User talk:Simetrical/Archive

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Access keys[edit]

My access keys have gone missing recently, and I don't know why. I haven't touched monobook.js. I am using Alt+Shift+key since I'm using Firefox 2.0, and it worked until a few days ago. I even have this in my monobook.css:

a[accesskey]:after {
   content: " (" attr(accesskey) ")";
   text-transform: uppercase;
   text-decoration: underline;

but the annotations have mysteriously vanished. Any ideas? Grouse

Do the elements have accesskey attributes when viewed in HTML source? Does it work when you log out? When you use a different browser? When you do both? I don't know of anything that might have caused this (they still work for me in FF2), that's just some standard tech-support suggestions. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:31, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Problem seems to be fixed now. I didn't change anything this time either. Grouse 09:43, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Archive of WP:MCQ[edit]

You had asked a long time ago about archiving Wikipedia:Media copyright questions, I'm one of the 3 people that have ever done it, and I can't imagine the others objecting :) Weekly by section seems ok as long as there were no active discussions. If you want to reorganize the existing structure for the bot I'm sure that is ok also. If you want me to do something let me know. Thanks :D - cohesion 07:28, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Signpost contributions[edit]

I just wanted to say I found your signpost development summaries informative and useful. As a project which doesn't lay out many grand roadmaps, it's a useful resource to get a sense of what the core developers are really thinking about.

I was pleased to see some contextuality added to the edit summaries, to handle automatically certain cases where the edit summary was more of an annoyance to the editor making the change than helpful to anyone who came along in the aftermath. Your 'TIA' note at the top of this page put me to thinking that this approach could be extended to the talk-page-edit-notification (TPEN) banner.

Thank-you entries belong to the class of "no immediate action required" but no mechanism is presently available to signal/detect such a condition. Some conditions which could be detected is that the edit is a pure append (and is which is less open to slanting prior discussion), contains a subject/title, is made by a user in good standing (by either global or user-preference criteria). The TPEN banner is too heavyweight for this as you point out for announcing non-urgent gestures of good will.

Obviously, level of notification for this kind of thing is going to be personal. For myself, I tend to like rate-limiting mechanisms: any major edit, at least N unnotified (minor) edits (I might begin with N==3), any unviewed edit whatsoever more than T units old (I might choose T==24 hours). The existence of a TP unnotified-minor-edit could additionally be signalled by a lightweight mechanism such as modification of the favicon (as specified in the page head), though are some things to think about, at least in FF, about the difference in the point of update of favicons in the page tab vs the URL bar. I have seen some evidence of a roadmap FWIW with some ideas about a major revamping the talkpage facility, but perhaps some simple changes could be made in the meantime at the same level as recent changes in handling the edit summary. Just thinking out loud. MaxEnt 21:53, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Modifying the message for minor edits is an interesting idea. Favicon is too inconspicuous, I think, but perhaps a color change and parenthetical remark next to "my talk" at the top would be worth consideration. Right now my MW contributions are pretty low, however, since I'm tied up in administering another site entirely. You might do well to file a feature request. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:32, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm also administrating a small external MediaWiki site [1] which is more work than one might at first expect. (Your site didn't come up for me just now.) The impact of running PHP through a CGI wrapper continues to befuddle me: all the sites claim it causes issues with pretty URLs (sans query string), but not one site I've found yet describes the mechanism. I'm keeping a list of things I might be willing to change myself at some point if I contribute to the MediaWiki code base. This one won't be first in line, though. What's the policy on SVN commit access? Is it the norm to submit a few patches through the list first? My main bent right now concerns the MediaWiki documentation, as my career has recently taken a turn toward technical writing. MaxEnt 00:45, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
The norm is to submit patches for bugs/feature requests on Mediazilla:, our Bugzilla installation. Those with commit access will then review your patches (although you may have to hang out on IRC and bother us for a few days until we give up to make you go away ;) ) and commit them for you if they approve. You'll be considered for commit access once you've been deemed trustworthy to know what you're doing and be careful. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:36, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

No BRION this week- sorry[edit]

I forgot that you weren't going to post BRION in the newsroom. I guess we'll do a double issue of BRION next week; my apologies. Ral315 (talk) 05:58, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Ignore that; it's not been distributed to users on the spamlist, but is on the main page; I'll just add a notice next week to check the previous week's report. Again, sorry for the problems. Ral315 (talk) 06:12, 5 December 2006 (UTC)


Hey Simetrical; we spoke the other night on #mediawiki-tech in irc. You responded to my questions concerning changing the order of access keys & such in Monobook.js. I went ahead and changed it, but now none of the hover descriptions are showing up, where I changed them. Any ideas? Do I need to tweak the -url links (portal-url, currentevents-url, etc.), possibly? (Thanks, ahead of time.) --Sasoriza 21:49, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

