any categories, though. SharkD (talk) 21:18, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Not sure if I was (anti-)hallucinating earlier, but I do see them now. Using a different PC, but same Firefox version. Ah well. Maybe I actually looked at the edit window page (where templates appear but categories don't) rather than the preview page. Didn't think so, though. Splash - tk 23:00, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I actually don't know if this is what others were referring to, but what I had been seeing earlier is still happening. When I create a redirect, I often will categorize it as well. These are typically tiny or historical settlements that I am redirecting to the next larger administrative unit. I will often tag the redirect with {{R with possibilities}} and a category like Category:Unincorporated communities in Michigan. Previously, both the text of {{R with possibilities}} and any other categories would display in preview. Lately (and currently) not only does the text of {{R with possibilities}} not appear at all in the redirect (preview or after saving) as it used to, but also the categories do not appear in the preview, although they do appear after saving. olderwiser 17:13, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

This is not what others are referring to, but actually a real and current bug. The lack of visible categories in the preview is a very odd side effect of previewing a redirect, not of previewing a page which is categorized via a template. — CharlotteWebb 17:28, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Also see [7]. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:43, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Transclude historical image?[edit]

Is it possible to contrive a means of transcluding an old version of an image, ie. a previously-uploaded one from its history? Easy to get a URL to it, but can I persuade it to show as an image? Splash - tk 14:31, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

In the same way that you can't wikilink to an old version of a page, no. I don't think it's really the idea: the whole point of the version system is that each new version is supposed to be an improvement on the previous content, so why would you want to use an out-of-date version? Happymelon 14:41, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
The more precise comparison is that you can't transclude an old version of a template either. Both of these features might however, have a few niche uses. Sometimes I have wished that old versions of articles used whatever version of the template which was current at that time, especially in cases where the names of some important parameters have been changed (so that article revisions using the old syntax don't work anymore), or more inane cases where some nimrod has renamed the template and deleted the redirect, but I digress. — CharlotteWebb 15:49, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I completely agree; some times, one has to conduct a full-blown historical research just to see exactly how an article looked three years ago. (And even then, there are usually several deleted images. (groan)) Waltham, The Duke of 21:39, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
No, didn't think it was possible. My application is that the UK is fiddling with tax rates during the financial year - we have Image:UK tax percent.svg and friends, and I'd like for that to have (from its birth) in its history a list of how the tax has changed over time. In this exceptionally unusual year where tax rates are changing mid-way through, I'd like to display the new graph and the old one for a time. That means uploading the old one to a separate image file, even though its already stored on Wikimedia servers. I'll just live with the new one only, I guess. Splash - tk 23:04, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
If there is likely to be any future use for the historic images, each new version should be uploaded to a new title - probably including the year or date in the title. Warofdreams talk 08:58, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Picture of the Day templates[edit]

Two parts: is there a way to make {{POTD}} and {{POTD commons}} display in a similar manner? I can find no way to put them next each other and not have it look weird.

Also, would it be at all easy/possible to create templates that show the Pictures of the Day for other language WP projects, such as fr:Wikipédia:Image du jour (which, btw, is an awesome name)? As far as I can tell, there are 14 PsOTD total, it would be nice to make a dynamic gallery of them. ~ JohnnyMrNinja 07:58, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

I once made a template to display the {{POTD}} in the same way as POTD commons (which uses the layout that is also used on Commons for this). You can see the code at User:Emil76/test4. To display it in the way shown here use: {{User:Emil76/test4|float=right|thumb=yes|title=yes}}. Ofcourse you may also copy this template to your own usernamespace. Emil76 (talk) 07:41, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Monobook.js not updated correctly[edit]

I recently added Twinkle to my monobook.js but now I have to press Ctrl + F5 on every page in order to get the extra tabs to load up; every page automatically loads without the TW tabs, and only after a hard refresh (which, again, I have to do every time I click on a page) do they show up. Any advice? It Is Me Here (talk) 12:58, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I have this problem frequently in Internet Explorer. Forcing a hard refresh, and even deleting the temporary files first, doesn't always have an immediate effect. I never have this problem in Firefox though. SharkD (talk) 14:05, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Twinkle isn't compatible with IE; you're going to have to use either Firefox, Safari or Opera. Maxim () 15:30, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Oh, right, that explains it! It Is Me Here (talk) 11:08, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Bot request involving publishing category intersections on the 'Net[edit]

I made a bot request, here, involving the publishing of article/category data in table format on the Web. I would appreciate it if you guys were to take a look at it and critique it on a technical basis. Is such a bot system feasable? Are there good reasons this should not be done? Any and all comments are welcome. Thanks! SharkD (talk) 15:19, 30 August 2008 (UTC)


Sorry if I am bringing up an old issue again but is there any plans to replace this? Thanks, GDonato (talk) 15:41, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Image not showing[edit]

Please help! Can't get uploaded image to show up in the page . . why? I.A.Contino (talk) 03:19, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Image names are case sensitive. This edit failed because of a lower case 'i' in Image:Absolutistvan.jpg instead of Image:AbsolutIstvan.jpg. PrimeHunter (talk) 03:58, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Template limits[edit]

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this thread (the first link therein is now here). The threads seem to revolve around template limits, although I can't seem to find a page where template limits were exceeded.