  1. Do you have a link to the wiki in question for me?
  2. Did you make sure your cache is cleared (Ctrl-F5)?
  3. If you revert to the previous version, does it work again?
  4. Could you then try adding new items to the array one at a time and see what happens? —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:59, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
  1. The link is here. I realize it's not Wikipedia, but part of Wikia (so yes I know they're unrelated), but there doesn't seem much help in the Wikia neck of the woods (and, again, it was the mediawiki-tech channel where we spoke).
  2. Yep.
  3. Tried that -- no effect.
  4. Tried that too -- ditto. I've pretty much given up on it. Hover descriptions aren't absolutely necessary to navigate; they'd just be nice (especially for newcomers). But thanks for your time. --Sasoriza 06:58, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Your problem is straightforward syntax errors. The syntax must be exactly new Array('something','something');, but several lines omit the first entry entirely, as new Array(,'something');. If you don't want an accesskey, use new Array('','something');, with '' indicating an empty string. You did not correctly revert: there is a difference between the current version of the page and the last default version in history. Notice in particular that in the current version, p-logo, n-help, n-policies, n-announcements, n-portals, and n-faqs all have no valid first element in their array. Just give those '','Tooltip' and everything should work again. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 20:42, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Your WP:C Edits[edit]

July 31, 2006 version of WP:C show that you had made a statement "It is not the job of rank-and-file Wikipedians to police content for possible copyright infringement, but if you suspect one, you should at the very least bring up the issue on that page's talk page." What was your intent in that statement, and are you aware that it is now gone?Hackajar 06:36, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I didn't make that statement. It was there long before I edited the page (which I did to reflect the realities of policy as enforced, on a totally unrelated matter). User:Lee Daniel Crocker was the one who wrote that on September 25, 2002, when copyright policy was mostly up in the air.

As for the merits of the wording, obviously it's no one's job on Wikipedia to do anything, since all of us except about four or five are volunteers. However, I think adjusting it to encourage users to report possible copyright violations is a good idea, and since it's not really a substantive change, I don't think it needs discussion on the talk page unless someone objects . . . although, of course, someone has. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 00:27, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Cool, well thank you for pointing me in the right direction! I mostly worry that people make it their job (non-admins) to just run around Wiki tagging images as their sole purpose to project. I'm not sure if this was an intended consquence of the volunteer system.Hackajar 05:22, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Developer question[edit]

Hey Sim. Quesiton for you. I love the new automatic edit summary thing when you start a new page w/o giving a custom edit summary or when you blank the page. Is there any way that you know of to make an automatic deletion summary when the article being deleted contains a known "db" tag? If that were the case, we would have a lot fewer newbies coming to ask questions like "you deleted my band without anyexplanation, all you said was "csd a7", what the hell does that mean?" So: do I take this proposal to the pump? Do I take this to Bugzilla? Is this hopeless and I take this nowhere? Something else? Yasher koach. - čřž čřžtalk 19:57, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

This is unlikely to be implemented. The problem is that such pattern-recognition would be very wiki-specific, and so basically tech-savvy admins would have to formulate regexes or something to match them, which would probably be regarded as ugly and even dangerous. However, a configurable drop-down menu à la Special:Upload could undoubtedly be arranged, and it would be reasonable to open a bug report requesting that. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 05:59, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Could you then either do so yourself or guide me as to how to do it best, because I am as technically clueless as a newborn babe and wouldn't know a regex if it bit me in the tuchus? Pretty please. Cherry. - crz crztalk 15:24, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Mediazilla:8244Simetrical (talk • contribs) 23:34, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. - crz crztalk 23:47, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Numbering Unordered Lists[edit]

That worked exactly as I wanted. Thanks for the help. --*Spark* 02:45, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Change to Common.css[edit]

Per recent discussions, the way in which Persondata is viewed by Wikipedia editors has changed. In order to continue viewing Persondata in Wikipedia articles, please edit your user CSS file to display table.persondata rather than table.metadata. More specific instructions can be found on the Persondata page. --ShakingSpirittalk on behalf of Kaldari 01:55, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Additions to Mediawiki:Common.js[edit]

Hi Simetrical. Two useful functions were recently added to Mediawiki:Common.js: importScript() for importing custom JavaScript modules and libraries and importStylesheet() for importing custom user stylesheets. The additions were coded by AzaToth and R. Koot. Do you think these changes would be worth mentioning in an upcoming issue of the Signpost? I was pointed in your direction because you write up many of the technical changes for the Signpost. If you're interested, the discussion of the changes is at Mediawiki talk:Common.js#Import Module and the addition was made in this diff. These changes are cool because previously there were dozens of slightly different functions in individual users' personal JavaScript. The one added by AzaToth and Ruud is clean, pure DOM code. Mike Dillon 18:27, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Up to now I've stayed focused on software changes only, which affect all users of MediaWiki and aren't enwiki-specific. Furthermore, no offense to AzaToth and Ruud, but pretty though this may be, it's not functionally very different from existing methods that I can see. So it's only relevant to a small subset of my readers, namely JavaScript authors. I'll give this a pass. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 18:35, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
OK. Thanks. Mike Dillon 18:36, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

I had a quick question regarding the implementation of common.js. Currently templates included on this page are expanded when viewed as raw text [2]. Templates on personal stylesheets they are only expanded when viewed as HTML. Is this intentional, as I find this effect unwanted. Cheers, —Ruud 19:17, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

File a bug report. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 00:31, 1 January 2007 (UTC)


When you changed this template from AttributionRequired to UNFREE-DELETE-THIS, did you discuss on the talk page or provide any sort of notification anywhere? Only now am I discovering that the image I uploaded over a year and a half ago must suddenly be considered unfree because "May be reproduced as long as copyright is attributed" isn't enough? They place no prohibitions on derivative works or sales and make no reservations of rights. I disagree with your characterization and I am rather annoyed that you didn't gather consensus from or try to convince the people who created the tag. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 21:42, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

This is a wiki. See WP:BB. Bring it up on WT:C or something, or just revert it if you want. I don't really care. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 22:23, 1 January 2007 (UTC)


In case you're interested, I just weighed in on the account-number issue with Image:Knuth-check2.png (and Image:Knuth-cheque.jpg). --Quuxplusone 02:30, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Sortable table script[edit]


I saw in your technology report that you switched to my version of the table sorting script to use on wikipedia. I love that, of course :), is there any way i can help you with using it?

Regards, Joost, --Jdevalk 16:28, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Hah! Small world, isn't it.  :) Well, there are at least three outstanding requests for the table-sorting: bug 8028, bug 8063, and bug 8226. I was planning on fixing at least the last sooner or later, since it would require only superficial changes, and maybe the middle at some point, but the former would require some more in-depth work. Patches to add any one of the functionalities would be greatly appreciated (although note that the middle one might require some better integration with MediaWiki). The most up-to-date version of the file (I made some tweaks to your version) will always be at —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 17:28, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I reacted on that first bug, isn't that solved already? --Jdevalk 21:49, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I was already replying when you posted.  :) I'm subscribed to the buglist, so I'll see any replies you make as soon as I check my e-mail. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 21:54, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

MediaWiki:Monobook.js on the Māori Wikipedia[edit]

Hello Simetrical. I don't know if you can help me with this or not. I am the only active administrator on the Māori Wikipedia. I think there is a problem with mi:MediaWiki:Monobook.js - the tooltips are not working for me either in Firefox or IE. I would like to translate them into Māori when they work properly. The people who made the edits to that file are no longer active on the Māori Wikipedia so I have given up on getting help from them. Grateful for any help you can give. Kahuroa 10:09, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

On the lines right above where it says * Implements language selection for multilingual elements, you'll see:
Remove that. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 19:13, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Cheers - that worked! Thanks for the help. Kahuroa 07:09, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Changes in monobook[edit]

Hi Simetrical. I saw in the Signpost this week that you've amended the monobook style sheet so it displays in a different manner on PDAs and cellular phones.

I use Opera Mini a lot to browse and make little edits and much preferred how Wikipedia looked before the change was made (it's now all spaced out and ugly now) - is there something I can put in by monobook.css file (or whatever it's called) to force Wikipedia to format like it used to on Opera Mini when I access it? Thanks. I'll check back on this page so if you reaply, and would prefer to reply here, I'll see it. Proto:: 11:44, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

It's an ongoing project. Opera Mini doesn't seem to display it as well as Opera proper in small-screen mode does. If you would like to change it back to the way it was, you can add the full contents of this to Special:Mypage/monobook.css. Anyway, Opera Mini is very clever about how to make sense of stylesheets intended for computer monitors; the old style was all but unreadable in some browsers.

Thanks for the feedback. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 20:28, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

That's great, thank you for the help. I'll change my monobook when I'm not using Opera Mini (just about the only thing it can't do is cut and paste, grrr). Thanks again! Proto:: 00:42, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Aargh! It vanishes the entire top of the page and left hand menus when I view it on PC ... Proto:: 10:24, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Couldn't edit the page (as the edit button, with all the other tabs, had vanished), couldn't rollback as I was the only contributor to the page, the only way I was able to fix was that when I tried to rollback, a delete tag fortunately appeared (so I deleted then selectively restored). Guess I'll just have to deal with it looking like it does on Opera Mini. Thanks for the help anyway. Proto:: 10:28, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
I'll see about adding a preference to force use of handheld/screen style on the server side. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 19:55, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikitable sortable by year[edit]