So if anyone has a trusty hacksaw to get through this, here are my questions:

  • Template load is a server-side issue, right? A dial-up vs. DSL user will see exactly the same lag time to serve the page, i.e. the final HTML served up is precisely the same size regardless of whether there are 700 {{convert}} templates on the page or 700 instances of plain-text imperial-metric conversions - correct?
  • And why do we care about server-side load for any given page? Doesn't the HTML version get cached by the squid servers? After the page is served up once after the most recent edit, does it matter any longer whether there were 77,000 templates on the page?

Thanks for any enlightenment! Franamax (talk) 21:35, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

And let me hedge that a bit. If {{convert}} is adding bluelinks to the units, it will produce a longer page; also if it was adding CSS styles (which it doesn't), the page would be longer. Other than that though? Franamax (talk) 21:46, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Right, the output from {{convert}} takes up the same number of bytes in the rendered web page as if the conversion was typed in by hand. So it doesn't matter for the web browser that downloads and views the page. And it also doesn't cost more bandwidth for Wikipedia to send out onto the Internet.
The reason we sometimes care about server-side load is that this isn't just about one page, this is about a template. The convert template internally uses several subtemplates that have to be fetched from the database each time it is rendered. And the convert template is used on 99,772 pages. And it is often used many times per page. And each page is not just rendered once after the last edit, it is re-rendered once a week (if it gets visitors, otherwise it is not re-rendered). That's a lot of rendering work.
I am not a dev so I don't know exactly how to interpret the "NewPP limit report" comment that the serves put in the rendered XHTML pages. (Try the "view page source" or similar menu option in your web browser and find the "NewPP limit report" in the source of the page.) But it seems to me that doing one single conversion like for instance {{convert|18|°C|°F}} costs about five times more than rendering an {{ambox}}. (I would say that the ambox is a medium complex template.)
But in spite of all that, I don't think we should worry. After all {{convert}} isn't that expensive. (It is surprisingly efficient considering how versatile it is.)
--David Göthberg (talk) 22:52, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it's purely a server-side issue. But no, it's not always going to be served from cache. It will only be served from cache if someone else with the exact same parser-affecting settings as you has viewed it within the cache expiry period, and it hasn't been changed since then. In practice, 90%+ of page views are served from Squid and don't ever hit MediaWiki at all, and a large percentage of the remainder hit the parser cache ― but that's dominated by anonymous users. Logged-in users will see much lower parser cache hit rates, since it needs to store separate copies for separate date formats, separate redlink formats, separate stub thresholds, etc. Chances are good that a typical user will often be viewing pages following links from watchlists, for instance ― so you're viewing it very shortly after the last change was made, and odds are poor that someone else has seen it aside from you.

So basically, even though it's server-side, it will affect rendering time for a significant minority of page views. Before the template limits were put in place, some pages were taking well over ten seconds to render. Even with the limits, George W. Bush takes something like 15 seconds from the time I click the link to when the page starts to render, and the bulk of that is probably parsing time. With no limits on template complexity, it would be easy for careless users to create pages that take minutes to render. Such pages have been created even with the template limits. It's this latency that's the compelling reason for the limits, not so much the fact that it will increase server load. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 23:05, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Separate copies for separate date formats, separate redlink formats, separate stub thresholds, etc. ← Wow... Any chance some of the more esoteric user-settings can be migrated client-side? — CharlotteWebb 14:56, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
In particular, I have been wondering if it would be possible to migrate date formatting to the client... which would permit IP users to set date preferences via a cookie. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:41, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
For "stub thresholds" I would guess that caching one copy and hiding the byte count somewhere in the html of each link (letting the client's js/css/whatever decide what to do with it) would be more efficient than caching separate copies for a wide variety of thresholds (as nobody seems to agree what the proper limit is). — CharlotteWebb 13:33, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Alternate projects link section in sidebar[edit]

In addition to the "languages" box in the sidebar, I propose that a new box be added to link to equivalent pages in other projects. For instance, if Wikimedia Commons has a "Village pump", then it would be linked to from this box when viewing this page. SharkD (talk) 04:55, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