I was wondering if you had any ideas for using the wikitable sortable class to sort by year. I've met with limited success. --Alterego 02:03, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Open a bug report and I'll probably get around to it sooner or later. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 02:25, 11 January 2007 (UTC)


I haven't looked too deeply into it, but recently my Edit section "0" tab and Count link are not being rendered anymore. I was curious if something was changed that would make my code incorrect (function calls are at the bottom). Perhaps Lupin could have changed something to create a conflict? - RoyBoy 800 00:46, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

To fix the edit-section-0 tab, change the line document.getElementById('p-cactions').children[1].insertBefore(y,x.nextSibling); to read document.getElementById('p-cactions').children[1].children[0].insertBefore(y,x.nextSibling);, and document.getElementById('p-cactions').childNodes[3].insertBefore(y,x.nextSibling); to document.getElementById('p-cactions').childNodes[3].childNodes[1].insertBefore(y,x.nextSibling);. The edit counter is much more complicated and I don't really have time to look at it just now, but does your error console say that anything is wrong? —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 01:09, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

AccessKey changes[edit]

It looks like the changes you guys just made to wikibits.js serious slowed down page load time. On my watchlist, runOnloadHook went from running in about 500ms to about 1400ms. The timing is pretty repeatable. Mike Dillon 15:19, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for telling me! I'll look into it. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 19:19, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm playing around with different overrides of updateTooltipAccessKey at User:Mike Dillon/Scripts/timeOnload.js. I haven't gotten anything that's particularly faster. It seems to be slower than I would expect when called with an Array containing a single id, but I'm not sure why. Mike Dillon 19:49, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
What are you using to benchmark? I tried adding this to my local wikibits.js for testing:
var startTime = new Date().getTime();
(the entire text of wikibits.js goes here)
var endTime = new Date().getTime();
alert( endTime - startTime );
But I'm consistently getting 0 on all browsers. I would have thought that was pretty unlikely, but if I add a large loop that does nothing in particular, I notice about a half-second delay and get several hundred milliseconds. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 20:16, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
The text in wikibits.js doesn't do much besides define functions, so you shouldn't expect it to take any time. It's the execution of runOnloadHook and the functions it calls that takes the time. I'm using the code in timeOnload.js to do the timing. It used to do the redefines of the functions I'm testing new implementations for, but I moved those to User:Mike Dillon/Scripts/redefineOnloadFuncts.js, including my test with updateTooltipAccessKey. Mike Dillon 20:55, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
You might also be User:Mike Dillon/Scripts/bench.js, which does comparative benchmarking. Mike Dillon 20:56, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I've moved the benchmarking code to runOnloadHook() and am consistently getting 15–30 ms. What browser/system specs are you using? I definitely don't notice a 1.4-second lag every time I load a page. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 21:30, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I have looked at it on Linux on both Firefox 2.0 and Galeon 2.0.1. The 1.4 second lag was not for updateTooltipAccessKeys, but for all of runOnloadHooks. Of that 900 milliseconds was updateTooltipAccessKeys. Also, that was a particularly bad case, when I had the expanded watchlist option turned on and the page was showing 1000 entries. On other pages, it is not so bad; for instance, on your talk page, the onload hooks run in about 250 ms on Galeon, with utak taking about 10% of the time (25 ms). Try loading a big page like WP:VPT (977 ms/144 ms) or United States (1730 ms/178 ms). I'm pretty sure it has to do with how big of a node list comes back when searching for "*" as a tag name.
I don't think that there's much that can be done about the lag; I think it's inherent in scanning the whole DOM to make these changes instead of finding nodes by id. However, the part that really surprises me is that the "single id" version now seems to be at least twice as slow as the version for all ids. I haven't figured out why that is happening, but I suspect that part can be fixed. In my particular case, this is caused by calling addPortletLink which now calls updateTooltipAccessKeys. This accounts for most of the JS load time by far; like I said, I find it counterintuitive that updateTooltipAccessKeys is so slow when passed an explicit array with a single DOM node. Mike Dillon 22:10, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
P.S. I think addPortletLink should be changed to only call updateTooltipAccessKeys when the link being added actually has an accessKey. Mike Dillon 22:12, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I've made some optimizations in r19269. Hopefully that will help. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 23:51, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Cool. Those changes should help, since it's not looking at divs and such anymore. Note: You checked in an alert, though! ;) Mike Dillon 00:11, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I already spotted that when someone said "why am I getting a random number in an alert on every page?" on #mediawiki. D'oh! —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 00:15, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Nice work. Please don't worry about the other issue I thought I was seeing. It turns out that it was an artifact of the way I was timing stuff. With the approach I was using, variable scoping issues make it unreliable to time a call to a function that is itself timed. When I removed the timing code from updateTooltipAccessKeys itself, the times for the functions I thought were slow plumetted. Sorry if I wasted your time. Mike Dillon 00:30, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm getting on the order of 45 ms max for something the length and complexity of WP:VPT, on IE7 (the slowest I tried), with the default scritps only. Is that something like what you're getting? I'm running on a fairly decent machine, 1 GB of RAM and 2+ GHz processor, so I might be a bit faster than some decrepit machine, but as long as we're below 200 ms I think it's fairly tolerable. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 05:41, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Is that with the SVN code or the code that's currently live? I stopped trusting timeOnload.js because the difference in times between timing just runOnloadHooks and timing the individual functions was not a constant difference as I would expect it to be (i.e. just the overhead of the timing code itself which is miniscule). So, I installed the FireBug extension for Firefox and started timing with that.
With the code currently on, FireBug is showing me around 500 ms for all of runOnloadHooks for the default scripts (not logged in). Of that, about 330 ms is updateTooltipAccessKeys. This is on Firefox 2.0 on Linux on a Pentium 4 2.6 GHz with 2 GB of RAM. Is there a test server that points to a comparable database for the latest SVN code that I could test? I don't want to log in to test with updateTooltipAccessKeys overridden since I'd have to disable a bunch of other scripts. Mike Dillon 17:58, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
For a rough comparison, I just tested with updateTooltipAccessKeys redefined in User:Mike Dillon/Scripts/redefineOnloadFuncts.js. In that case, even with my local Javascript executing, the JS load time for WP:VPT is 250ms, so I think that the load time should be OK with the SVN version. Mike Dillon 18:07, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Interesting. Without any custom scripts running, on WP:VPT akeytt is the only significant drag, clocking in at 109–125 ms. updateTooltipAccesskeys takes 0–15 ms (15.625 ms appears to be the "tick" that Firebug can measure). I wonder why it's so slow? It iterates through many fewer elements than updateTooltipAccessKeys and has no regexes, plus it makes no more DOM calls. It's not slow for you? But updateTooltipAccessKeys is? We're using very similar computers with the same browser (different OS shouldn't matter), and getting radically different results for exactly the same functions. Maybe I'll get some other people's input too.

There's no test server, really. I run my own on localhost, as do most devs. Do you know of any way to get line-by-line performance analysis with Firebug? —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 20:45, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

After the latest sync, akeytt is significantly slower than updateTooltipAccessKeys on WP:VPT. It used to be consistently the other way. Nice work (and Ilmari too). I had seen some slowness from akeytt previously, but primarily when it was being called to update a single new element without passing the id. I'm seeing similar times as you on updateTooltipAccessKeys (something like 10 ms) after the latest update.
As for line-by-line performance from Firebug, I didn't see any way for it to do that. I'm using the 1.0 beta version (which has a version number of 0.4.1).
Also, I wouldn't count out the OS differences, since there may be differences in how the code compiles on the different systems and what libraries Firefox uses to implement the same feature on different platforms. When benchmarking some code that went into MediaWiki:Common.js recently, I was seeing slower times on all of my Linux-based browsers than someone else using Windows-based browsers. And they had a significantly slower computer than me. I think my processor has a fairly small L1 cache (512k) whereas the other user had a bigger L1 cache (2048k), so there are a bunch of factors that can contribute.
Bottom line: I think this is working well now. Thanks for all your effort. Mike Dillon 22:32, 15 January 2007 (UTC)


Hello. I am not sure if this is the right place to ask... But someone changed something, and now when I press alt + w while editing messages, it automatically redirects page to watchlist added page while I am still editing the page, instead of just putting a check mark on the watchlist checkbox. Can you direct me to the discussions on this change? AQu01rius (User &#149; Talk) 03:15, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

What browser and OS are you using? It works for me on Windows XP SP2/Opera 9. Is this true for all talk pages? —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:21, 25 January 2007 (UTC)


A whole bunch of stuff in my monobook.js is broken. Someone said you could help me.. any ideas? --Ryan Delaney talk 00:34, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Change the following lines:



, and



If there are problems after that's done, please specify exactly what's wrong. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 00:20, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


If it makes your life easier at all by saving a few characters here and there, you might be interested in {{Bug}} and {{Rev}}, which can be used like bug 8712 and r19524. Thanks again for helping with the Signpost; it's really nice to have someone who knows what they're talking about (i.e. not me) talk about MediaWiki changes :) Ral315 (talk) 15:27, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Commons Picture of the Year 2006 Competition[edit]

{{Commons:Picture of the Year/2006/banner}}

The arrangements for the Commons Picture of the Year 2006 competition are now complete, and voting will start tomorrow, Feb 1st. All Featured Pictures promoted last year are automatically nominated. As a past contributor to Featured Pictures, we invite you to participate in the competition (but please wait until tomorrow to vote). --MichaelMaggs 22:20, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Image copyright flowchart - Like minds think alike[edit]

I've been answering a lot of dull questions recently at Wikipedia:Media Copyright Questions and I was attempting to come up with a way to introduce new users to the process of putting the right tag on an image. Anyway I came up with a prototype in the form of User:Megapixie/CopyrightFlowChart, which is being discussed at Wikipedia_talk:Media_copyright_questions#Building_a_flow_chart_to_aid_the_process_for_new_users. I'd value any tweaks / changes you'd have to add - since you came up with Wikipedia:Can I use this work?.