For clarification: we're talking about Commons, the Foundation, and sister projects like Wikibooks and Wiktionary, right? And I assume you're suggesting this because it might benefit pages in projectspace, since within articles (for example) we typically use templates to link to relevant pages in other projects, and of course links like wikt:Noun work fine as well.
Is this a widespread problem? Most projectspace pages are fairly static, so it's easy to add a link in the "See also" section of a page. Village pump pages aren't, but I can't think of many other pages besides noticeboards that are dynamic, not static. And why wouldn't posting such links at the top of talk/discussion pages be sufficient, for dynamic pages?
And finally, while this proposal certainly has some technical aspects to it, it would appear this would be better posted at WP:VPPR than at this page.
Yeah, I mean the sister projects like commons. Typically, there are links in the See also sections as well as within templates, but I thought that a box on the sidebar would be more consistent (i.e. the same methodology used across all of MediaWiki). SharkD (talk) 21:14, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I think that SharkD has a nice idea here. I would like to use this in articles to link to Wiktionary and Wikispecies when appropriate. And yeah, this would be even more useful in the "Wikipedia:" namespace. Technically we would need a slightly different syntax to add such links, since currently a link like [[fr:Taxi]] becomes an interwiki link in the sidebar, while a link like [[wikt:Taxi]] simply becomes the link wikt:Taxi. But hey, take a look at the wikt:Taxi page! Wiktionary apparently has a such a system already!
--David Göthberg (talk) 18:04, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
WikiProjects can design their main pages any way they want, if they want sister project links, they can add them. Corvus cornixtalk 18:26, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Corvus cornix: This is not about the main page, this is about the sidebar used on all pages.
--David Göthberg (talk) 15:35, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

I think the change would encourage general visitors to check out the other projects. (Am I being naive?) SharkD (talk) 03:17, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Now at bugzilla. SharkD (talk) 03:22, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Proposal: collapse related categories[edit]

Some articles fall into several related categories (such as the Category:20th century video games family of categories). I was wondering if it might be a good idea to allow such categories to be replaced with a single link to the parent category in order not to clutter up the article. Thoughts? SharkD (talk) 11:07, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

In a tree of categories, an article should only be in the most detailed subcategories; parent and grandparent categories should be omitted.--Appraiser (talk) 15:08, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't take issue with their placement. The problem is when an article belongs to multiple categories (such as 1996 Japanese video games, 1997 North American video games, 1998 European video games, etc.) that all have the same parent category. In this case, replacing the link displayed in the article with a link to the parent category would save space and make the article look less cluttered. Maybe the category could even be expanded somehow to reveal the individual categories (though I'm not sure how this would work exactly...) SharkD (talk) 15:26, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
I like this idea due to articles/templates/etc where multiple parties (e.g. countries) are involved, e.g. a conflict or war. So, something like "...History of A | History of B | History of C | History of D ..." could become "...History of A / B / C / D...". I guess the parser would need to look for, group together and then abbreviate all identically-constructed category names. Sardanaphalus (talk) 16:23, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
That would work too. SharkD (talk) 17:56, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
It would probably be better to add a flag to the category(-ies) in order to force this behavior instead of relying on the parser to make a best guess. For some categories the behavior might not be desirable, and there might be cases where a category fits the naming scheme but is not actually related in any way, causing the parser to produce false results. SharkD (talk) 20:39, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Added to bugzilla. SharkD (talk) 03:39, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Server kitties gone wild?[edit]

I have two or three times now submitted an edit which goes into deep lag and returns the Wikimedia Foundation error screen. During this lag, I can check my watchlist and see the change already registered. Anyone else seeing this glitch? Did someone forget to pay the power bills for one of the servers? Franamax (talk) 23:52, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

All fine here. Algebraist 23:54, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, nevermind, all gone now. Weird though - maybe I should try the page I was working on again, just to be sure. Franamax (talk) 23:56, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Free and clear. I'm not paranoid, it's just that they're singling me out for persecution. Franamax (talk) 00:00, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Franamax: I don't know what page you worked on but: If you save a change to a very widely used template then it takes more than one minute to put that job on the job queue. Then you get a pretty scary looking error message after your save has "timed out". However the servers will continue to put that job on the job queue and finish the job even after you have gotten that error message. The same thing would be true if another page for some reason takes too long to save. So before you try to save again I recommend you open another browser tab and view the page you were working with, to see if it already is saved or not.
And yeah, the servers have been a bit twitchy lately. That happens every now and then but our server admins usually fix it within some hours. (Hugs and kisses to our server admins, they seem to be working 24/7.)
--David Göthberg (talk) 16:03, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Monobook.js fails to change[edit]

I changed the code of my monobook.js file and then removed it and then replaced it. The change does not affect my skin. --frogger3140 (talk) 00:50, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Have you bypassed your cache? If that doesn't help, what browser are you using? Algebraist 00:54, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
And I could be wrong, but shouldn't all those custombuttons be inside an addonloadHook (function(){})? Algebraist 00:58, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
I copied this script. --frogger3140 (talk) 01:01, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
I've had problems bypassing my cache in Internet Explorer. Sometimes it takes, sometimes it doesn't. Never had problems in Firefox. SharkD (talk) 14:02, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm using Safari 3! --frogger3140 (talk) 15:33, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Try purging the file using this URL. SharkD (talk) 17:55, 31 August 2008 (UTC)