Thanks Megapixie 13:10, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

I haven't been involved in Wikipedia copyright for some time now, sorry. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 16:04, 9 February 2007 (UTC)


Is there any way to specify a sort key or any other workaround when making a sortable table? - Peregrine Fisher 22:59, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Not really. It's fairly primitive, alas. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 23:13, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
You mentioned "matching a sort key to the background color and putting it at the beginning of the cell." I would like to do something like this using years in the YYYY format. I can make them the same color as the background so you can't see them, but they still take up room. Do you know a better way? - Peregrine Fisher 06:55, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
That way is evil, because it totally borks up for anyone without CSS (using a screenreader, for instance). Put the years in their own column. Don't rely on hidden text of any kind, please. Yes, there are better ways to do it, but don't use them. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 18:34, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-03-05/Technology report[edit]

Just thought I'd inform you - there was a slight error in your description of my patch adding deletion logs on Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-03-05/Technology report which caused some confusion - I've fixed it now. --Tango 11:46, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Ah, the dangers of journalists assuming they know things they don't.  :P Thanks for fixing. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 16:21, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
That's why all newspapers should be wikis - so much easier this way! --Tango 18:52, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Also I've just changed what I'm guessing is a typo: [3] - Mark Hurd 04:39, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, thanks. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 04:32, 13 March 2007 (UTC)


Hi, I thought I'd ask you, because you seemed to be on top of things at Template talk:Mugshot. As you may be aware, there are a lot of images currently tagged for deletion because they are considered replaceable fair use. I've come across one, Image:Stevengreen.jpg, tagged with {{mugshot}}. Now, WP:FU suggests that fair use applies when "No free equivalent is available or could be created that would adequately give the same information", and this has been interpreted to mean we should not have fair use photos of anyone alive. With mugshots, these are typically of criminals - which means that even though they are alive, they are hard to get to - they don't make public appearances like movie stars, or they're locked up in maximum security prison. Do you think this is sufficient for the fair use criterion? (Am I making sense?) I'm just after some opinions before I consider taking this up in a broader forum. enochlau (talk) 15:06, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

As far as I'm aware, most criminals are allowed visitors to some degree. Some might be willing to accept a person who wants to photograph them (and perhaps talk to) them. I wouldn't rule that out generally. But that's me. I'm not really involved at all in Wikipedia copyright anymore. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 21:10, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Ok, thanks anyway. enochlau (talk) 21:19, 15 March 2007 (UTC)


Hi Simetrical,

wikEd is a full-featured in-browser text editor that adds enhanced text processing functions to Wikipedia edit pages. It is a JavaScript monobook.js program. Features include:

  • Regular expression search and replace
  • Wikicode syntax highlighting
  • Fullscreen editing mode
  • Server-independent local Show preview and Show changes
  • Pasting formatted text, e.g. from MS-Word (including tables)
  • Conversion of formatted text to wikicode
  • Single-click fixing of common mistakes (including Unicode fixing)
  • History and presets for summary, search, and replace fields
  • Jump-to-heading function
  • Translations into several different languages (currently Chinese, English, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, and Slovenian)

Maybe you could mention wikEd in one of your next Signpost BRION sections. Currently, wikEd works only for Firefox and other Mozilla browsers and I am also desperately looking for people who can help to make the script work under Internet Explorer 7. Cacycle 23:58, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I restrict BRION to news on MediaWiki development proper. I don't include info about bots or third-party programs, because I put enough time into it already and am not interested in being deluged with even more news to post. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 03:05, 16 March 2007 (UTC)


Shalom Simetrical,

I have noticed you have created Rodef. At present, the article does not mention that killing the pursuer is only allowed if it is otherwise impossible to stop him, e.g. by wounding him. Else, the killing is not justified, and at best the killer of the pursuer will not be given the death penalty by court.

I think you can add this information better than I could. Shabbat shalom, Lior 17:27, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

It should be added with a citation to the appropriate passage in the gemara (or Shulchan Aruch or whatever), which I don't really have the time to do, sorry. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 18:39, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

fair use in portals[edit]

there is currently a proposed amendment to include fair use images in the portal space at Wikipedia:Fair use/Amendment/Fair use images in portals2. I have decided to contact you because you expressed interest in this topic in the past. Please know that I am contacting all editors who partipated in discussions regarding this at WT:FUC. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 22:47, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Template talk:Sort[edit]

Centralized discussion for all issues surrounding sortkeys for wikitables created here: Template talk:Sort. Your input is appreciated. ~ trialsanderrors 09:05, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

List of pubs[edit]

As someone who has contributed to the talk page discussion on List of publications in philosophy and/or that article's previous deletion debate, I thought you might be interested in participating in its new nomination for deletion which can be found here. Thanks. - KSchutte 17:21, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:PD-Old regime Iraq[edit]

Template:PD-Old regime Iraq has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you.   — Jeff G. (talk|contribs) 14:52, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

insertTags() proposal[edit]

Could you please take a look at User:Alex Smotrov/insertTags(), which is also submitted to bugzilla::, or direct me to the developer who does most of the Javascript code? Also, was I supposed to include more info at the bug page instead of providing a link to my subpage? TIA ∴ Alex Smotrov 17:43, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I glanced at it but am not particularly interested in reviewing it at present. You might try hanging out in #mediawiki on FreeNode and asking periodically for people to review it. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 18:44, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Editing the svg[edit]

Hi. I'm not sure how to request this, but i've been trying to make the icelandic system messages not suck with an orange 31% translated. I've put up a diff here and I was wondering if you could take a look at it and see if I did everything right and if you could put it up on svg. I haven't translated everything, and can't see myself being able to do it in a few weeks, so it would be nice to see the things I've finished go live, and then I'll post the rest later for you or someone els to update it. Thanks --Steinninn 02:17, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

You should use Betawiki for this. It gives a friendlier interface that should, I think, avoid errors. There appear to be errors in your PHP file: you duplicate untranslated messages, and parts of the English file that are specifically marked not to be duplicated (like $fallback and the sidebar). Besides, my ability to commit to SVN is limited at the moment because I'm a couple thousand miles away from my usual computer. You would have better luck asking someone else. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 00:57, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I've registered there and I'll start translating as soon as I get the rights for it. --Steinninn 13:41, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
This BetaWiki is gerat. Do you know how we can promote it better. How did you learn of it? --Steinninn 16:44, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm a developer of the software. I should hope I would know about a few things like that. Specifically, it comes up occasionally on irc:// How would you suggest we promote it? Add info to the top of all the language files, maybe? —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 17:56, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I requested a link at Special:Allmessages and it's already there. Somehow get admins to stop making general changes there, and start using BetaWiki. And not just here, on sister projects and other language Wikipedians as well. Special:Allmessages is still good to make specific changes for WIkipedia. But I feel many admins are using it in a wrong way. Any chat or site that admins read is a good place for promotion. --Steinninn 18:21, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Please change my name in MediaWiki[edit]

Please change my name in MediaWiki from Edmundkh to EdmundEzekielMahmudIsa, then leave me a message in my talk page here. Thanks a lot! --Edmund the King of the Woods! 05:07, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Seems Rob Church did it. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 16:29, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Orders of magnitude (energy)[edit]

Can you expand upon your recent edit summary as to why you removed all TOC's from this page? Is there something inherently wrong with custom TOC's? Sarregouset (Talk) 12:34, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Attempting to hardcode TOCs into particular pages will cause subtle problems in certain situations. These include:
  1. The HTML structure of a fake TOC cannot properly replicate that of the real thing, because of how user-input headings are handled. This means that a custom table of contents must display somewhat differently than the actual TOC for at least some people. Try viewing the TOC in different skins, or with custom styles.
  2. You cannot reproduce the show/hide links on the normal TOCs, so your TOC can't be collapsed.
  3. If anyone adds a new section, they might forget to update the TOC.
  4. The underlying HTML for the TOC will probably be changed eventually in the software. Custom TOCs scattered across different articles might then display entirely wrong.
  5. In general, replacing standard display elements with custom ones from article to article will lead to an inconsistent and unprofessional look.
In most cases, any perceived display issue can be fixed by adding new styles to the site-wide CSS and wrapping the table of contents in them. For instance, formerly some people tried making custom TOCs only including first-level headings if they felt that there were otherwise too many headings. This was correctly fixed in a centralized fashion: see the current version of Paris, for instance, which used to use a custom TOC to superficially the same effect.

In this particular case, unfortunately, the normal TOC is pretty confusing due to bug 8393, so I removed the TOC entirely. This is, obviously, not ideal. I've restored the TOC for now, and I think I'll commit a fix the software bug, too, so it doesn't look so strange. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 18:49, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for responding. I had copied the format from Orders of magnitude (numbers), and tested it in all the skins, so I was surprised to see it removed. I suppose I'll just hope you or someone else fixes it soon. Sarregouset (Talk) 20:52, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Wow. That was quick. I guess things can move fast around here when the right people are in charge. Thanks. Sarregouset (Talk) 12:25, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I fixed it in r25260. I thought I had posted that here, but whatever, it's done. Just needed some motivation to spend half an hour fixing that particular bug, I guess, instead of doing another bug or something else entirely. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 18:15, 30 August 2007 (UTC)


Hello Simetrical,
please send your real-name, your wikiname, your prefered login-name and the public part of your ssh-key to Zedler-admins.png. We plan to create your account soon then. --DaB. 13:51, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

ctrl 'u'[edit]

Hi. Can you help me specify the short cut for the upload on common.js sais ta['t-upload'] = new Array('u','Hlaða inn skrá'); bringing me to Special:Upload. What I want 'u' to do is to take me to Wikipedia:Hlaða_inn_skrá just like the toolbox does. Can you help? --Steinninn 06:17, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure how the "Upload file" link works. Possibly it's a configuration setting that needs to be set by sysadmins, but I don't know. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 19:57, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Knuth check[edit]

I am worried that the picture of the Knuth check you posted at Image:Knuth-check2.png contains his account number (050...). This should be pixelated, as it is a potential avenue for fraud. --Hashbrowncipher 01:18, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

If you read the description, the account number was replaced with a random number. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 02:49, 7 October 2007 (UTC)


Hi, I hope this isn't canvassing but I was wondering if you would be interested in this Wikipedia:WikiProject Trivia and Popular Culture. Thanks Ozmaweezer 13:31, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

New York City Meetup[edit]

The Brooklyn Bridge New York City Meetup

Next: Saturday November 3rd, Brooklyn Museum area
Last: 8/12/2007
This box: view  talk  edit

The agenda for the next meetup includes the formation of a Wikimedia New York City local chapter. Hope to see you there! --Pharos 19:50, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Name Usurp at MediaWiki[edit]

Hi, I'm an admin at Wikipedia, and would like to become active on the MediaWiki site, where I see you are a bureaucrat. I'd like to use the same username I have here, but it looks like someone already has it, but has not made any contributions. Can I usurp the account? I'd like to maintain the same username across different Wikimedia projects (I am also Sam at Commons). I've just recently registered at MediaWiki as SamuelWantman (no contributions yet), if you need an active account to rename. Can you do the usurp for me? If not, who could? Thanks in advance. Thanks. -- SamuelWantman 08:52, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

I've left a message at mw:User talk:Sam. If he doesn't reply within a week, remind me and I'll do the renames. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 18:08, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
It's been 10 days without a reply. -- SamuelWantman 08:29, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Should all be done correctly. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 00:48, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it is all correct. Thanks. -- SamuelWantman 16:54, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Need your help to apply the naming convention for film series[edit]

Hi! I know that I haven't been around much in the last year, but I am sort of back now and trying to catch up on things that I left undone when I went on a long unannounced sabbatical from Wikipedia. One of the things that I would like to do it get the film series articles under control. To do that, a few that I have found misnamed need to be renamed according to the naming convention we agreed upon. However, there are those who defend a single word in an article title as if it were sacred, such is the case with a few of the discussions below and the word "trilogy." The detractor(s) for the convention cling to the word trilogy as if for dear life. Could you take a look at the articles in question and give me your opinion on the matter? I would really appreciate your take on this.

Also, the convention we came up with for film series is being discussed further. If you want to jump back into this, please do so.

Thank you for your time. - LA @ 09:17, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't really participate in things like AFD and whatnot anymore. My Wikimedia participation is mostly on the development side nowadays (and that's slim). —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 18:21, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Almost a year later... (IRC)[edit]

from Talk:Netsplit#Why_only_IRC.3F

I sure hope MSN doesn't use a single server, in North America or elsewhere. They well could have their own "netsplits"; How could you know when all you get is "service unavailable" and all your local friends get it too? In IRC it's more apparent because there are channels, with people from all over the world in it. Also, most of the time people get on a random server, so when one is down we see it from the large number of quits. -- Kl4m T C 22:14, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Mug shot template[edit]

I've left a request for you to make a change here, if the discussion there is sufficient to persuade you. -- LisaSmall T/C 19:03, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I no longer involve myself in anything copyright-related on Wikipedia, or in fact any policy discussions, for reasons of time. You can feel free to ignore me with respect to that mugshot template, since I won't object to or reverse anything you do there. However, I don't see that you've cited any law, regulation, or precedent to the effect that "public record[s] produced by the government" are intrinsically not copyrightable, as you say is the case. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 19:29, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
My request cited two court cases, and reviewing either of those cases gives the whole history of copyright of government works. They're not hyperlinked, but anyone with interest can look them up. I respect your decision to withdraw. -- LisaSmall T/C 20:17, 11 December 2007 (UTC)